An attempt to keep the Vikings' pass rushers on the defensive line more balanced and staying in their gaps didn't win the approval of defensive tackle Kevin Williams.
Williams, who had two tackles Sunday, was asked if he was playing a bit of spy technique on Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew because several times Williams appeared to stand up and hold his ground rather than pursue the action.
"I was away from the back and the center was always sliding so I had to make sure the rush wasn't wide. It just ended up I was always stuck in the middle. Believe me, I wasn't trying to spy," Williams said.
"A new thing we're trying to keep the balanced rush. We won't see that next week. Believe that."
Williams, known mainly for his pass rush but who is also a good run stopper, felt his different responsibility under new defensive coordinator Alan Williams took away from his aggressiveness and ability to get up-field.
"I'm not going away from the back the whole game. It seemed like I was away from the back the whole game and getting the (double-team). I know I'm going to get double-teamed, but I'm used to getting up the field and getting in the B gap and not having to go back to the A gap the whole game," Williams said.
In theory, the reason for the change – temporary or otherwise – makes some sense. It cuts down on allowing big rushing lanes because the defensive linemen should be closer to their assigned gaps.
"We don't want too many guys getting behind the quarterback and then he's stepping up in the throwing lanes," Williams admitted. "The guy that gets the slider or the center has to take the two and try to fight the two guys."
Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said they weren't trying anything different with Williams and, despite no defensive lineman being credited with a sack, he said the pressure applied on Jacksonville QB was "very encouraging."
"You definitely want to get hits on the quarterback and we got a number of good hits on the quarterback," Frazier said.
"(Williams) had a couple good hurries on the quarterback, a couple real good ones, but we didn't really ask anything different than what we always do."
Last year, Williams played in about 90 percent of the Vikings' defensive snaps in the games he played, but on Sunday that amount was cut to 79 percent while defensive ends Brian Robison and Jared Allen each played more than 90 percent of the snaps. Fellow defensive tackle Letroy Guion only played in 53 percent of the snaps.
"We still had a bunch of plays, most of the starters. I think once the game gets going, those things kind of get lost with how the game is going," Williams said of the rotation. "They love to try to rotate us, but the game and the flow gets to moving and the next thing you know we have a 19-play drive like the first time."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Kevin Williams wants to get up-field more
Viking Update Top Stories
Do-or-die time for VikingsIt has taken a lot of losing to acknowledge, but Minnesota Vikings players are finally admitting their margin for error is gone.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 9:06 AM
Fan forum: Evaluating the front officeAs injuries pile up and the Minnesota Vikings are making their mark, positive and negative, we wondered what fans attending a recent Vikings game thought of the performance of the…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 6:22 AM
Defense mostly overrode Locke’s strugglesJeff Locke had his worst game of the season against the team with the NFL’s best record, but the Minnesota Vikings defense did what it could to overcome it.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 5:54 AM
Cowboys blitzed and bruised BradfordThe Minnesota Vikings wanted to take their shots deep and did. But Sam Bradford also took his shots to the body from a blitz-heavy Cowboys defense. The numbers and reaction inside.
Viking UpdateFriday at 1:15 PM