The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

July 23, 2013

With training camp just days away, here's a VIKINGS PRIMER

Five things to watch at this year's camp

MANKATO — For the 48th time, the Minnesota Vikings are Mankato-bound, getting ready for their annual training camp at Minnesota State. The Gage towers may be gone (much to the players’ delight), but the NFL’s reigning MVP is back in town for the first time since Fran Tarkenton showed up in the summer of 1976.

Starting Friday morning, the Vikings are scheduled to hold about 30 practices over the next three weeks as they prepare for what they hope is a return trip to the playoffs.

Here are a few storylines The Free Press’ will be following at this year’s camp. Call it a preseason primer or, just maybe, the five P’s:

Ponder

This may be Adrian Peterson’s team, but it’s still a quarterback’s league. Christian Ponder is beginning his third NFL season, and Vikings hope it can be a breakout year for him. Unlike last season’s training camp, he has a legitimate backup, if not some competition, with the addition of former Chiefs QB Matt Cassel.

“I really like the way that (Ponder) has matured mentally and just seeing how he has taken the reins from a leadership standpoint,” coach Leslie Frazier said during the June minicamp. “He is more vocal than he has been in the past.”

The Blakeslee Stadium crowds will be scrutinizing every one of Ponder’s throws and hoping to see if he’s got more in his training camp arsenal than a checkdown to Kyle Rudolph.

“I think he’s much better,” Frazier said. “He’s worked his tail off trying to improve his accuracy. Our coaches have put him through a bunch of different drills and through his hard work I think he’s improved in that area. Now we’ve got some things we’ve got to get done in training camp, but he’s put in the work to improve and we are seeing it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Martinez slams home run to help Tigers top Angels Rosenthal: Trout's contract was a compromise Full Count: Stephen Drew best SS option for Tigers Let It Ride: NBA Playoffs - First Round Odds Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend NBA playoff preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview Can Malik Zaire Win the QB Job At Notre Dame? Boise State's Past Points To A Promising Future NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Seattle Seahawks NBA playoff previews: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers Mike Tyson throws out first pitch at PNC Park Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Philadelphia Eagles Boomer: Chris Johnson signing will work for Jets NHL playoff preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - New England Patriots NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Washington Redskins