Big Pat Inspires Rebound Against Run

Pat Williams took it personally that the Green Bay Packers were able to have a rusher go for more than 100 yards. That didn't happen again on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and Williams was a big reason for that. See what the confident nose tackle, his teammates and coaches had to say about his performance. Plus, get an update on Adrian Peterson's health and other notes from Winter Park.

The Raiders came into Sunday's game with two 500-yard rushers, but only one of them was active. Despite Oakland having the No. 5 rushing attack in the league, it was just another day at the office for Pat Williams, the Minnesota Vikings' mammoth defensive tackle.

Williams inspired a turnaround of the Vikings' run defense after it allowed Green Bay's Ryan Grant 119 yards rushing the week before.

"That's how it is every week. Last week they got lucky and we were out of our gaps. (Sunday) we had all the guys focused and smashed them," Williams said.

"Smashing them" is one of Williams' favorite phrases, and against the Raiders that meant holding them to 61 net yards rushing. More often than not, Williams was in the center of the action, as he is wont to do.

"I was killing them boys out there today. I was killing them. They couldn't run the damn ball today," Williams said.

Williams tallied nine tackles, an incredible number for a defensive tackle, to lead the team. He held Justin Fargas to runs of 1 and 2 yards on the first two drives to establish his presence early, then later in the first half dragged down quarterback Daunte Culpepper for a 4-yard loss. He even got involved in the pass defense, batting down a ball at the line of scrimmage.

"It was ridiculous. That's Pat Williams for you; that's why he's a Pro Bowler," said cornerback Marcus McCauley, who was forced into a full-time role in the second half when Antoine Winfield left the game with an aggravated hamstring injury. "You can only run the ball on us for so long. We pretty much figured it was going to come down to the time that they'd have to start passing the ball and we held them to field goals and stuff like that. They moved the ball, but if it's not in the end zone it doesn't really matter."

McCauley said Williams delivered his typical motivational speeches throughout the week.

"He told us just 60 minutes and knocking somebody in the mouth. That's kind of his slogan. That's pretty much what he says every week, even in practice," McCauley said.

Vikings coach Brad Childress credited Williams for taking the Packers' rushing success personally, saying he takes it as a personal afront when opposing offense have the kind of success that Green Bay did the week before.

"He is part of that leadership group, and he's been noted as a run stopper over that time, so that's like gutting somebody. When somebody runs the ball on your defense and has their will with you, that strikes home," Childress said. "That strikes home to all of that inside seven and those safeties, everybody. Once again, I like to look at that as being an anomaly, not something that's going to be happening every week."

Williams is noted for picking up hints to jump the snap count and it appeared he had a key on Sunday as well. He said Oakland center Jeremy Newberry was rocking a little bit, helping to tip Williams on when the ball was about to be snapped.

"I've never even been around a nose guard as good as him and one that plays so aggressively on the run in my life," said defensive end Kenechi Udeze. "It makes it a lot easier. He picks up a lot of slack when some of us are not in our gaps. That's why he's one of the best, if not the best, nose guards in the league."


Childress said that rookie running back Adrian Peterson has been working six to eight hours a day receiving stimulation and other forms of treatment for his torn lateral collateral ligament to try to get back to practice.

"You have to be able to get back to practice, get back the timing. To get back to practice, you have to be able to do the things to practice," Childress said.

"I'd say it's a longshot right now to get back there, but we'll see. He's surprised me before."

Vikings head trainer Eric Sugarman told that Peterson has been working hard to get back to action, reminding him of Terrell Owens' efforts to get back from an ankle and foot injury to participate in the Super Bowl back when Owens, Sugarman and Childress were all part of the Philadelphia Eagles.

"I had never seen anything like Terrell until Adrian came along," Sugarman told "They have the same drive. Every single thing we've asked him to do, and trust me, I've pushed and pushed, he's had no pain. I've given him things to see where he is that I thought he'd certainly struggle with and he hasn't struggled with anything. He's really an unbelievable kid."

The Vikings were having Peterson run in a pool Monday and hoping he might be able to do some "land" work on Tuesday. Whenever he is able to return, he is expected to wear a custom-fitted brace for the rest of the season.


  • Childress said the Raiders had nine explosive plays (two runs, seven passes) compared to the Vikings eight (six runs, two passes). "It's rare when – we call it the daily double when a team beats you with explosive plays as well as the turnover margin – it's rare that the other team is going to win the football game."

    The Vikings had five turnovers compared to the Raiders' three.

  • Cornerback Antoine Winfield was taken out of action at halftime because he said his hamstring was burning, but Childress said on Monday that Winfield was "no worse certainly than he was at the end of last week."

  • Fullback Tony Richardson has an medial collateral ligament sprain and has some soreness associated with that.

  • Sidney Rice's hamstring injury "appears to be coming along," Childress said.

  • The Vikings still have about 6,000 tickets remaining for the Detroit Lions game on Dec. 2. They are in better shape for the Chicago Bears game, a Monday night matchup on Dec. 17. Their last remaining home game is Dec. 23 against the Washington Redskins.

  • Viking Update Top Stories