Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 10/25/11
Back in April, the Minnesota Vikings drafted quarterback Christian Ponder 12th overall and tight end Kyle Rudolph 43rd overall in the hopes of re-energizing the passing attack and putting together a duo that would give fans something to cheer about for years to come. Six months later, the plan is at least starting to take shape. Ponder got his first NFL start last Sunday, and Rudolph has played in all seven games, catching nine passes for 118 yards. The two players have become fast friends off the field but hadnt spent much time together on it until Ponder played each of the past two weeks. As Rudolph starts catching passes from a new quarterback, he is the subject of this edition of 5 Questions. 1. KG: You just experienced Vikings-Packers for the first time. What was it like?RUDOLPH: It was just amazing. That was as loud a building as I've ever played in. Our fans are tremendous. We all know this season has not gone the way anyone here wanted, but our fans have stuck with us all the way. I'm proud of the way we battled out there, too. We made some big plays to get back in the game, but obviously we came up short. 2. KG: Your good friend Christian Ponder made his first NFL start on Sunday. How do you think he did?RUDOLPH: He played a terrific game out there. I was really impressed with the composure he showed. I think it was great that he was able to get a big play with Michael (Jenkins) on the first play of the game. I have no doubt that Christian is going to be an outstanding quarterback in this league, and (Sunday) was just the first step of his journey as a starter for this team. I'm sure someday we will look back and say I remember that Packer game back in 2011 when Ponder made his first start in the NFL. I'm excited to see what the future holds for all of us, and I'm glad he is going to be our quarterback. 3. KG: How do you feel your first season is going so far? RUDOLPH: I think it has been a learning process so far. I would certainly like to be producing better numbers, but they will come with time. The speed of the NFL game is incredible, but I'm starting to get comfortable with the pace and the playbook. The coaches here have been really good to me, and I know that I'm getting better as each week passes. It just takes time. 4. KG: Is there another tight end in the NFL that you have enjoyed watching or looked up to along the way? RUDOLPH: There have been many that I have enjoyed watching throughout the years, but Tony Gonzalez is probably my favorite. The guy has amazing hands, which allows him to make leaping catches in traffic all the time. He is one of the all-time great at our position, and I've gone from watching him as a fan to now trying to see what he does to get open and create space before he catches the ball. 5. KG: What are your goals for the rest of this season with the Vikings? RUDOLPH: First off, I want to continue to learn and work hard each day. I'm really excited to work with Christian again, and I think he will energize the whole team with his play. Everyone wants to win more -- that's for sure. We are 1-6 right now and we really feel like we let a few of these games get away from us and that's no fun. Obviously, at some point, I want to find the end zone and score my first touchdown in the NFL, but really I am more concerned with doing things the right way. The rest of this stuff will take care of itself in time.
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