Chicago Bears

Why Kellen Mond Should Start Against The Bears

Kellen Mond
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – AUGUST 21: Kellen Mond #11 of the Minnesota Vikings participates in warmups before the start of a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on August 21, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

When Kirk Cousins was placed on the Covid-19/Reserve list, many people were left wondering who would get the start at quarterback against the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings ended up starting Sean Mannion, who’s performance left much to be desired. With the loss, the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs. The Vikings now go into a game on Sunday against the Bears, that has little meaning for either team. This left many people wondering if Minnesota would finally start their rookie quarterback, Kellen Mond. Mond was drafted in the 3rd round in the 2021 draft, but has seen little playing time outside of the preseason. When asked about it, Vikings’ head coach Mike Zimmer made his feelings about Mond starting perfectly clear.

This quote from Zimmer was baffling to say the least. Has Mond’s progression been so bad that he’s really not worth starting in a meaningless game? Even if he hasn’t progressed well, there’s a list of reasons why Kellen Mond should start on Sunday. Let’s explore them below.

Sunday’s Match-Up Against Chicago

Let’s start with this; the Minnesota Vikings won’t be in the playoffs. With the loss at Green Bay, the Vikings were officially eliminated. That leaves 1 last meaningless game against the Chicago Bears. The Bears aren’t exactly strong competition, as they have been eliminated as well with a record of 6-10. The game will also be in Minnesota, in US Bank Stadium. So Minnesota will find itself in a low stakes home game against a weak opponent. Isn’t this the perfect game to start a rookie quarterback? Mike Zimmer’s unwillingness to start Mond makes even less sense, since Mond has all the potential to be a starting quarterback.

Kellen Mond Has Starting Potential

Kellen Mond has a lot of raw talent. He’s a dual threat quarterback, who can rush the ball if needed. His college stats show as much. The only time Mond has seen the field in the NFL was during the 2021 preseason. His preseason stats don’t look great, but there was clear progression during the preseason. Mond ended the preseason for the Vikings, throwing for 196 yards against the Chiefs. He also rushed for 40 yards with an average of 8 yards per carry. Mond definitely made some rookie mistakes, like throwing an interception and fumbling the ball twice but his talent was on full display as well. His rushing ability was reminiscent of Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson, at least for that game.

Mond could also have something that the Vikings have desperately lacked since Brett Favre; a quarterback that can lead a locker room. Mond was dedicated to improving his play in college, and it paid off his senior year when he vastly improved as a quarterback. Mond’s leadership has also won him a sportsman of the year award.

Mond has the potential to turn into a real locker room leader as a starting quarterback. That’s something the Vikings haven’t had in a while. Mond also has raw talent, that could turn him into a starting quarterback. Granted, Mond’s preseason wasn’t stellar, but he still had flashes where he showed what he’s capable of. If Mond hasn’t progressed enough to start a meaningless game against the Bears, he’s not at fault there. The blame rests solely on the coaching staff.

An Indictment on Coaching

After Mike Zimmer threw Kellen Mond under the bus, it was confirmed that Kirk Cousins would start on Sunday. No reason was given for why Kellen Mond won’t start against the Bears, but it’s believed that he’s simply not ready. Drafting and developing Mond was always going to be a project for Minnesota. But after seeing the quarterbacks drafted in 2021, it looks like developing even seemingly ready to go 1st round picks is a project. Here’s the cold hard fact: the current Vikings’ coaching staff isn’t capable of developing a young quarterback. An inconsistency at offensive coordinator and a defensive head coach who constantly throws his offense under the bus is the perfect environment to ensure that a rookie quarterback fails.

If the Vikings want Mond to have even the chance to develop into a starting quarterback, they need to replace Mike Zimmer this off season. Zimmer publicly calling out Mond may have been the final nail in his coffin.

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  1. Pingback: The Perplexing Case Of Jack Studnicka - Championship Sports Media

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