Williamson Expectations: Keep Improving

Rookie wide receiver Troy Williamson, the seventh overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, had an inconsistent first few months on the practice field. See what his head coach and offensive coordinator have to say about his performance and their expectations.

Rookie receiver Troy Williamson has been a Viking for only two months, but he's already starting to show signs of improvement in the eyes of some coaches.

"He dropped some balls in that first minicamp right after the draft," coach Mike Tice said. "But I think he's come back (in four developmental camps) and shown that he has the ability to make the catches that he was dropping. We'll work with him. We can fix some things."

Williamson was selected with the seventh overall pick in the draft, the key component in the trade that sent Randy Moss to Oakland. Comparisons to Moss are inevitable and grossly unjust for a raw rookie who played in a South Carolina system devoid of a quality quarterback and an imaginative passing attack.

Vikings coaches are being careful not to rush Williamson. He's not even listed as a starter at this point.

"I think what you have to do is you don't throw the whole pizza pie at him and make him have to eat it all," said offensive coordinator Steve Loney. "I think it would be a disservice to expect him right from the get-go to absorb this entire offense and be able to play all the (receiver) positions."

Williamson runs a 4.34 40-yard dash, but also is big enough at 6-1, 203 pounds to be effective as a downfield blocker. If nothing else, playing receiver for the Gamecocks made Williamson a better blocker.

"He'll mix it up out there," Loney said. "So what you do is you take an attribute like that and you give him that much. And when he can completely digest that, then you give him some more."

Obviously, the Vikings didn't use the seventh pick in the draft on Williamson because they thought he was a good blocker. Williamson won't fill Moss' shoes, but he will be counted on to be a factor in his rookie season.

"There's a lot of pressure on that young man coming in," Loney said. "I attribute those drops in minicamp to nerves. Since then, he's made some difficult catches. He's going about his work, and I see him improving."




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