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  1. #1
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Dec 1969

    Article on Williams / Winfield

    Thought this was a good article and with the injury to Irvin thought I woud post it.

    Posted on Wed, Sep. 15, 2004

    Vikings have physical cornerbacks in Williams, Winfield


    Pioneer Press

    A tough twosome

    Vikings have physical cornerbacks in Williams, Winfield

    Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss are the Vikings' reigning duo de force.

    But there's another tremendous twosome emerging at Winter Park.

    Antoine Winfield and Brian Williams give the Vikings their strongest starting cornerbacks since Audray McMillan and Carl Lee in 1993, and they're developing a league-wide reputation for their toughness and versatility.

    "Pound for pound, I think they're the toughest duo out there," said Will Lewis, a former NFL cornerback who is the Seattle Seahawks' director of pro personnel. "They bring it in all aspects, and they're fun to watch. They play like the old corners.

    "I don't think anyone else in the league has a pair like that."

    Such a glowing comment doesn't seem appropriate for the Vikings, a cornerback-starved team in recent years. The Vikings' pass defense has been porous. But the team astutely selected Williams in the fourth round of the 2002 draft, and they aggressively courted Winfield this offseason with a $34 million contract.

    Now, Winfield and Williams equip an already physical secondary with two more hard-hitting players, and they empower the Vikings' defense to attack offenses.

    They'll need to be at their best Monday night in Philadelphia, where they'll try to reign in one of the league's most physically talented receivers, Terrell Owens. Last season, without Winfield, the Vikings limited Owens, then with San Francisco, to 55 yards and no touchdowns on five catches. But Owens is on a new team, surrounded by better players.

    Neither Winfield nor Williams are fazed.

    "Going into a game, I don't get into the big names," Williams said. "I go against Randy Moss every day. So there's not much more I could see."

    Although the Vikings gave up 355 passing yards Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, Winfield and Williams made several jarring plays that had fans celebrating. Early in the fourth quarter, Williams leveled receiver Antonio Bryant as he ran toward the left sideline. Later in the quarter, Winfield drilled fullback Richie Anderson, knocking the ball loose, and he recovered the fumble.

    "I personally think it's a beautiful situation," said Vikings assistant secondary coach Kevin Ross, an NFL cornerback for most of his 11-year career. "It gives you a lot of versatility in our schemes. You can play zone. You can play man. You can blitz. You're not limited."

    But Winfield and Williams are atypical NFL cornerbacks. The league's premier cornerbacks usually are known for their speed and finesse, not their ability to hit and tackle. In fact, Lewis struggled to find another pair as he flipped through NFL depth charts.

    "What's unique about those two corners is they don't have great size (Williams is 5 feet 11, Winfield 5-9), but they play bigger and tougher, like 6-foot corners," Lewis said.

    That's especially important this season, said former NFL receiver Cris Collinsworth, now an analyst for Fox Sports and HBO Sports.

    "With the five-yard bump rule, it's important to have somebody who can beat the guys up a little bit," Collinsworth said. "It's like legal mugging for five yards, and that's where that attitude can have an impact over a long season."

    Collinsworth said Cowboys coach Bill Parcells likes to pick on teams with weak cornerbacks, attacking them and forcing them to be physical.

    "That's one of the first things he looks at," Collinsworth said. "If the corners don't tackle, they just run those big fullbacks right at them and try to hurt them. When you can check that off your list, then its one more thing an offensive coordinator can't do, and they move on to Plan B."

    Given their tackling prowess, Winfield and Williams are both capable of doing what another one of their teammates did. Corey Chavous started his career at cornerback and then switched to safety in 2002. Williams, in fact, started at safety and cornerback at North Carolina State, and Winfield is open to the possibility.

    "I could definitely see that," Winfield said.

    But he, Williams and Chavous aren't ready to see that quite yet.

    "I have as much confidence in those guys as anybody I've ever played with, and I played with Aeneas Williams," Chavous said. "They're a complete package. You just don't see guys do some of the things they do on a consistent basis as well as they do."

    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Article on Williams / Winfield

    its really a breath of fresh air. We might have the hardest hitting DBs in the league. Winfield, Williams, Russell and Chavous!!! who compares?

  3. #3
    VikingsTw is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Article on Williams / Winfield

    Yeah i hope to see winfield and williams together for a few more years. Winfield is signed for awhile but Brian Williams contract is up after this year i would try to get him a contract extension before the year is up. Teams will try to pry him from us and i hope it doesnt happen, hes becoming one of the rising starts on our defense.He played well his rookie season, last year and already this year he's very consistent we need to keep him around.

    Right now if i had to pick Hovan or Williams to be signed an extension i would pick Williams in a heart beat if we need to get anybody back its him.

  4. #4
    sdvikefan is offline Hall of Famer
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Article on Williams / Winfield

    I think Williams summed it up best right here

    "Going into a game, I don't get into the big names," Williams said. "I go against Randy Moss every day. So there's not much more I could see."
    "Meet at the quarterback!" -Purple People Eaters

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Article on Williams / Winfield

    great thread whack the pack i couldnt agree more!

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