After months of trying to practice like an NFL player but without a full complement of teammates and no coaches to turn to for advice, Ponder is adapting to the every-day changes that accompany his first week of training camp.
In his first practice Monday, he looked hesitant and uncertain at times. In other words, he looked like the rookie he is and admitted there were some nerves involved with his first practice outing.
"Yeah, there was a little bit. Obviously it's the NFL now, so a little nerves," Ponder said after Tuesday's session. "I got through it pretty quickly, but I thought today was a lot better and felt a lot better."
He looked better, too. One play in particular stood out – a well-thrown deep ball down the right sideline that receiver Jaymar Johnson dove for and snagged during seven-on-seven drills. He also connected with Percy Harvin.
"I'm building chemistry with the receivers and building confidence in myself that now this is the NFL and I can do it," Ponder said.
Even Webb, who went through the maturation process as a rookie quarterback last year, admitted that he is "just getting back in the groove of things" on the second day of training camp.
So far, Ponder looks like he could develop into the part. He has a strong enough arm, displays touch on his short passes and even showed a burst of speed on a roll-out, tucking the ball and running when he didn't see an open receiver.
Ponder needs to take advantage of the extra work he is getting in these first three days of training camp. On Thursday, the team is going full pads and veteran starter Donovan McNabb will take the starting snaps from Joe Webb, likely causing Webb and Ponder to split the second-team snaps.
Head coach Leslie Frazier confirmed that McNabb will go through a full practice on Thursday, despite it being the veteran quarterback's first practice and the first practice the team will be in full pads.
"I'm sure that's exactly how he wants it and I'm looking forward to seeing him out there throwing the ball around and hopefully leading our team," Frazier said.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.