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Vikings minicamp news: Greg Jennings and the new Minnesota receivers

Greg Jennings spent this week's minicamp mentoring rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson while the two looked to add chemistry with quarterback Christian Ponder -- all of which should lead to a more diverse offensive gameplan for the Minnesota Vikings this season.


The Minnesota Vikings were one of three teams that held an offseason minicamp this week. There wasn't a ton of groundbreaking news that came out of Eden Prairie aside from the usual "this player looked in shape," "this player dropped a few more passes than he should've" and "injury issues could be a factor at this position."

One of the more interesting stories coming out of training camp involved new addition Greg Jennings, though, as the former rival was afforded the opportunity to build some chemistry with his new teammates. Jennings comes from Green Bay, where he worked with one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but it sounds as though Jennings and Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder should do well together too.

Jennings, a two-time Pro Bowler that caught 53 touchdown passes in 96 games for the Packers, isn't used to being on the Vikings' side when he's on the football field. The 29-year-old told reporters this week that he loves being on the Vikings' side, however -- talking particularly high of Ponder.

"I love him," Jennings said. "I love his personality, I love his demeanor on the field. The one thing we talk about, and I've shared with him more than anything, is the trust factor because he has everything he needs. The skill set, he has it. It's just about trusting the other guy."

The trust should come easily between Ponder and Jennings if the former was able to watch some of the amazing catches Jennings pulled in during his tenure with the Packers. Jennings likely won't be the only wide receiver his new quarterback can trust, though, as it sounds like the receiver is hoping to mold some of his fellow wideouts into threats as well -- in an attempt to recreate the group that allowed Green Bay to be so successful over the past few seasons.

One of Jennings' main projects since moving to Minnesota has been working with first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson, the speedster that fell a bit in the draft due to some perceived maturity issues. Those issues haven't been apparent to Jennings, though, as he talked glowingly about his young teammate this week, per Judd Zuglad of ESPN 1500 in Minnesota:

"You're going to drop balls. ... But he's done everything right. He's willing to work, he's willing to put in the time and he's out here and he's getting better every single day. He makes it easy for a guy like myself because he makes me look good. Like, I'm telling him all the right things."

Whether the typically-humble Jennings is simply living up to his reputation or if Patterson's reputation was outright wrong to begin with doesn't matter in this case. What matters is that Patterson sounds like he'll be a solid addition to the Vikings' roster -- and that Jennings has been a good mentor to him:

"Greg is a super leader in (the classroom) and really for our whole offense," Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. "Cordarrelle I know is taking a bunch of notes both in the meeting room and on the field with relation to how Greg does it."

Jennings, Patterson and the rest of what could be an improved receiving squad should greatly complement Ponder and reigning MVP Adrian Peterson on the offensive side of the ball. Whether the line is able to give Ponder time to get the ball to his new weapons will be another story, but the news about a better receiving corps in minicamp has to be encouraging for the Vikings faithful.

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