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Updated: July 19th, 2011 3:07pm
Notebook: Visanthe Shiancoe will show Kyle Rudolph 'everything I know'

Notebook: Visanthe Shiancoe will show Kyle Rudolph 'everything I know'

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Visanthe Shiancoe took the field with Kyle Rudolph for the first time on Tuesday morning and said all the right things afterward about the Minnesota Vikings' rookie tight end.

"That's going to be my buddy," Shiancoe said of Rudolph after both participated in Larry Fitzgerald's group workout on the "U" campus.

"That's going to be my pal right there. So, we're going to get it going. I'm going to show him everything I know."

The Vikings drafted Rudolph in part because their three veteran tight ends -- Shiancoe (age 31), Jimmy Kleinsasser (34) and Jeff Dugan (30) -- all are getting older and entering the final year of their respective contracts.

But Shiancoe, who has played in every game over four seasons with the Vikings, also knows the addition of Rudolph has the potential to balance the field and help him rebound from an uneven 2010 season.

"It's real technical and tactical here," Shiancoe said. "Everybody's fast. Everybody's big. I'm going to let (Rudolph) know that weight room's going to be very, very important."

Shiancoe looked to be in good shape on Tuesday after spending much of the offseason training in Maryland with a group including Arizona defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, New England cornerback Leigh Bodden and San Francisco halfback Brian Westbrook. He also spent a couple of days with rookie quarterback Christian Ponder in Florida.

"He's definitely a freak," Ponder said. "I know he's been training hard in Baltimore. He came down to Tampa for a couple days. He's been working hard."

Although he appeared bigger in the upper body, Shiancoe said he weighs 238 pounds -- down from 240 to 242 last season -- thanks to an offseason program that included extensive running and less conventional weight-training methods, such as flipping tires.

Shiancoe received a copy of the Vikings' new playbook from Ponder, too, and described the offense as "receiver-friendly." Details of the scheme remain sketchy because the NFL lockout wiped out offseason practices, but Ponder said there are "a lot of two-tight end sets" and Shiancoe pointed to offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's recent history with a team that does the same.

"Just look at the Falcons," Shiancoe said. "That's all I'm going to say about that."

High praise

On Monday, Rudolph said that Fitzgerald "kind of taken me under his wing" during the workouts, which the Arizona Cardinals star bankrolls and organizes along with Bill Welle of Welle Fast Elite Sports Training.

On Tuesday, Fitzgerald was effusive in his praise for the potential of the second-round pick from Notre Dame.

"He's 270 pounds and he's 6-foot-7," Fitzgerald said. "He can run. He can move and get out of his breaks. He's got great hands. He can hold the edge when he needs to block.

"I was teasing him already -- I call him (former New York Giants star) Mark Bavaro reincarnated. He's going to be special like that, I think, and I'm excited to see his progression."

Ponder improves

A day after being guilted by Fitzgerald into staying longer than planned, Ponder received more razzing when he showed up to Tuesday's workout about 2 hours late, shortly after conditioning drills ended.

The Vikings' top draft pick had been out with his realtor again and once again had no luck finding a place to live. But he performed better in passing drills than he had on Monday, when he looked every bit like a guy who'd just spent two days in a moving truck.

"That 22 hours killed me," Ponder said. "I was pretty lackadaisical (Monday). So, (Tuesday) was definitely better, especially to get that first sweat out (Monday)."

At the least, Ponder avoided the sorts of one-hoppers and misses from short range that had him shaking his head a day earlier.

"I think it was important to get (Monday) under my belt, get that first day of throwing in," Ponder said. "It was pretty bad. (Tuesday) was a lot better and I'll keep progressing. I think it's very important to get out there and get my arm back in shape."

Quick hits

• Add Shiancoe to the list of people sick of speculation about when the lockout will end. "I'm tired of listening to that (expletive), man," Shiancoe said. "Look, man -- like, holler at me when it's time to go. I don't want to hear none of that other stuff. I don't want to hear all this little, 'OK, well, we think this, we think that.' No, no, no, no, no. I don't want to hear that (expletive) no more. Let me know when it's time. When it's time, I'm ready to grind."

• Vikings season-ticket holders began receiving their tickets in the mail on Monday. The team issued procedures in early February for refunds on games that could be canceled by the lockout.

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