Normally, Vikings coaches would have been installing the playbook at this time of year, but Christian Ponder
has taken things into his own hands with the lockout on and coaches not able to talk to players.
Ponder and several of his Vikings teammates began workouts Tuesday at the top-shelf IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. With several of his skill-position offensive teammates expected to participate, Ponder did what he could to do his teammates a solid.
Thanks to the narrow window of opportunity on draft weekend when the lockout was briefly lifted, Ponder was given a playbook of the new-look Vikings offense under new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. There was some controversy surrounding the move, as Vikings coaches admitted they kept their Fed-Ex drivers busy the Friday of draft weekend in response to an open-ended question as to whether players would start reporting back to their teams and the restrictions on contacting players was removed. As it turned out, having a playbook of the new offense was a vital piece of material for a rookie quarterback.
In hopes of engendering himself to his new teammates, Ponder made copies of the playbook to give to his teammates. He also gave one to former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke
, who is helping familiarize Vikings players with the plays and concepts as an employee at IMG.
NFL Network made a point of it that Ponder was careful with the copies, but for now at least seven players have their copies, as does Weinke.
For those legislators concerned about the Ramsey County stadium proposal, they may have had those fears calmed Tuesday. In a seven-page report released Tuesday, the bond rating agency Springsted Inc., maintained that, given its AAA bond rating, Ramsey County would more than cover its share of stadium costs with its countywide sales tax. A 30-year bond would make the annual debt payments approximately $22.5 million a year. It is believed that the county sales tax would raise more than $28 million a year and, by the time the stadium opened, would likely generate more than $35 million a year in county taxes. Thanks to the county's high credit rating, even such a significant financial bond issue wouldn't adversely affect the county's AAA rating, according to two independent New York-based bond raters.
While the findings from Springsted have to be viewed as good news for Ramsey County officials, the City of St. Paul isn't on board. Minnesota Public Radio questioned the seven members of the St. Paul city council and six of seven said they oppose the half-cent sales tax. The objections could be because St. Paul is the biggest city (and, as such, providing the largest share of the revenue generated by the tax increase) or that everyone summarily rejected the off-the-wall proposal from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. However, the council definitely doesn't seem pleased with the current scenario.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Christian Ponder made copies of the Vikings' new playbook to kick start the installation process … in Florida.
Christian Ponder made copies of the Vikings' new playbook to kick start the installation process.