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  1. #1
    ViKing24's Avatar
    ViKing24 is offline Asst. Coach
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    Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    READY TO BE NO. 1?
    The Vikings need Troy Williamson to have a breakout year, and the receiver says he is up to the challenge.
    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Pioneer Press
    MANKATO, Minn.

    A year ago, in his first NFL training camp, Troy Williamson shrugged off questions about being selected higher than projected and being selected ahead of a more heralded rookie receiver, Mike Williams.

    But the most daunting question of all was: How does it feel to replace Randy Moss?

    "Pressure comes with any position. It's something I had to learn to deal with," said Williamson, who was selected by the Vikings with the seventh overall selection the club received as part of the Moss trade with the Oakland Raiders. "But being a rookie, with so much other stuff on the table, then you throw in that? I mean, it's a lot of stuff to deal with. So I can say that it did bother me, but now that's over my head."

    As training camp breaks today at Minnesota State Mankato, Williamson faces yet another challenge. With Koren Robinson's future in doubt following his arrest Tuesday night for six criminal counts, Williamson ascends to the Vikings' No. 1 receiver spot. Now, though, Williamson insisted he isn't as fazed by the spotlight.

    "I just feel my confidence level is a lot higher than last year, and I feel more comfortable," Williamson said. "It's just a new beginning for me, with a new offense, new coaches. Now I can just do what I have to do and not have so much stuff to worry about.

    "Now I can say I'm really ready to play and show people what I can do."

    Instead of resisting the lofty expectations, Williamson now embraces them.

    "When you see potential in a person, you want no less than that, and I feel I can be one of the best receivers in this league with more work," Williamson said. "You can always get better."

    The question is how much?

    That's what former Pro Bowl receiver Cris Collinsworth isn't sure of.

    "He has got so many God-given abilities," said Collinsworth, now an NFL analyst for NBC. "I guess now he's going to have to step it up. Really, what choice do they have? He's the guy you picked to replace Randy. He's the guy you picked seventh overall."

    Vikings receiver Travis Taylor said Williamson's limited experience in a pro-style passing offense was evident last year. Since then, Williamson has learned to catch the ball more cleanly with his hands, not relying on his body.

    "Troy's game has improved 250 percent all-around," Taylor said. "He was very raw. The coaching he received (at South Carolina) wasn't up to par. But a year's experience means a lot."

    Cornerback Antoine Winfield said Williamson is stronger, runs crisper routes and uses his hands better than a year ago. For instance, Winfield said Williamson would give clues about what type of route he was running last year. Elite receivers, Winfield said, give no indication of where they are going because they run all their routes the same way.

    "You can't tell when they're going to break," Winfield said. "There are no tells. He's gotten better at that."

    But how much has Williamson improved?

    He had a modest 24 catches for 372 yards and two touchdowns last season. But veteran receiver Marcus Robinson projected Williamson could gain more than 1,400 yards this season.

    "He's getting comfortable with himself at this level," Robinson said. "You definitely see his confidence growing, and he's making plays. Everybody is here to support him. So with the group we have, he can put up 1,400 or 1,500 yards."

    Collinsworth said Williamson needs to provide something more important to the Vikings' offense.

    "I call it the double-team factor," Collinsworth said. "Someone on the offense has to be someone a defense has to double team. If all you have on your offense is a bunch of single-coverage guys, you're dead. Someone has to be the guy.

    "Koren was not that guy. Troy has got to be that guy," Collinsworth said. "That's why they drafted him. And if he can't do that, then that offense is going to struggle."

    But Williamson said he doesn't shoulder these burdens alone.

    "I look at the other guys I have around me," Williamson said. "There's more than just me who can be a No. 1 receiver. We got to keep working together and pushing each other."

    The Vikings, though, would be disappointed if Williamson doesn't have a breakout season.

    "We don't want to put too much pressure on him. He's still a young guy," Winfield said. "But we need him to make plays when he's called upon, and I think he'll do that."


    Formerly Viking24

  2. #2
    Wiggles67's Avatar
    Wiggles67 is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    What I liked most about this article is that Winfield was in it.
    He was pretty quiet last year and it is great to see him stepping up and acting like a leader on this team.
    He is my favorite player on this team and it is nice to seem him embracing his role as one of the prominant players on this team.

    As for Troy, I as much I was want him to I just dont see him putting up 1400 yards.
    I would like to see him come out of training camp as our #1 WR and that teams would at least double team him some of the time.

    "I choose my company by the beating of their hearts, not the swelling of their heads"

  3. #3
    CCthebest's Avatar
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    Travis Taylor is leaps and bounds ahead of Troy right now. Troy has speed, but hasnt shown he has good hands, and Troy is afraid of slants across the middle. Hopefully Childress will move heaven and earth and get Branch here in time for the opener.

  4. #4
    whackthepack is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    Troy came into a tough situation last year and I don't think he was ready for it, he came from a college system that used the pass as an after thought and he wasn't coached at a high level

    Then he came to Minnesota and had meathead Tice as his head coach and Steve Loney (O-line coach) as his O-coordinator.
    Expectation were really high for Troy to take Randy's place and he had a lot of pressure put on him.

    He had no number 1 receiver to start the season and take any pressure off of him, Koren slowly worked his way to that position but by then half the season was over and Troy was kind of left hanging.

    The Viking's O-line was decimated by injuries to Birk, Rosenthal and Tice being to stupid to bring Dixon to training camp as insurance, and then Daunte spazzed out at the start of the season and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn!
    Then Daunte gets injured and Troy has a new QB 1/2 way through the season, even tho Brad filled in Ok for Daunte.
    And with Onterrio Smith being suspended for the season because of drug use, and MeMo being hurt or in Tice's dog house there wasn't much of a running game to make a defense worry about and so you didn't have any safeties cheating up and linebackers didn't have to stay at home very often.
    To say Troy didn't have a great rookie season is an understatement but then again he wasn't put in a situation to succeed and the Vike's got what they deserved a lost rookie who didn't know which way was up.

    Now entering his second year he has a better idea what the NFL is about and he isn't being compared to Randy every to seconds and he has a headcoach and staff that worked with him and taught him some basics that he needed to learn.
    He hopefully will have a better season and I am a homer but I think that Troy will have a breakout year and make defenses start to respect his speed and his abilities.


    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  5. #5
    Mr. Purple's Avatar
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    I wish Troy could have been developed under the GREAT Steve spurrier, and SC's new Cock and Shoot offense.Hes gonna be a good WR for us tho, I think hes gonna be a quite force in the NFC North.

    Theres NOTHING greater then a Florida Gator!
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    "I am not surprised"."-PurplePackerEater

  6. #6
    Del Rio Guest

    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    It's pretty obvious that Troy and Brad have chemistry from playing on 2nd team offense last season. It began to show at the end of the season as well.

    It would not surprise me at all if Troy steps into the #1 slot.

    No one is leaps and bounds ahead of anyone. Maybe the only thing that can be said with certainty about our WR core is Marcus Robinson is the redzone WR.

  7. #7
    cajunvike's Avatar
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    "CCthebest" wrote:
    Travis Taylor is leaps and bounds ahead of Troy right now. Troy has speed, but hasnt shown he has good hands, and Troy is afraid of slants across the middle. Hopefully Childress will move heaven and earth and get Branch here in time for the opener.
    Now THAT would be interesting....but is Deion REALLY a #1 WR (discussed before)...and what would we have to give the Patsies to get him.
    Don't know if it would really be worth it!
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  8. #8
    marcosMN is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    "cajunvike" wrote:
    "CCthebest" wrote:
    Travis Taylor is leaps and bounds ahead of Troy right now. Troy has speed, but hasnt shown he has good hands, and Troy is afraid of slants across the middle. Hopefully Childress will move heaven and earth and get Branch here in time for the opener.
    Now THAT would be interesting....but is Deion REALLY a #1 WR (discussed before)...and what would we have to give the Patsies to get him.
    Don't know if it would really be worth it!
    Darrion Scott and a second round pick might get him, if the Pats are in a "us-and-Daunte" situation...
    -Sno

  9. #9
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    The best part I liked about this article was another wide receiver saying that Williamson could get 1,500 yards this season. I know he has the talent to do so and I think he will get over 1,000 yards receiving if he stays the number 1 receiver. If we get somebody else to be our number 1 via trade then he won't get over 1,000 yards. Maybe about 800.

  10. #10
    vike_mike's Avatar
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    Re: Williamson might take #1 receiver role

    I hope he could at least get 800 yards as this would be vast improvement to last season, but I just don't see it happening.
    Troy will probably have about 550-650 yards this season.
    I am hoping for a lot more though.

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