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 gets second-team reps

Posted by: Mark Craig under Adrian Peterson, Vikings quarterbacks Updated: August 4, 2011 - 6:36 PM

MANKATO -- In the "duh" department, we all know rookie Christian Ponder will move ahead of Joe Webb in the battle for the backup quarterback position eventually.

That moment appeared to arrive this afternoon during the first full-squad, full-padded practice. Ponder got most of the reps with the second team. Webb worked mostly with the third team.

Afterward, Frazier said he's just "rotating guys through" at those spots and that the rotation will change throughout training camp. 

"Nothing's etched in stone," Frazier said.

Ponder, to no one's surprise, has looked better than Webb so far.

Meanwhile, in other practice news ...

  • Holy moly, was Charlie Johnson's first day on the job a rough one. The new starting left tackle was beaten at least four times for sacks by Jared Allen. In training camp, the ball is whistled dead before Donovan's head pops off and rolls down the field. So Donovan didn't get hit, of course. But there was one particular play in team drills in which Allen blew past Johnson so quickly that Johnson was barely out of his stance. But give Charlie credit. Given the opportunity to duck reporters for his duties at the autograph table, Charlie decided to stand and face the questions. He summed up his day best by saying, "It was ugly, man. You could tell I hadn't done anything since January."
  • McNabb looked rusty, naturally, but Frazier seemed happy with the QB's first day. "Considering all that's gone on, I thought he did a good job." He liked McNabb's timing and command of the offense, all things considered.
  • Frazier has experienced just about everything a coach could possibly experience since getting the interim job after 10 games last season. He's seen Favre's streak end, the Metrodome collapse, a home game at TCF Bank Stadium, a Tuesday night game in Philly, a four-month lockout, etc. With the new CBA finally ratified, Frazier said, "I look forward to normalcy for a change."
  • Frazier said Adrian Peterson, who has been gone from the team since Monday night to be with his fiance during the birth of their son, was due to arrive this evening and will practice tomorrow. 
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