Rookie QB calls Vikings to work

  • Article by: GREG AUMAN , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 1, 2011 - 12:11 PM

As the NFL lockout lingers, Christian Ponder took it upon himself to organize workouts in Florida, bringing with him the new playbook few have seen.

hide

Quarterback Christian Ponder, the Vikings' first-round draft choice, has been organizing Vikings workouts in Florida.

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

BRADENTON, FLA. - In the middle of a weight room, Vikings rookies Christian Ponder and Kyle Rudolph engaged in a little throw-and-catch, critiquing each other's form while lofting, of all things, a tennis ball back and forth.

Despite the limitations of the continuing NFL lockout, the Vikings' top two draft picks are getting to know each other this week as part of a small group of players attending three days of workouts organized by Ponder.

"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," Ponder said. "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."

Ponder hopes to have 10 to 12 Vikings at the workouts -- receiver Greg Camarillo and quarterback Joe Webb were here Tuesday morning, as was receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux, signed in January from the CFL. Veterans such as Visanthe Shiancoe, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian were scheduled to join the group in time for Wednesday workouts at the IMG Academy under former NFL quarterback and Cretin-Derham Hall star Chris Weinke.

Among the most valuable parts of this week's workouts is the chance Ponder has to share a rare resource -- the Vikings' revised playbook. He got his copy from new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave during the brief window when the lockout was lifted last month, and will make copies for all his teammates attending workouts at IMG.

"It's huge to start getting that bond going, and as a quarterback, you've got to be comfortable with all the guys around you," he said. "To lead and to influence, you have to get to know them personally. I'm excited about getting to know everybody. These are my teammates, and this is my family for as many years as I'm here."

Camarillo was excited Monday morning to meet his new quarterback for the first time and to get his first look at the playbook. But he said building chemistry is the most important part of this week's workouts.

"To work with your teammates, that's when you build camaraderie," he said. "It's something you can't do on your own. You have to be around the guys to get that going. ... Just to start getting on the same page. I can learn [Ponder's] style as a quarterback, he can learn my style as a receiver. ... We can start getting a feel for each other, so that when we finally do get started, it's not Square 1 and we're a little ahead of the game."

Camarillo said the terminology of the new offense is completely different from what the Vikings ran in 2010. Something as simple as the general name of a pass pattern has changed -- an "out" route is now an "okey." Because of the new offensive staff, the Vikings have more of a challenge as a result of the silence mandated by the lockout.

"We're at an extra disadvantage because it's a new offense," said Camarillo, who drove up from his offseason home in Miami. "We haven't had a chance to hear the coaches' philosophies on things. Basic things may sound simple, but when you get a whole bunch of plays and a whole bunch of routes, you're learning a new language."

Weinke, who said he has had no contact with the Vikings, worked with Ponder last week in daily installation of the new offense, helping him learn all the passing plays in a practice environment, which should be more effective than simple memorization.

"It's been huge for me," Ponder said. "It's one thing to look at the playbook on your own and try to study it. Once you get out on the field and do it, do the whole process, that's when you start getting comfortable. I won't be as comfortable until I start going live against some defenses, but this is as good as it gets."

  • NFL LOCKOUT

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who will win the Super Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close