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 mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Ponder's camp has far from perfect attendance

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, NFC, Vikings players, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings draft Updated: June 1, 2011 - 3:07 PM

Update: Vikings players in attendance decided to call it a day after a two-hour classroom session today because of rainy weather. That means there will be no on-the-field work today. The practices are scheduled to wrap up on Thursday morning.

It would be understandable if Christian Ponder was disappointed by the turnout for the three days of practices he has helped to organize.

Greg Auman, who is covering the Tuesday through Thursday sessions at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Fla., reports that it's now expected that wide receivers Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and running back Lorenzo Booker won't attend.

Originally, it was expected they would arrive for Tuesday's on- and off-the-field work. Then it was supposed to be Wednesday's sessions and now ...

Our friends at Viking Update report that Ponder explained that Harvin lost his phone and thus there was a lack of communication; Shiancoe had a late conflict; and Berrian missed his flight. Not sure on Rice or Booker.

"We'll definitely do it again and hopefully a bunch more guys will show up," Ponder said, per Auman, when asked about the lack of veterans at the workouts that were organized because of the NFL lockout.

Nonetheless, Ponder is pleased with how things are going with the guys who did attend. There were seven Vikings players at IMG on Tuesday -- quarterbacks Ponder, Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar, wide receivers Greg Camarillo and Emmanuel Arceneaux, tight end Kyle Rudolph and center Brandon Fusco -- and sixth round defensive back Mistral Raymond was added to the mix today.

There will be a final practice on Thursday morning as former Cretin-Derham Hall and Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke tries to help Ponder and his teammates install some of the playbook Ponder got from the Vikings while the lockout was briefly lifted in late April.

"We got some good work in," Ponder said. "To be around some of the guys was good for me."

Ponder, the 12th pick in the draft by the Vikings, deserves credit for helping put these workouts together, even if many of the veterans expected to attend decided (or were unable) to attend.

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