Williams gets his chance at Super Bowl ring

Former Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams is getting his chance at a long-awaited Super Bowl ring.

There are certain players that, even if they’re no longer with the Vikings, fans of the team can still cheer for. Last year, there were those who enjoyed Percy Harvin that thought it was cool that he was getting a Super Bowl ring with the Seahawks, even though his contribution to the team was relegated to a huge kickoff return in last year’s Super Bowl. The year before that, there was some satisfaction in seeing veteran center Matt Birk win a championship and get the Super Bowl ring he wasn’t able to in Minnesota.

As the Seahawks go for two straight titles, this time they do it with Kevin Williams in the mix at defensive tackle. From the time Williams arrived with the Vikings – a part of the draft-day gaffe that saw the clock expire and two teams jump in front of them in 2003 – he was a fan favorite and an anchor in the middle of the Vikings defensive front.

However, when it came time to make the business decisions that define a franchise, the Vikings opted to allow Williams and defensive end Jared Allen to leave. Allen signed a lucrative contract to join an aging Chicago defense. Williams didn’t find a big market waiting for him. He ended up signing a one-year, $2.1 million contract to join Seattle – a deal that, like the one signed a couple of years earlier by Antoine Winfield, had no guarantee of a roster spot.

Williams accepted his role as a part-time player – he was on the field for less than 45 percent of the team’s defensive snaps – with the hope of getting the chance for the ring that has eluded him throughout his NFL career. With their come-fromt-behind win Sunday against Green Bay, Williams is finally getting that opportunity.

His best opportunity prior to this season came in 2009 when the Vikings lost to the Saints in overtime five years ago. Sunday’s game seemed to give a déjà vu type of vibe, but, just as their comeback was improbable, the Seahawks’ first drive in overtime went against the odds as Seattle defended its NFC championship with a second straight trip to the big dance.

For years, Williams was one of the soft-spoken faces of the Vikings defense. He wasn’t the most gregarious player. He didn’t call the attention of the spotlight to himself. Instead, he let his play do the talking for him. That play has been rewarded with a shot to win the ring that to date has been out of his reach.

With all the hype surrounding the Legion of Boom and Seattle’s second straight trip the Big Dance, Williams will likely be a secondary storyline – if a storyline at all – in the days leading up to the big game.

But for those who were fans of Big Kev for the decade-plus he spent as a member of the Vikings, there will be something of a rooting interest to see Seattle repeat as champs. Williams was one of the players it was easy for fans to like. He is a player who loves the game but isn’t a trash-talker or an ego-driven player who demanded the spotlight to himself. Those are the kind of players that fans pull for to win a title before they retire.

For most players, that dream is either a dream deferred or a dream denied. Williams is just one game away from making his dream a reality and, if Seattle does pull down a win against the Patriots Sunday, there will be reasons for Vikings fans to have a little joy about the outcome because few players deserve a ring more than Williams.


  • The Raiders will have a double-Vikings connection this season, as the team announced that former Bill Musgrave has been added to Jack Del Rio’s coaching staff in Oakland.

  • There was some hope that Harrison Smith would be added to the Pro Bowl roster to help the Vikings avoid the first year since 1983 that they didn’t have at least one player on the Pro Bowl roster. When the league replaced Seattle’s Earl Thomas at safety with Cleveland’s Donte Whitner, the handwriting was on the wall that the Vikings will in fact be shut out of Sunday’s all-star game.

  • The Pro Bowl draft will be conducted tomorrow night on NFL Network.

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