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."



New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
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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
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North Carolina 93
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Oakland 59
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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
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SC State 65
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Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
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New Orleans 87
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Miss Valley St 52
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Tenn Tech 54
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Michigan 70
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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 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




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