NOTEBOOK: Pat Williams Continues Confidence

It doesn't seem to matter to Pat Williams who is playing across from him or what color the jersey is, the confident nose tackle just tries to keep a chip on his shoulder and a push toward the backfield. Plus, find out which running back is frustrated now, and we have a short visit with rookie nose tackle C.J. Mosley, who has been seeing action now that Spencer Johnson has been inactive.

Nose tackle Pat Williams has been one of the top quote machines since arriving in Minnesota, with a consistent theme of him having a chip on his shoulder and "blowing up" centers.

With that, here are some of Williams' quotes from just one session last week:

  • On the changes in the Green Bay defense: "They just have to stop me from penetrating. I try to make them adjust to the way I play, that's just how I think. In the second half last week, (the Giants) changed their blocking on me because in the first half I was killing them. That's the same every week. They've got pay me attention because if they don't I'm going to be in their backfield the whole time."

  • Asked who was the best center in the league: "I don't know. I don't give no centers no props. I'm going to let you pump the centers up and I'll bring them down. Me and centers, I don't like centers so I'm going to blow them up every week."

  • On the progress of the defensive line: "We ain't where we need to be. We need to be higher. We want to go out there and just dominate a game, just take over a game. That's our main goal."

    But some of it isn't bravado. The veteran leader and listed 317-pounder can talk seriously about opponents as well.

  • On Brett Favre: "He can get rid of it pretty quick, fast enough. He's just getting away with it quick. We've got to get off the ball pretty quick and get to him quick."

  • On Packers rookie phenom running back Samkon Gado: "This isn't high school or college. This is the pros, so everybody is good. Fourth round or undrafted, I was undrafted so I ain't surprised with nothing. It's the NFL, so anything is possible."


    A Vikings backup running back is frustrated. Sound familiar?

    This time it is running back Ciatrick Fason, the team's rookie fourth-round draft pick.

    Fason is the latest back to expect a role that didn't materialize, at least not yet. He was expecting to be the Vikings' short-yardage back, but in the last two games he hasn't gotten the opportunity every time – which hasn't been often – that situation arose.

    Although veteran Moe Williams, who had that role when healthy, has been moved to injured reserve, Fason hasn't seen an increase in carries.

    "Nothing changes. Moe's been hurt for four weeks. It's the same role," said an obviously frustrated Fason. "There ain't no guarantee I'm taking over Moe's role. I got one play a game the last two weeks, what does that tell you? I want more than short-yardage, but you've got to wait for your opportunity. I just sit back and wait.

    "I've been into my playbook and just staying on top of my game."

    The overall lack of offense has been part of the problem, as the Vikings haven't entered into many third-and-short situations in the last two weeks, when Fason was expecting an expanded role.

    "It's a business, so I'll just wait. There isn't too much (the coaches) can tell you. They can tell you what you want to hear, but it might not happen. I'm good. As long as we win, I'm good," he said, trying to tow the company line.

    Fason is used to having to wait for his chance. He wanted to become the featured back at the University of Florida early in his collegiate career, but it wasn't until his junior season that he really had that opportunity, seized the moment and then entered in the NFL Draft.

    The one smile Fason did manage during a conversation last week when asked if it was harder to have patience now than it was in college. "It's easier (here) because I'm getting paid," he said.


    Another rookie, sixth-round defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, seems to understand his situation – playing behind Kevin Williams and Pat Wiliams, along with Darrion Scott, who often moves inside on passing situations.

    "I'll take whatever I can get. I'm still young and I'm still learning," Mosley said. "I'm just watching the older tackles – Pat Williams and Kevin Williams."

    He describes his playing time as getting "just scraps" so far.

    "Where I need to get better is my reads, just getting off blocks and getting separation, playing with a lot more explosiveness," he said.

    And Mosley admitted the season is beginning to be a grind as a rookie. "It is a big transition. This is, what, two college seasons?" he said. "You've just got to stay on task."

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