This week, Minnesota Vikings first round pick Christian Ponder put together an informal mini camp for his new teammates. At least he attempted to. Only 7 guys actually showed up, which by my calculations is a pretty shitty turnout. If it were a party at USF, there would be no need to worry about Public Safety showing up.
The Vikings will be implementing a new offense this season and Ponder was the only player who had received a playbook (due to this bullshit lockout) from incoming offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, so it makes perfect sense for the potential starting QB to organize a workout for his new teammates. Notably absent from the camp were the Vikings’ top four receiving weapons: WRs Sydney Rice, Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, and TE Visanthe Shiancoe. The only one out of that group who I would give a pass to is Rice, whose future with the team is uncertain due to possibly being a free agent. The other three bozos offered up some very lame excuses (Harvin lost his phone, Shanks had a “late conflict,” and Berrian missed his flight). Aside from the obvious fact that it is extremely important for Ponder to develop some sort of chemistry with his receivers, each of these guys have their own reasons for needing to get to work ASAP:
Percy: Head Coach Leslie Frazier has made it clear that he wants to feature Percy Harvin more in the offense, and with Rice possibly departing, the guy will prolly be Ponder’s best option. That won’t be the case if they don’t develop some chemistry. Lost his phone? The guy is a millionaire, he’s prolly got like ten phones lying around his mansion.
Bernard: The guy is coming off of two years of poor production. It’s no secret that he and Brett Favre never really clicked, so it’s surprising that he wouldn’t take every opportunity he had to get in sync with Ponder. I still think the guy has something to offer the team, but if he can’t even make his flights, how’s he supposed to catch touchdowns!
Visanthe: By drafting another receiving TE in Kyle Rudolph, it looks like the Vikings are going to be using more 2 and 3 TE plays, not unlike the Patriots last season. Now that there’s some healthy competition at the position, Shiancoe needs to get down to business, or before he knows it, he’ll be playing second string!
Speaking of the Patriots, they too had an informal training camp this week, and 40 guys showed up! That’s nearly a full roster! Is it any wonder why some teams are always winning Super Bowls while others are always choking at NFC Championship games?
At the very least, all of those guys should have shown up to get the damn playbook. What the fuck were they thinking! Sure there will be other training camps in the future, but it’s never too early to start preparing for the upcoming season (assuming there is one). Kudos to Ponder, shame on those other fuckers. I hope Rudolph and WR Greg Camarillo (who were both in attendance) end up catching all the TDs.