Workouts that rookie quarterback Christian Ponder organized for his new Minnesota Vikings teammates didn't draw as well as he hoped, with several veterans backing out of Wednesday's session in Bradenton, Fla.
Wide receivers Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian, running back Lorenzo Booker and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe were expected to join the seven players who worked out Tuesday at the IMG Madden Football Academy, but they were no-shows Wednesday, according to The Star Tribune.
"I thought it would be hard and probably should have had better planning," Ponder, the Vikings' first-round draft pick, told the newspaper about scheduling the informal minicamp immediately after the Memorial Day weekend. "We'll definitely do it again, and hopefully a bunch more guys will show up. ... I talked to a few guys, some other guys we couldn't get a hold of. ... We got some good work in. To be around some of the guys was good for me."
Defensive back Mistral Raymond, a sixth-round pick who grew up just a few miles from IMG's campus, was an addition to the group Wednesday, joining Ponder, tight end Kyle Rudolph and center Brandon Fusco as Vikings rookies at the workout.
An on-field practice was washed away by heavy rains Wednesday, so the players expanded their work with the playbook. Another workout was planned for Thursday.
Rudolph, a second-round pick who had worked out alone in Cincinnati -- and who said he planned to train in Minnesota with a group of players that include Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, was impressed with the intensity of the sessions.
"Coming down here with these guys, pushing one another, it makes it fun," he said. "I've worked harder in the last two days than I think I have in the month I've been working by myself. It's all day, from 8 a.m. until, like, 4:30. It doesn't even seem like work because you're having such a good time with everybody."