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Updated: May 20th, 2011 11:01am
Christian Ponder plans to begin workouts with Vikings teammates soon

Christian Ponder plans to begin workouts with Vikings teammates soon

by Tom Pelissero
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If Christian Ponder has his way, he'll be on the field with his new Minnesota Vikings teammates by the end of the month.

The rookie quarterback told ESPN Radio on Friday morning he has spoken with receivers Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, as well as other teammates, and the plan is "in the next couple of weeks to get together and go over stuff and put in some work.

"I know a lot of other teams have already gotten started, so we're kind of behind the 8-ball," Ponder added. "But I'm doing everything I can to prepare myself. My mindset is that I want to start by Week 1, and I'm doing everything possible to make sure that I'll be successful against San Diego that first week."

The No. 12 overall pick in last month's NFL Draft, Ponder spoke by phone with Harvin -- who went to Florida, a rival of Ponder's alma mater, Florida State -- the next day and told reporters he hoped to reach out to others. The tentative plan is to meet in Tampa, Fla., near the Bradenton workout facility where Ponder will train after leaving the NFL's rookie premiere event this week.

Ponder also can present his new teammates with portions of new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's playbook, which he received during the 11 hours the NFL lockout was lifted.

It won't be the same as organized team activity practices that normally happen this time of year -- and Rice and Harvin were no-shows for those last spring anyway. But with coaches barred from communicating with players, this is the next best thing Ponder can do to prepare.

"I can't be concerned about it," Ponder said. "It is what it is. I can't change it. But I'm taking full advantage of the opportunities right now."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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