Thread: THE BEAST!
12-04-2004, 05:16 PM #1Jersey Retired
- Join Date
- Jan 1970
Last update: December 4, 2004 at 6:35 AM
Making the right moves
Mark Craig, Star Tribune
December 4, 200
Whether he's aware of it or not, Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is helping the Chicago Bears defensive linemen become better players.
"I have a training tape that I use to illustrate all the proper techniques," said Bears defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, who was Williams' defensive line coach at Oklahoma State in 2002. "Since this is my first year in the NFL, most of my tape is from Oklahoma State. So the guys have seen a whole lot of Kevin Williams' senior year  this season."
They have seen Williams beat a reach block, drive the blocker upfield and make the sack. They have seen Williams hit a Texas A&M guard with such force and leverage that the poor guy was flopped onto his back, his head bouncing off the turf.
"My favorite," Dunbar said, "is the Nebraska game when Kevin is lined up in the three gap [between the center and right guard] on the goal line. First, the guard comes at him, but he slaps him aside and goes outside.
"Then the center comes at him, but he slaps the center aside and goes inside. It was perfect."
There's just one problem with overdosing the Bears on footage of Williams.
"Our No. 1 draft pick [defensive tackle Tommie Harris] is getting mad at me," Dunbar said. "Tommie went to Oklahoma."
Oklahoma State pulled major upsets against Oklahoma in Williams' junior and senior seasons.
"Tommie's still a little sensitive about it," Dunbar said. "So I think I'm going to have to update my tapes with some plays from this season."
Unfortunately for Dunbar, he won't be able to shake Williams as long as the two are in the NFC North together.
"Remember Kevin's sack near the end of our game at the Metrodome [a 27-22 Vikings victory]?" Dunbar asked. "After he made it, he got up and pointed over at me. I was excited for him but sad for us."
The Bears and Vikings meet again Sunday at Soldier Field. Williams enters the game ranked second among NFL defensive tackles with seven sacks and is the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week. His 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown clinched last week's 27-16 victory over Jacksonville.
"I think he's going to be one of the premier guys in the league," Vikings coach Mike Tice said. "He has some things he has to continue to work to clean up. Every once in a while he does something and you say, 'Oh, he's a young player still.' But he does some magnificent things on that field."
Williams is blessed with prototypical size (6-5, 311), raw strength and quick hands and feet. He also accepts coaching very well, said defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell. The latter is something fellow defensive tackle Chris Hovan has struggled with during a two-year tumble from standout player to last week's game-day inactive list.
"I definitely want to be a [perennial] Pro Bowl, All-Pro player," Williams said. "If you don't feel that way, I don't know why you're playing. I want to be the best, so that's how I go about it, and why I ask questions."
Williams is making a serious Pro Bowl push in only his second season. Pro Bowl selections will be announced Dec. 22.
"The premier guys I've had have been more nose tackles," Cottrell said. "Big run-stoppers like Ted Washington. But Kevin is as good as anybody I've had. There could be a day when people will say defensive tackle and Kevin will be the first guy you think of."
A native of Fordyce, Ark., Williams doesn't seem comfortable in the spotlight. Former defensive coordinator George O'Leary nicknamed him "Country."
Former defensive linemate Billy Lyon nicknamed him "Big Ticket" because Williams was drafted in the first round. Williams has tried to shed the nickname out of respect for the original "Big Ticket," Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett.
"I told Billy when he started calling me that, 'I'm just the Ticket,' " Williams said. "I'm not Big Ticket. That's KG. He earned it."
Williams was the ninth overall selection in 2003. He was the third defensive tackle chosen but clearly has outplayed Kentucky's Dewayne Robertson (No. 4 to the Jets) and Georgia's Johnathan Sullivan (No. 6 to the Saints).
Robertson and Sullivan have a combined 4.5 sacks in 48 games. Williams has 17.5 in 27 games, including 10 in his past 12 games.
"We're just really blessed to have him on our football team," Tice said. "Absolutely, positively."
Mark Craig is at [email protected]
I thought this was a great article, thought i'd share it with some of you that havn't read it yet.
12-04-2004, 05:57 PM #2
He is an animal.
I hope that he gets the credit he deserves this year by going to the Bowl and then the Pro Bowl.
I voted for him as many time as I could.
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