Notebook: Ponder progresses in Day 2
Christian Ponder (Alissa Foreman/Viking Update)
Christian Ponder (Alissa Foreman/Viking Update)
VikingUpdate.com
Posted Aug 3, 2011
Tim Yotter


Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder looked and felt better in his second day of training camp. His confidence is growing, but he has only one day left until starter Donovan McNabb takes the field.

Every day is something different during Christian Ponder’s immersion into the NFL world.

After months of trying to practice like an NFL player but without a full complement of teammates and no coaches to turn to for advice, Ponder is adapting to the every-day changes that accompany his first week of training camp.

In his first practice Monday, he looked hesitant and uncertain at times. In other words, he looked like the rookie he is and admitted there were some nerves involved with his first practice outing.

“Yeah, there was a little bit. Obviously it’s the NFL now, so a little nerves,” Ponder said after Tuesday’s session. “I got through it pretty quickly, but I thought today was a lot better and felt a lot better.”

He looked better, too. One play in particular stood out – a well-thrown deep ball down the right sideline that receiver Jaymar Johnson dove for and snagged during seven-on-seven drills. He also connected with Percy Harvin.

“I’m building chemistry with the receivers and building confidence in myself that now this is the NFL and I can do it,” Ponder said.

Even Webb, who went through the maturation process as a rookie quarterback last year, admitted that he is “just getting back in the groove of things” on the second day of training camp.

So far, Ponder looks like he could develop into the part. He has a strong enough arm, displays touch on his short passes and even showed a burst of speed on a roll-out, tucking the ball and running when he didn’t see an open receiver.

Ponder needs to take advantage of the extra work he is getting in these first three days of training camp. On Thursday, the team is going full pads and veteran starter Donovan McNabb will take the starting snaps from Joe Webb, likely causing Webb and Ponder to split the second-team snaps.

Head coach Leslie Frazier confirmed that McNabb will go through a full practice on Thursday, despite it being the veteran quarterback’s first practice and the first practice the team will be in full pads.

“I’m sure that’s exactly how he wants it and I’m looking forward to seeing him out there throwing the ball around and hopefully leading our team,” Frazier said.

NOTES

  • Running back Adrian Peterson was not at Tuesday’s practice. Frazier said Monday that Peterson’s fiancée was in labor and Peterson could miss a few days. Frazier didn’t have any update after Tuesday’s practice. “Haven’t talked to him today. I did get a report that things are moving right along and I’ll learn more this afternoon,” he said. “But everything I’ve been told is positive so far.”

  • The defense had two interceptions during the team’s seven-on-seven. Greenway stepped in front of a Joe Webb pass on the first throw of a seven-on-seven session. Later, safety Jamarca Sanford had the day’s other interception when he made a quick adjustment to a Rhett Bomar pass that slipped through the hands of receiver Andre Holmes.

  • Bomar struggled with a couple of fumbles on the day, one on the snap from center and another during a handoff exchange with running back Lorenzo Booker.

  • Tuesday was the start of the autograph sessions for fans, with the linebackers going first.

  • Cornerback Cedric Griffin remains limited while he recovers from his anterior cruciate ligament injury last year and guard Anthony Herrera remained on the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list as he recovers from the same injury.

  • The Vikings had 11 other players unable to practice until Thursday because they have signed new contracts since the NFL lockout ended.


    Tim Yotter is the publisher of 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.




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