Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Ponder clicks with tight ends in first training camp practice

Posted by: Chip Scoggins under Vikings, NFC, Adrian Peterson, Brian Robison, Jared Allen, Percy Harvin Updated: July 31, 2012 - 3:58 PM

Some observations from the Vikings first training camp practice ...

Good start for Ponder, TEs

Quarterback Christian Ponder had a good first training camp practice, completing 11 of 12 passes during the three 11-on-11 portions of Friday’s non-padded workout at Minnesota State Mankato. In coordinator Bill Musgrave’s tight end-friendly offense, it’s no surprise that Ponder was especially sharp connecting with the big fellas, especially Kyle Rudolph, who caught several passes, including a deep ball between the No. 1 safeties.

"Tight ends are a quarterback’s best friend," Ponder said. "So they’re going to catch a lot of balls this year. I’ve built up a lot of chemistry with Kyle. I think we just click. He finds ways to get open and I have a lot of confidence throwing to him."

Meanwhile, backup quarterback Joe Webb struggled with his accuracy during a shaky first day with the second unit.


Catch me if you can

The Vikings leaned on the 22-year-old legs of Jordan Todman quite a bit during Friday’s practice. That gave the second-year pro ample opportunities to display the speed and quickness he hopes will land the No. 3 running back job.

On one particular play, Todman broke free and decided to keep sprinting 80 yards as veteran cornerback Zack Bowman tried -- and failed -- to catch him. After running through the end zone, Todman quickly jogged back as Bowman used a reporter’s shoulder to lean on while trying to catch his breath.
"He’s fast," Bowman said of Todman. "He was fresh. I was fresh. Now, I’m not so fresh anymore."


Who is this guy?

Bryan Walters

The skinny: A 6-foot, 190-pound slot receiver who can also return punts, Walters has played only four NFL games since joining the Chargers as an undrafted free agent out of Cornell in 2010. The Vikings signed Walters as a street free agent in April in part because of the potential they saw in him when they played the Chargers in the first game of last season. In his best game as a pro, he had two catches for 21 yards and two first downs, and returned a punt 13 yards.

Did you know?: Walters ranks second on Cornell’s career all-purpose yardage list. No. 1 on that list is former Viking Ed Marinaro.

Chances of making the team: He’s a long shot, at best. The team has 12 receivers on the roster and will likely keep just five. Three receivers -- Percy Harvin, Jerome Simpson and Jarius Wright -- are locks. Michael Jenkins, At least three others -- Greg Childs and Devin Aromashodu -- would rank ahead of Walters at this point.


Quote of the Day

"There’s nothing friendly about it. I’ll win that any day of the week."

--Jared Allen, when asked if he has a "friendly" sack competition with fellow defensive end and close friend Brian Robison.


Injury update

--RB Adrian Peterson (knee) physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. TE Mickey Shuler (heel) non-football-injury (NFI) list. WR Stephen Burton (toe) NFI list. CB Josh Robinson (hamstring) pulled up lame while covering a receiver in Friday’s practice and did not return.



Saturday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through. 2:45-5 p.m. practice (no pads). Sunday: Off. Monday: 10:30-11:30 a.m. walk-through. 2:45-5 p.m. practice (pads).







San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:07 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Houston 6:00 PM
Brooklyn 6:30 PM
Washington 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 7:00 PM
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Atlanta 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Portland 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Phoenix 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Toronto 0 Postponed
Ottawa 0
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Washington 8:30 PM
Buffalo 9:30 PM
Arkansas State 40 FINAL
Louisiana 55
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Chivas USA 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
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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 Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




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