Pioneer Press on Troy Williamson
Williamson gains confidence
BY DON SEEHOLZER
The early jitters and dropped balls of minicamp have been replaced by flashes of potential and a growing sense of self-confidence.
Troy Williamson still has a long way to go to become a complete NFL receiver, but the Vikings' No. 1 draft choice already looks and feels a lot more comfortable than he did just three weeks ago.
"Troy Williamson, like I've told you guys, he's everything that he was billed to be," offensive coordinator Steve Loney said Wednesday on Day 3 of a four-day developmental camp. "You'll see him deep behind people almost every practice, and he certainly has to be a concern defensively."
That represents progress for Williamson, who was taken by the Vikings with the No. 7 overall selection of the April 24 NFL draft but got off to a stumbling start at the team's April 29-May 1 minicamp, dropping several passes.
"I was real, real nervous," Williamson said. "You could tell, even how I was catching the ball and running my routes. Now I'm comfortable with what I've got to do. I'm just getting in the groove of everything and running with it, pretty much."
Williamson hasn't made anyone forget Randy Moss yet, but the former South Carolina receiver would appear to have a bright NFL future. Take that from cornerback Fred Smoot, a fifth-year pro who has worked against the rookie during practice.
"Hey, man, pure talent," Smoot said. "He has still got to learn the ins and outs of the NFL, but once he does that and gets comfortable with the system, he's going to be an awesome receiver. I think it was a great pick."
Williamson's quiet personality is in sharp contrast to that of the talkative Smoot, who compares his new teammate to one of the NFL's silent stars.
"He reminds me a lot of Marvin Harrison," Smoot said, referring to the Indianapolis Colts' five-time Pro Bowl selection. "He gets in and out of his cuts quickly. He does have the straight-line speed everybody talks about, and he has great hands. Once he becomes a polished receiver, look out."
The Vikings aren't counting on Williamson to be another Harrison or Moss, for starters. The plan is to bring their No. 1 draft pick along slowly and develop some packages to get him on the field.
"From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
-- From a monestary in Ireland.