[size=13pt]Childress happy to have former Bills on his side[/size]

Sid Hartman, Star Tribune
Last update: October 01, 2006 – 12:05 AM

Coach Brad Childress is very happy to have two former Bills stars on his side, cornerback Antoine Winfield and defensive tackle Pat Williams, when the Vikings play at Buffalo today.
Both players have been outstanding since joining the Vikings. Childress was first impressed by Winfield and Williams when he was offensive coordinator for the Eagles and found out how athletic both players were.

In 2003, the Eagles, who were on their way to an 11-5 season, went to Buffalo and won 23-13. In that game, Winfield had seven tackles and forced a fumble, while Williams had five tackles.

"I can remember we were trying to block Williams," Childress recalled. "The first snap we went to block him and it was like running into a fire hydrant. I think we had a 2-yard loss. We had a smart idea to start the game and we were second-and-12. He is a load in there."

Williams, who signed a three-year contract with the Vikings in 2005 calling for $13 million, including $6 million guaranteed, has 13 tackles this season and is a big reason for the great play of the defense.

In 2004, the Vikings outbid the Jets to get Winfield, giving him a six-year deal for $35 million, with $10.8 million guaranteed.

On Winfield, Childress said: "I always thought, from years going up there and playing Buffalo, that pound for pound, probably Winfield was as good a football player as I have seen. He's not afraid to stick a knife in the sheep. He is a very good front-zone corner and can play the nickel. He has a great tool set. He is smart. To have a corner like that in place is huge."

Jottings

Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin was asked whether he felt sorry for defensive back Ronyell Whitaker, who was involved in the coverage when Chicago's Rashied Davis scored the winning touchdown Sunday. "No, I don't feel sorry for him. He's paid to meet those challenges, and when you fail, you accept them and you move on to the next one," Tomlin said. "It's the nature of what we do. It comes with the job description, so there's no such thing as feeling sorry at this level. You've got to give credit to the Bears. They executed, and they executed at a high level. But usually when that happens the story's not just on one man, and we're a defense and we accept what we put on tape and we accept that play."

In two games with the Packers, Koren Robinson, who was released by the Vikings, has one catch for 24 yards while returning seven kickoffs for 157 yards, an average of 22.4 yards. ... Former Vikings running back Michael Bennett has carried the ball only six times for 19 yards in two games with Kansas City.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Podcast twice a week at www.startribune.com/sidcast • [email protected]