"Just look at guys in their second year," said Spielman, who has previously mentioned the developmental paths taken by Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning. "And where he is right now to where he was last year and just look at some of the quarterbacks I have mentioned. And what their progress was. And they're almost identical wherein that realm where they all ended up."
Of course, just because other players have followed that trajectory does not guarantee Ponder will do the same. He still has been reluctant to step up in the pocket and deliver strong throws into tight windows, and has a tendency to let poor footwork lead to gasp-inducing throws across his body.
But Spielman and head coach Leslie Frazier remain confident Ponder is right on schedule in the three-year plan they have for his development. And heading into the bye after a very good game against Detroit certainly helped matters.
"It just raises everybody else's confidence level," Frazier said. "He took control of our offense, moved the ball around, got everybody involved and did a great job of leading us throughout the day. So his pocket presence and the decisions that he made with the football. He did a great job all day decision-making wise."
And even though the Vikings are very much in the playoff hunt, Spielman said the team is looking at Ponder's full body of work to evaluate his performance and ability to be a building block going forward.
"They're going to get evaluated from the outside and from the media on their performance that week," Spielman said. "But you have to be, from an internal standpoint, looking at the whole picture and looking at a length of time."