11-28-2005, 01:50 AM #1
Pat Williams Keeps Focus on Vikings
[size=18px]Pat Williams Keeps Focus on Vikings [/size]
By Tim Yotter
Date: Nov 27, 2005
With a hot running back, it would be easy for the Vikings defense to focus on the Browns. Instead, their defensive tackle says itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s on the VikingsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ shoulders, and the statistics show they have been handling the load the six games.
Pat Williams admits to playing with a chip on shoulder all the time because he went undrafted coming out of Texas A&M nine years ago. Vikings fans hope that chip stays there for the duration of WilliamsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ time in purple.
Williams has been the VikingsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ most consistent defensive lineman and probably their most consistent player this year. He and safety Darren Sharper, each acquired in the 2005 version of free agency, are the only two Vikings worthy of Pro Bowl consideration.
However, the defense as a whole has been playing better, especially against the run. After yielding 712 yards rushing in their first four games Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a whopping 178-yard average Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the run defense has finally stiffened. Since then, in the last six games, the Vikings have given up only 454 yards rushing, a much more respectable 75.6-yard average.
The key, according to Williams and others on defense, has been the improvement in communication.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It took a whole lot of time because we had different guys from different schemes. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re on the same page right now,Ã¢â‚¬? Williams said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“About four weeks ago, we started jelling, started communicating more. Everybody knows where theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re supposed to be, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re talking more, so everybodyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s there. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why teams arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t doing a lot on us.Ã¢â‚¬?
So when it comes to stopping Cleveland Browns running back Reuben Droughns, MinnesotaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s big 317-pound plugger in the middle who is fourth on the team with 54 tackles says it is still a matter of how the Vikings play versus how the Browns and Droughns play.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Basically, he better worry about his line blocking for him and trying to stop us,Ã¢â‚¬? Williams said.
Those are big words when it relates to a running back coming off a 166-yard performance last week against Miami, but Williams says the VikingsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ defensive front isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like MiamiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, and for the first time in years thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a good thing for the northern team.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“That will be tough,Ã¢â‚¬? Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel said of getting a running game going against Pat and Kevin Williams. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Williams and Williams on the inside, they are definitely something that you have to deal with. I know Pat because he was up in Buffalo when I was over there in New England. We played against him several times so I know what his capabilities are. Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ We are going to have to use all of our wits about us to try and run the ball. Reuben runs pretty hard, though, and our blockers feel good about his effort. They are going to give their little extra step or two to try to get him into the clear. It should be a good matchup.Ã¢â‚¬?
Droughns took a handoff on ClevelandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s first play from scrimmage last week and went 75 yards for the touchdown. Another performance like that this week would make Droughns the first Cleveland running back to rush for at least 1,000 yards since Earnest Byner and Kevin Mack did it in 1985.
That doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seem to matter to Pat Williams, who is keeping the focus on how the Vikings play, not who they face or who is ahead of them in the playoff chase, even the Chicago Bears, who are two games ahead of the Vikings in the NFC North with six games to play.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not worried about the Bears right now. If we keep winning and they keep winning, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to come down to the last game,Ã¢â‚¬? Williams said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Everybody counted us out. Everybody is still counting us out.Ã¢â‚¬?
"If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"
11-28-2005, 02:00 AM #2
Re: Pat Williams Keeps Focus on Vikings
Lol, he has a problem with simple math ... if they keep winning and we keep wining then we finish at least one game out. Lets hope that does not happen ...
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