The Vikings got back on the field Tuesday -- or at least a few of them did.
With the NFL lockout heading toward its third month, seven players got together for a workout at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Fla. The list of participants was supposed to be around a dozen, but veteran wide receivers Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and running back Lorenzo Booker are now not expected until Wednesday.
Working with quarterback Christian Ponder, who played a key role in organizing these sessions, were quarterbacks Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar, wide receivers Greg Camarillo and Emmanuel Arceneaux, tight end Kyle Rudolph and center Brandon Fusco. Fusco was a sixth-round pick by the Vikings in April.
Ponder and his teammates went through one on-the-field session Tuesday afternoon after working on agility and other skills in the morning. There are supposed to be two on-the-field practices on Wednesday, along with more weight room and class room work. It sounds as if now there won't be a practice Thursday morning before things break up but there could be some meetings.
Former Cretin-Derham Hall and Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke, who works for IMG and already had been working with Ponder and Webb, is serving to help with the install of the offense that is part of the Vikings playbook that Ponder got from offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave during the brief time when the lockout was lifted in late April.
Ponder is now getting copies of that playbook (he is literally making copies) to his teammates that show up in Bradenton. Ponder has been working with Weinke on learning the passing plays in the Vikings offense and next the focus will shift to the run game.
Camarillo said the same thing Webb told Chip last week and that's that the verbiage in Musgrave's offense has been pared way down from what the Vikings did under former coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
As far as setting up the workouts, Ponder said: "You see all these other teams doing workouts, and we were one of the few teams that wasn't doing anything. Somebody had to get the ball rolling I thought as a quarterback it was up to me to do it. A lot of the veteran guys I reached out to were all gung-ho and excited about it. Everyone was good to me."
(Hat tip to the St. Pete Times' Greg Auman, who is serving as a stringer for the Star Tribune in Bradenton and will have a full story on this website later today.)