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Receiver corps helping Ponder get up to speed

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 8:41 a.m. MDT

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, right, celebrates with teammate Anthony Herrera after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in Minneapolis.  (Jim Mone, Associated Press) Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, right, celebrates with teammate Anthony Herrera after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011, in Minneapolis. (Jim Mone, Associated Press)

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Minnesota Vikings receiver corps is a unit in turmoil these days, with veteran Bernard Berrian getting shown the door for underperforming earlier this week.

That just means the receivers who are still around have to work that much harder to make sure rookie quarterback Christian Ponder gets up to speed as quickly as possible. Ponder made his first career start in a 33-27 loss to the Green Bay Packers last weekend.

This week he faces fellow rookie Cam Newton, the No. 1 overall pick who has surprised some with his immediate success in Carolina. Newton credits veteran receiver Steve Smith with helping ease his transition from Auburn to the Panthers.

Ponder says he has developed a good rapport with his receivers and he only expects that to improve.

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