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  1. #21
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    singersp is offline PPO Newshound
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    Sep 2005

    Re: Troy Williamson looks to step it up

    "MaxVike" wrote:

    yep, the long ball didn't work for TWill last year...he simply didn't look comfortable adjusting to the ball. He DID, however, look very comfortable taking a Cris Carteresque pass in and using his awesome speed to his advantage. He is NOT, NOT Randy Moss, this much is clear...nobody is; he can, however, take Travis Taylor routes to the house, something an offensive coordinator should be excited about; your thoughts?
    When is the last time we had a receiver who we threw to in full stride coming across the middle on a regular basis?

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #22
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    Sep 2005

    Re: Troy Williamson looks to step it up

    [size=18px]Williamson gets back to basics[/size]


    Nameless faces and odd numbers darted all over the practice field last weekend. Most of them will never sniff the Minnesota Vikings' final roster, but amid the anonymity stood one high-profile player who continued his seemingly endless game of catch-up.

    Sidelined for much of the offseason by a skin infection, receiver Troy Williamson spent the early days of training camp working on basic _ and we mean basic _ fundamentals. By the time his fellow veterans took the field Monday afternoon, Williamson already had absorbed three days of instruction _ at times separated from the rest of the team _ on, yes, looking the ball into his hands and accelerating quicker in his pass routes.

    "I thought he took some nice steps from the individual coaching he was able to get," coach Brad Childress said. "It was nice to be able to get (him) to that small of a group."

    The No. 7 overall pick in the 2005 draft, Williamson was heralded for his 4.3-second time in the 40-yard dash, but his receiving skills were considered underdeveloped because he played in a run-oriented offense at South Carolina. He looked every bit the raw talent in 2005, catching 24 passes in 14 games while displaying erratic hands and finding his way into former coach Mike Tice's doghouse.

    Childress wiped the slate clean and targeted him as a likely starter alongside Koren Robinson, but the infection slowed Williamson's progress and necessitated the early call to training camp.

    "I'm glad I was here," said Williamson. "I feel great now, no problems with my health, and I'm just trying to get back into the football side of things."

    According to Williamson, coaches have traced some of his inconsistency not to poor hands but to his eye-hand coordination. Indeed, several Star Tribune photographs taken last season showed Williamson looking in one direction and the ball traveling in another.

    "Everything is with my eyes, pretty much," he said. "I know that if I can get my eyes on the ball, I can just let my hands do the work. It will all work out."

    If that skill develops into second-nature, the theory goes, Williamson will be free to focus on his primary asset: speed. While the Vikings still hope to use Williamson as a vertical threat, their installation of the West Coast offense places a greater priority on short and intermediate routes.

    Speed still has a major impact on that part of the game because defenders might give a fast receiver just a little more room to make cuts for fear of getting beat deep. But in order for defenders to do so, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said, Williamson must accelerate quicker into those cuts.

    "We've got to get him to improve," Bevell said. "We've got to get him out on the field. The biggest thing we preach to him every day is that we want his speed to show up on the field. We know that he has that time on paper, but we want to see that speed carry onto the field."

    That project's uncertain timetable has left the Vikings adding veterans this summer to a receiving corps that bid farewell to the reliable Nate Burleson in free agency. Robinson seems certain to claim one starter's spot, but Williamson will compete for the other spot against a deep, if not star-studded, group that includes incumbents Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson.

    The Vikings traded for Philadelphia receiver Billy McMullen in May and also have signed veterans Kevin Kasper and Dez White. It seems unlikely that more than five receivers will make the final roster, and typically the No. 5 receiver is a younger player.

    "We wanted great competition there," Bevell said. "It will give them opportunities to make other guys better."

    The directive applies to no one better than Williamson, who suggested he is ready to break free from his protective shell.

    "I feel like I have put in a lot of hard work," he said. "And good things come out of hard work. I know what to expect now and what I needed to work on, so everything is coming along."

    Williamson gets back to basics

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

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