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  1. #1
    cogitans is offline Jersey Retired
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    Jan 2006

    Troy Williamson - improving each day

    [size=9px]Author: Mike Wobschall,[/size]

    It was a hot and muggy afternoon in Mankato and you could cut the humidity with a knife. Many of the players and onlookers at Vikings training camp were thinking of nothing but getting inside and finding some air conditioning - except for one player- receiver Troy Williamson.

    Williamson was positioned wide left of quarterback Brad Johnson, in his stance ready to break off the line of scrimmage upon the snap. Johnson took the snap and the second-year receiver ran a seven-yard slant route, only to slam on the breaks and quickly slant back toward the sideline. The maneuver is called a double-move, two patterns executed during one play. It usually leaves the defender lunging one way while trying to go the other.

    Well, when the receiver you're trying to keep up with is Troy Williamson - you best not be lunging.

    The double-move Williamson put on the helpless defender that hot day during the first week of training camp reminds you of another double-move Williamson is in the midst of right now.

    Not only is Williamson moving into the second year of his career, he is also moving into a new offense. And this offense, the west coast offense, might be the right move for the former South Carolina standout.

    "I know what to expect now," Williamson said of his second season as a Viking. "I know some of the things that I need to work on and I also know what some of my strengths are.

    "In college I did well with taking short passes and turning them into long gains," Williamson said. "And I feel like that's something I can do in this offense."

    Williamson recalls correctly - his college career and even his initial season in the NFL are littered with long pass receptions, and most of those yards were gained after the catch.

    During his senior season at South Carolina, Williamson caught seven touchdowns, four of which were of 50 yards or longer. For his career, Williamson tallied 91 receptions for 1,754 yards (19.3 yards per rec. avg.), and 13 touchdowns.

    Last season with the Vikings, Williamson hauled in 24 receptions, eight of which were 20 yards or longer, including a 53-yard touchdown reception against the New Orleans Saints (9/25).

    So, will Williamson thrive in Head Coach Brad Childress' version of the west coast offense, a scheme that features short, high percentage passes?

    "Any type of offense that deals with throwing the ball around is good for receivers, and I feel like that's what this offense is," Williamson said. "I think a lot of times I'll get the ball in my hands and I'll be able to run with it, and that's what I like to do. I'm confident I can take that short pass and turn it into a long gain."

    Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson is confident in Williamson's ability to make plays as well.

    "Troy is having a great camp," Johnson said. "Just get the guy catches and he'll make yards after the catches and let the deep ones come. I feel very comfortable throwing to him and he's catching the ball well. He's getting a better feel for coverages and a better feel for the system. There's just so much room for him to grow because he's so talented and so explosive. It's a lot of fun to play with him."

    Despite finishing the 2005 campaign ranked third among NFC rookies with 372 receiving yards and seventh in team history in receiving yards by a rookie, Williamson, who now wears #82 after wearing #19 last season, knows he must make improvements to his game heading into 2006. Williamson holds the distinction as being the highest selected receiver (7th overall) in Vikings history, and with that distinction comes expectations.

    "The expectations are there," Williamson said walking to the lockerroom one day after practice. "But I'm going to come out here and work hard everyday, no matter the expectations."

    Clearly, Williamson has a grasp for what's expected of him in 2006 and he appears ready to surpass those expectations. But he also has a grasp on his new offensive system.

    "It's the timing of the routes between the receiver and the quarterback," Williamson said. "Once you can get that timing down then everything should fall into place."

    Despite missing many of the off-season workouts due to surgery, Vikings coaches have noticed his progress during camp.

    "Just from the start of the rookie camp I think he's been taking a small step every day," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "He's been doing a very nice job of detailing that performance. He's doing a great job with the speed off the ball that we're looking for, and he has been catching everything that we throw at him, and that's what we ask at that position."

    "I feel great right now, no problems," Williamson said after participating in the first three days of camp. "I'm just trying to get back into football shape, I think we all are, and I'm just excited to play football.

    "I just came to camp ready to work and ready to get better."

    Now that was a good move.

    Thanks to PPE for the sig.

  2. #2
    crazyB is offline Starter
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Troy Williamson - improving each day

    good news to know he can keep it going in the heat hope he can do the same in the cold weather when the season is comeing to an end, those last few game's are a big deal in the NFL.

    8) crazyB that s Mr crazyB to you 8)

  3. #3
    vikeswin2005's Avatar
    vikeswin2005 is offline Hall of Famer
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    Dec 1969

    Re: Troy Williamson - improving each day

    Sounds like T-Will is in for a much improved season

  4. #4
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
    VikesfaninWis is offline Jersey Retired
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Troy Williamson - improving each day

    Now with the right coaching, and the right system, T-Will will be a stud for the Vikes for many years to come.. He has all the tools to be a great lights out WR in this league..

  5. #5
    Bdubya is offline Star Spokesman
    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Re: Troy Williamson - improving each day

    Super! I'm still not completely sold on him, but hopefully he can ease my mind this year. It sounds like he is really getting the hang of things and this new offense will be good for him.
    MC's run away when I kick it
    They act so chicken, they should come with a large drink and a biscuit

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