Coaches, Statistics Show Versatile Offense

The Vikings offense has been struggling by some standards, but it really has been one that has shown versatility and the ability to spread the ball. Also, see what Pat Williams had to say about his return to Buffalo and what Darrel Bevell had to say about the acquisition of QB Drew Henson.

Jermaine Wiggins insists he isn't concerned about his lack of catches through three games. The Vikings' leading receiver each of the last two seasons has only eight catches so far, but that's not too much of a surprise considering the way Brad Johnson has been distributing the ball this season.

"Like I said way back from the beginning, this offense is about getting the ball to the guy that is open and being able to spread the ball throughout," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Wiggins was the leading receiver in the first game, Troy (Williamson) was the leading receiver in the second game, and Travis (Taylor) was the leading receiver in the third game.

"Everybody has the same amount of opportunities to catch the ball. Coverage is going to dictate often times where the ball is going to go. The quarterback is doing a great job of getting it to the guy within his progression of where that ball is supposed to go."

Wiggins did have a team-high five catches in the season opener at Washington, but he has managed only three in the two games since, placing him behind Williamson (14 catches), Travis Taylor (10) and Chester Taylor (9) for receptions so far this season.

"We're three games in and I'm not worried about it one bit," Wiggins said. "I know I'm going to have an opportunity to make plays when my number is called. The bottom line is we're winning, and that's the most important thing. In this business, the only thing I care about is winning Super Bowls. I don't need all the individual accolades for a championship ring. If that means other guys stepping up and making plays to help us win, there are going to be games that I'm going to be making plays to help us win."

Like Bevell, Wiggins echoed the sentiment that the ball will be spread around in this offense. Since Wiggins led the team in the first game, Troy Williamson had a team-leading six catches in the Vikings' only 100-yard receiving performance of the season in against Carolina and Travis Taylor had six catches for 82 yards last Sunday against Chicago.

"You've got different reads on every play. Sometimes I'm the No. 1 read, sometimes I'm two or three, but the bottom line is when I do get a chance and I am running the routes, just get open, and when the ball does come my way make a play - doing something with it," Wiggins said.

One place Wiggins could be an asset is inside the red zone, where the Vikings have scored touchdowns only twice in eight attempts, and one of those touchdowns came on a fake field goal. But when asked about his potential in the red zone, Wiggins felt confident he could help the team at any place on the field.

"I'm a confident player, and I feel like no matter where we are on the field I can help. That's just the way I am," he said.

And eventually he might crawl back into the team lead for recepetions.


Not much seems to faze defensive tackle Pat Williams, a mammoth man with an appetite for football in the trenches.

The Vikings switched defensive schemes this year, but, while Williams is being asked to control only one gap this year versus the two-gap responsibilities he had last season, his main duty is to penetrate the offensive line however he can.

"Just get upfield all the time. That's our type of defense now - just attack. I love this defense. It's basically just go get them," he said. "(The scheme) doesn't matter. I'll just go out there and play smathmouth football. I have one mind - go straight ahead and destroy the opponent. That's all I think about."

This Sunday, the opponent is the Buffalo Bills, Williams' former team. While he had nothing good to say about the general manager/coaching combination he played under while he was in Buffalo, Williams holds no animosity to the current duo of Marv Levy and Dick Jauron.

"I love going back there. It's my first time going back there, so it's going to be kind of exciting," said Williams, who added that he keeps in regular contact with current Bills Takeo Spikes, Nate Clements and London Fletcher. "We're friends first and then football comes second."

As cornerback Antoine Winfield and Williams tried to downplay their return to Buffalo, receiver Marcus Robinson said the team will try to play off that to help motivate them.

"We're going to have Pat pumped up for that game," Robinson piped from locker nearby Williams.

"I don't need to be pumped up. I just go out there and handle my business," Williams responded.


Bevell seemed to downplay the acquisition of Drew Henson this week when asked if the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback was expected to have a long-term role with the Vikings.

"I don't know right at this point that I can answer that fully yet," Bevell said. "We've just got to get familiar with him and see what he can do and kind of find out his strengths and weaknesses and see how he fits."

Henson is known as a multi-talented athlete, something that might encourage coaches around the league to believe they could mold him into something more than he has been at the NFL level so far.

"I think that you can see that almost anywhere throughout the league - guys get one, two, three, four chances because the next guy thinks I can fix that one little deal," Bevell said. "I'm not saying that's the case here, but we definitely needed a guy to come in and work on the practice squad and take some throws off. That's one of the reasons he's here, and we're going to take a good look at him while he is here."

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