EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - The Minnesota Vikings will start the third and final round of Organized Team Activities on Monday.
As young guys get acclimated and veterans get back in the groove, the focus for most teams, including the Vikings, continues to be on the quarterback.
Christian Ponder is heading into his third season with the team. To say that the spotlight will be shined on him this season is a huge understatement, but teammates are quick show support.
"You have to find your own," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. "Once he takes control of this team like he did the last four weeks, you're going to see a different demeanor. Now, guys are looking for him to make that play."
Ponder has said numerous times this spring that he's ready to take the next step in his development and the Vikings have added some new faces around him to try and give him the weapons he needs to be successful.
Greg Jennings should offer some veteran leadership. Cordarrelle Patterson will likely be used sparingly in the offense to start, but he offers the downfield threat the team has been lacking since Ponder's arrival. Tight end Kyle Rudolph seems poised for a breakout season, and nobody can forget the benefit that Adrian Peterson brings to the offense.
Ponder saw some late-season success last year. He showed confidence and helped lead the team to the playoffs before hurting his throwing arm in the final game of the season.
"Obviously, I want to continue what I did those last four games, really the last three games of the year and bring what I learned into this coming season," said Ponder.
Ponder knows in the NFL, especially at his position, it's all about a player's progression from year to year. It's fair to say that knowledge has him eager to get back on the field, even if it's just to practice."
"There's just that kind of an anxiousness to get started again and I just want to keep improving," Ponder said.
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