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Friday, July 26, 2013
Vikings camp: Day 1

By Kevin Seifert

MANKATO, Minn. -- It was a crisp 60 degrees here Friday morning when the Minnesota Vikings took the field for their first walk-through practice of training camp. Temperatures had warmed up a bit by the time they returned for their full mid-afternoon practice, but gusty winds wreaked havoc with a presumably improving passing game that most of us came to see.

Or, at least that's the benefit of the doubt I'm giving the Vikings on the first day of training camp, when optimism reigns the highest. Friday's wind was unusual for July 25 and it redirected passes from quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel. But it wasn't much different than what the Vikings could see, say, in Week 2 at Soldier Field, and at that point, I'm not sure anyone will want to hear about the wind.

To be clear, Ponder made some nice passes Friday -- most notably a long throw down the left sideline that rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson caught with his left hand. But far too many of his passes either sailed over the heads of receivers or were closer to defenders than their intended targets.

"The first day was tough with the wind especially," Ponder said. " … On certain throws, you try to [put] touch on the ball, and if you do that it's gone. A couple hung in the air and the wind took them away and it looked like some bad plays. It's going to happen."

A few other thoughts from Day 1 at Minnesota State University, Mankato: