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Vikings' Christian Ponder Thrilled To Have Matt Kalil Protecting Him

Minnesota Vikings fans can expect better quarterback play in 2012 - that's almost entirely guaranteed. Donovan McNabb was the guy to start the season, or more accurately, the quarterback formerly known as Donovan McNabb was the guy. He was benched in favor of rookie Christian Ponder, who played well with the usual rookie jitters.

One thing that seemed to limit him in his rookie season is the fact that he spent a sizable portion of it on his back. Offensive line play was certainly lacking for Minnesota in 2011, and that's something the team addressed in the first round with the drafting of left tackle Matt Kalil - making him the No. 4 overall pick in the draft.

As it turns out, Ponder recognizes that the drafting of Kalil will help him, and is ecstatic about the move, according to the Star Tribune:

"I haven't stopped smiling since that Thursday night of the draft," Ponder said Wednesday afternoon during an interview on "NFL Total Access" which aired on the NFL Network. "I'm definitely excited that we picked up Matt. He's already impressed me. He's come into these OTAs and he's working hard. He's a big guy, he's really athletic and he's going to do a great job. Obviously he did really well at USC and he's going to continue that and be really good in the NFL. Hopefully we have 10-15 years together with the Vikings."

In so many words, Ponder is saying "Oh my God the guy we had last year was terrible. I don't even remember his name, all I know is Tupac at Coachella was more solid than he was. Matt Kalil is my hero." Of course, that's paraphrasing, but it's basically what he said. Just read it again.

For more on the Minnesota Vikings, go to Daily Norseman. You can also get all of your professional football news over at SB Nation's NFL hub.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.