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.

Christian Ponder vs. Andy Dalton? Receiver Jerome Simpson weighs in

Posted by: under Vikings Updated: August 6, 2012 - 1:15 PM

If you're looking for the guy most likely to energize a Vikings' resurgence on offense in 2012, keep a close eye on speedy receiver Jerome Simpson.

Want to learn more about Simpson's jovial personality, his training camp acrobatics or his 15-day stay in a detention center this spring? Then give our Sunday feature on Simpson a read.

Still can't get enough Simpson? Then chew on the following thoughts the Vikings' receiver had to share about his role in the offense and how his new quarterback in Minnesota compares to his last one in Cincinnati.

On what he loves most about the Vikings' offensive philosophy under coordinator Bill Musgrave ..

"Probably the biggest thing I love about this offense is that there are no dead routes. Everybody can be thrown to at any time. And, man, we have so many playmakers here, it’s going to be difficult for defenses this season to guard all the weapons we have. For me, it’s going to be a pleasure to be in Coach Musgrave’s offense."

On the instant rapport he developed with Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder ...

"Christian, man, is the best. He’s an easy guy to get along with. If we mess up on a play? Hey, we all make mistakes. He just knows that we all have to get better and try not to make the same mistakes twice. You get that added sense of confidence from him. And Christian is so easy to talk to, man. That’s what I love about him. I can go to him about anything and talk to him openly. I can talk to him and get on the same page and be able to tune into the way he thinks. We’re getting on the same page in terms of thinking the same way. He communicates so well."

On how Ponder compares with fellow 2011 first-round draft pick Andy Dalton, with whom Simpson played last season with the Bengals ...

"Andy actually texted me a picture [last week] of a little kid wearing my Bengals jersey at their camp. He wished me well. It’s good blood for me here and back in Cincinnati. I’m not going to compare Christian to Andy. He’s going to make his own name. But I can tell you this about Andy: what made him so solid last season was that he was calm. He was very calm in every situation. We’d call him the Red Robin. If we were down, he came to the huddle with a level head and had a way about him of not getting out of the realm of being a leader. Christian has his own way of leading. I’ll tell you, man. I love the confidence in Christian. He’s given us that presence that we need in a quarterback. And you can hear the confidence in his voice when he talks and calls that play in the huddle. You know, it's always ‘Hey, we’re going to make a play here.' I think that's going to be big in his development."


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Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 1 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 5
Cincinnati - WP: T. Cingrani 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: B. Cumpton 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 7
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 4
Minnesota - WP: R. Nolasco 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: E. Bedard 7
Arizona - WP: M. Bolsinger 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 2
San Diego - WP: A. Torres 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: C. Stammen 3
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 11 FINAL
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 4
NY Yankees - WP: C. Sabathia 14 FINAL
Boston - LP: F. Doubront 5
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 1
Philadelphia - WP: M. Adams 7 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 3
Indiana 85 FINAL
Atlanta 98
Oklahoma City 95 FINAL
Memphis 98
LA Clippers 98 FINAL
Golden State 96
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Detroit 2
Colorado 1 FINAL
Minnesota 2
San Jose 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13




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