Williams Preaching Breakout Game For Williams

Pat Williams is full of confidence in himself and linemate Kevin Williams, who has gotten off to a slow start and has been hindered by the 3-4 defense. Pat said Kevin is ready for a breakout game this Sunday against Detroit as the defensive line is stressing pressure on the quarterback this week.

The Vikings defense has produced no sacks in the last two games – not by a blitzing safety, a "dogging" linebacker or any of the defensive linemen, but that evidence isn't stopping nose tackle Pat Williams from being extremely confident that it will all turn around Sunday.

"We've just got to get on track this week. That's our plan," Williams said. "We've been talking about it all week inside our meeting room. That's what we've got to start getting right now – sacks. That's our main focus."

Pat Williams has never been a sack machine; his career best was 3.5 sacks with Buffalo seven years ago. Sacks are not his forte and it's not really his concern. He'd rather "blow up" centers – any center. He lives for it, whether the Vikings are playing the 3-4 or 4-3 defense, whether he's lined up directly across from the center or slightly off to the side.

"It's no different. If I'm playing outside the center, I'm still going to beat him, so it don't matter – head-up or playing outside the center. I just don't respect the offensive line. I just never have. That's the way I play all the time," Williams said.

It's been since the season opener since Williams got a sack, but he's been an extremely disrupting force on the defensive line, registering 40 tackles, second on the team, and six quarterback hurries, also second on the team.

The team leader for QB hurries is Kevin Williams, who has had double-digit sacks each of his first two seasons in the NFL. Problem is, Kevin Williams has only one sack almost halfway through this season.

His linemate, the other Williams, is convinced that Kevin is ready for a breakout game Sunday against Detroit.

"We've got to get back on track. I tell him we've got to get back to what got you here – you've got to get your focus back. I think this week he'll be ready. You're going to see a whole different Kevin this week," Pat said.

"I think he'll be alright this week. I think he'll be a whole different player this week."

There have been a number of signs that the Vikings are ready to return to a 4-3 defense after three games using the 3-4 set, mainly because they were short on defensive ends in the 4-3 set. It may be more than a coincidence that the Vikings have gone two games without a sack since Kevin Williams has been forced out to left end in the 3-4 defense instead of his usual under tackle position in the 4-3 alignment.

"He ain't no end. He's a three technique (under tackle)," Pat said of Kevin. "I'm a nose. I ain't no three technique. Everybody can't play nose in the league. Everybody can't play three in the league."
Head coach Mike Tice agrees with that assessment.

"Kevin is a much better player as a three technique. If anything, the 34 defense has hurt Kevin. That is the biggest significant thing that we have seen," Tice said. "He has got his weight down. He is moving a lot better, but he does not look comfortable where he is. He hasn't complained about it, but he doesn't look comfortable."

Pat believes Kevin just needs to focus on football and have fun. That might have been in short supply for Kevin lately, as he tried to recover from offseason surgery, get back into football shape and deal with a plea agreement in a case stemming from an argument with his wife.

With all that behind him, Pat is preaching the resurgence of Kevin … and hoping that others are ready to step up.

"If I'm one-on-one, I've got to beat my man. If Kevin's one-on-one, he's got to beat his man We've got to get our sacks," Pat said. "Kevin gets doubled and I get doubled, so someone else has to get over there."

One of those who could step up is right defensive end Darrion Scott, who also has only one sack so far this season.

"The main thing is we just have to communicate so everybody knows what everybody is doing. I think that's the key to having a good defense," Scott said.

Pat, who is almost always smiling and encouraging teammates, thinks part of the solution lies in having more fun, a theme that head coach Mike Tice has also been preaching of late.

"Basically what I've been telling the young guys is go out there and have fun – that's fun day. Practice is work. We work all week. Sunday is the fun day," Pat said.

As for the 3-4 vs. 4-3 debate, Pat doesn't really care which alignment the Vikings employ. He still plans on getting his fun on Sunday.

"It doesn't matter to me. I just do what I've got to do on Sundays. I came into the league undrafted so I've got a chip on my shoulder," Pat said. "I always feel on Sunday I'm the best on the field; nobody is going to block me. I don't respect no centers anyway, I don't care who he is. I never did."

This week Pat will be facing Dominic Raiola, a five-year veteran who signed a five-year extension in the offseason. But that doesn't mean Raiola is getting any respect from Pat, who recently made Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz of Chicago his pawn.

"They try to pump them (the centers) up every year. He's overrated, so I'm going to go out there on Sunday and destroy him too like I do all the rest of them," Pat said of Raoila. "So it doesn't really matter (who it is)."

It's obvious Pat doesn't lack confidence … in himself or the other Williams on the defensive line.

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