Kevin Williams has probably never dreamed about today’s Media Day event at the Super Bowl. Although Big Kev was about as accommodating as any Vikings player over the years, today will be the drudgery of the best week of his professional life.
Williams is in the twilight of his career, but for the first time he’s entering the Big Dance. He was convinced his chance to get to a Super Bowl with the Vikings was dead. In reality, it was. But when the Seattle Seahawks – the defending champs – came calling when Williams became a free agent, it was a determining factor.
He didn’t think he would ever be in a Super Bowl after January 2010, but five years and two days removed from the Bountygate debacle, Williams was talking about getting his first chance to get what he covets – a Super Bowl ring.
“It’s huge – being my 12th season and able to get to this point is tremendous,” Williams said. “A lot of guys play, you get the contracts, you can play for the Pro Bowl. But to able to play in the Super Bowl? I think that’s the ultimate goal and being able to that with this great group of guys is huge for me.”
He saw the Seahawks as his best chance to accomplish the mission of winning a title – he had talks with New England, but opted to go the other way. He didn’t see that short-term goal being achieved with the Vikings.
“I didn’t have that luxury up in Minnesota the last few years,” Williams said. “We were up and down, up and down. To come here with a team that’s as solid as we have here and to win as many games as we have (to) be back going to that Super Bowl, that’s what you come here for.”
Achieving his career goal in what may be his final season is something Williams dreamed of. When the moment hit that he was going to the Super Bowl, he wasn’t shy to admit it’s something he’s been heading into dreamland thinking about.
“I still think about it a little bit now at nighttime,” Williams said. “After the (AFC Championship Game) I enjoyed the moment – soaked it up. But then my focus went straight to who we’re playing and how we can get this win.”
Williams was a new old face entering a young, aggressive defense and he had to earn his spot on a team that wasn’t necessarily welcoming to outside veterans. But, as defensive end Michael Bennett said Monday, Williams has been a glove fit – and one that has been needed.
“It’s not often you get to play with a legend like Kevin,” Bennett said. “He had to change his position for us. That’s something you have to do when you come here – to be able to play multiple positions and Kevin has done a great job with that, whether it’s nose, end or 3-technique. We just try to coach him. (Brandon) Mebane is the best (nose tackle) in the game and it was hard for (Williams) to come in and play at the level that Mebane has been playing at for the last couple years. But Kevin has done a great job of doing that. The rushing yards have been the same since Mebane has been out and we’ve still been playing as a great run defense.”
With as much experience as Williams has in the NFL, he has limited firsthand experience with the Bill Belichick Patriots. Even looking at their most recent game tape doesn’t give an indication of what the Seahawks can expect Sunday.
“When you play New England, you never know which game plan they’re going to go with,” Williams said. “The first play game, they ran 14 times and maybe ran it 40 (times) last week. It’s whatever they feel they can attack you with. That’s kind of the game plan they come into the game with, so you have to prepare for both sides of that coin.”
Would winning a Super Bowl be an ideal ending to a career? No question about it. For the first time in his career, Williams can see the light at the end of the tunnel and he has the chance to live out his NFL dream 12 years after it began.
The Patriots game may be the stiffest roadblock in front of realizing that dream, but Williams has his sights set on the next game. But this time, the next game is for all the marbles – both short-term and long-term.
“It would be the storybook ending, right?” Williams said. “I haven’t thought past that. I’m excited we made it to the Super Bowl. My focus is shifted to now – trying to get a win against the New England Patriots. I’ll worry about all the other stuff when it’s over.”
Kevin Williams hoping for ‘storybook’ ending
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