The scrutiny Christian Ponder endured last season could pale next to what he'll encounter this year as Minnesota's quarterback.

Ponder improved from his rookie season, and the Vikings won seven more games to make the playoffs. But those developments didn't quiet the questions about whether the former first-round draft pick fits the franchise's plans.

Year three of Ponder's career will determine whether he's the answer or not. With Adrian Peterson coming off a 2,000-yard rushing season, an offensive line intact from the year before and upgraded group of receivers, Ponder should have more support than he did last season.

He says he doesn't feel any more pressure to perform than usual. The position he plays always brings that.