Off Season Training
Ponder & Vikings Teammates Start 3 Day MiniCamp
Ponder will be joined by the Vikings’ two other roster quarterbacks, Joe Webb and Rhett Bomar under the supervision of former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke, who is the director of football operations at the 400-acre IMG facility.
Webb and Ponder have been working privately with Weinke during the past two weeks, much of it focused on learning the terminology and concepts of the new Vikings offensive playbook. The players received their playbooks during the brief window in which the lockout was lifted by a federal judge.
The Vikings players also will be under the supervision of a full medical staff, as well as strength and conditioning coach Jeff Dillman and renowned speed coach Loren Seagrave.
Cam Newton, the top pick of the draft by the Carolina Panthers, has been among the current NFL players working out at he IMG Madden Football Academy. Several other NFL players have worked out at the Bradenton site, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, St. Louis Rams left tackle Rodger Saffold and Arizona Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Newton and Ponder have common threads with Weinke, a former Heisman Trophy winner drafted by the Panthers (like Newton) who played at Florida State (like Ponder). Weinke was selected in the fourth round of the 2001 draft by Carolina and spent seven seasons in the NFL.
It’s fantastic to see the players organizing these workouts while the owners and players are at war with the CBA. If a deal doesn’t come soon the fans should expect some pretty lame NFL games this year. Not every player has received a playbook and for teams where the coaching staff has changed (like the Vikes) are at an even bigger disadvantage. Kudos to Ponder and the other participants for stepping up and training together. Let’s just hope no injuries occur during these private ‘mini-camps’.