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Ponder would prefer to work out with Vikings teammates

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder told Minnesota's KFAN radio Tuesday that his personal workouts are going well, but what he really wants to do is work out with his new Vikings teammates in Minnesota.

"(Linebacker) Chad Greenway had mentioned coming up there and doing some stuff up there," Ponder said. "I think that's important for me to get up there."

He added, laughing, "The biggest problem right now is that I don't have any money. The plan is to get up there some time and find somewhere to live. But with a lockout I'm not getting paid. But I know at some point I'll get up there and spend some time with those guys."

*The Star Tribune* reported Tuesday a group of Vikings veterans, including offensive linemen Steve Hutchinson, John Sullivan and tight end Jim Kleinsasser, are working out together in the Twin Cities four days a week.

Ponder is particularly interested in working with the Vikings' receivers, especially Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian, none of whom participated in a workout in Florida last week.

"We've already talked to those guys, and sometime soon we'll be getting together," Ponder said. "It will happen, and it will be good. Obviously they're some big-time guys I want to get my timing down with and everything. So we'll get together at some point."

Ponder, the 12th overall selection in April's draft, said his time working with fellow Florida State alum Chris Weinke at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Bradenton, Fla., has been beneficial.

"Actually me and Chris have done some things -- he's fixed some things in my mechanics and I'm throwing the ball extremely well," Ponder said. "That's one (reason) why I'm excited for the season to get started so I can get back out there and really play."

But playing -- or even practicing -- is not as easy with the lingering lockout. Ponder said the labor situation his hindering his development, particularly as he eyes a Vikings starting job vacated by the retired Brett Favre.

"I definitely don't think it's helping me," he said. "I need as much time and practice as I can get. It's good what I'm doing now. But it's completely different when you're going against defenses and you're getting coaching from (offensive coordinator Bill) Musgrave and being with your teammates. I definitely don't think it's helping me."

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