Williams Revs Up War of Words

Pat Williams was back at the trash-talking table on Tuesday, firing off some comments about Aaron Rodgers, who enters the season as the Packers' starter having played only seven games and starting none in his three-year career. See what Williams, Jared Allen, Rodgers, Mike McCarthy and Ryan Pickett had to say about the situation.

Pat Williams can start trash-talking just as quickly as he can anticipate a snap count. One week before the Vikings' regular-season opener with the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers, Williams was in midseason form.

Most of Williams' shots were directed the way of the Packers' new starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who is the first quarterback to be the primary Packers starter not named Brett Favre since 1991. Williams said it won't seem right without Favre under center Monday night at Lambeau Field for the regular-season opener.

"Yeah, it's going to be strange, but we're all trying to get – whatever that other guy's name is because I don't even want to say his name because he ain't Favre," Williams said. "I watched Rodgers' film and I watched Brett's film. Brett ain't taking no sacks. He can get rid of that ball so quick. He can get there where he knows where all of his receivers are just like that. I've been watching Rodgers and he ain't got all that Brett had – yet. He'll have to get it, but he ain't got it now."

About an hour before Williams' words, in a conference call with Minnesota reporters, Rodgers was complimentary of the Vikings' defensive line, which features Pat and Kevin Williams and free-agent addition Jared Allen at defensive end – all Pro Bowl players last year – in addition to Ray Edwards.

"They got better, which is amazing because they had a really, really solid defense last year," Rodgers said. "The front four they have, I'd put that against any front four in the NFL. The guys with Edwards and Jared and the two Williamses in the middle, it's a very solid defense. I don't really see any weak spots. You've got a very solid linebacking crew, you've got maybe the best free safety in the game in (Darren) Sharper, who is a ball hawk. Antoine Winfield may be one of the most underrated corners in the league as far as his toughness and coverage ability. You've got (Cedric) Griffin playing at a high level in his third year and the rookie in the secondary (Tyrell Johnson) is doing a nice job. They've got it down on defense. I'd be surprised if they weren't in the top five in yardage, if not number one. It's going to be a good test for us on Monday."

Informed that Rodgers was handing out the bouquets to the defensive line, Williams didn't seem to care.

"He can say nice things (or) bad things. We just want to have fun. That's how we always do it, just going out there and having fun. Everybody takes the talking serious, but it's just fun. … Basically, in game time we have fun and after the game we shake hands and smile," said Williams, who has a history of trashing talking and enjoys revving up a rivalry.

"I'm always like that. Anybody that knows me can see I'm serious, but I'm having fun with it. You've got to have fun because (with) all the negative stuff off the field, you want to keep everything fun. I'm serious, though. I'm still having fun, but I'm serious."

While the addition of Allen will almost certainly help the Vikings' pass-rush pressure from the defensive line, the quick defensive end likes to mix up the talk as much as Williams. Earlier this year, after he was acquired by the Vikings in a trade from Kansas City, he said he'd like to put his helmet into Rodgers' spine.

Asked about those comments this week, Allen said it has more to do with winning games than going after any specific quarterback.

"Yeah, whatever quarterback I happen to play. They've got a good team over there. They were in the NFC Championship Game last year. They won the division last year. For us this is huge," Allen said. "We're going on the road, Monday night football, to play a division opponent. So we look at it like it's a game and a half. We've got to go up there and we've got to win on the road. So that's what all of our focus is."

On the other side of the border, Rodgers was downplaying the significance of the divisional game, despite it being an intense rivalry over the years.

"It is just another game. It's your attitude you take into the – it's your focus each day in practice and in preparation with the film study you do every week. It is just another game," he said. "Everybody outside of the locker room is going to make it up to be a big spectacle and that's fine. The pressure I put on myself to perform and the expectations we have as a team will stay the same. To the 53 in the locker room, it is just another game, but it's an important one to get off on the right foot."

Allen admitted that there could be more of an onus to get to the quarterback since it is Rodgers' first year in a starting role.

"You've got to go up there and you've got to put pressure on 'em. You've got to force them to beat you. So whatever quarterback it is, you always want to get pressure on the quarterback and hopefully get in his head and rattle him. But obviously a quarterback's job is not to get rattled," Allen said. "That's the whole game plan. We're watching a lot of film and we'll put a game plan together that we think is best to beat the Packers."

Pat Williams said he isn't worried about getting any sacks – he'll leave that to his defensive ends. He was asked if he thought his words could more easily rattle a less experienced quarterback like Rodgers.

"I don't know, but we'll have to find out Monday night," Williams said.

Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett didn't seem impressed when informed of that some of the Vikings were firing verbal shots over the border.

"I haven't heard any details. We'll let them guys talk, and we'll go out there and play football," Pickett said. "It's a division game, so that's important. We want to win our division first. That's our first goal. That's the importance of this game."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked about the Vikings' talk Tuesday and said, "I've never seen anything to gain from that, and that's really the only message that I've ever given our players. … It speaks volumes about the way they go about their business."



Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n","mobileBody":"Pat Williams can start trash-talking just as quickly as he can anticipate a snap count. One week before the Vikings' regular-season opener with the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers, Williams was in midseason form.

Most of Williams' shots were directed the way of the Packers' new starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who is the first quarterback to be the primary Packers starter not named Brett Favre since 1991. Williams said it won't seem right without Favre under center Monday night at Lambeau Field for the regular-season opener.

\"Yeah, it's going to be strange, but we're all trying to get – whatever that other guy's name is because I don't even want to say his name because he ain't Favre,\" Williams said. \"I watched Rodgers' film and I watched Brett's film. Brett ain't taking no sacks. He can get rid of that ball so quick. He can get there where he knows where all of his receivers are just like that. I've been watching Rodgers and he ain't got all that Brett had – yet. He'll have to get it, but he ain't got it now.\"

About an hour before Williams' words, in a conference call with Minnesota reporters, Rodgers was complimentary of the Vikings' defensive line, which features Pat and Kevin Williams and free-agent addition Jared Allen at defensive end – all Pro Bowl players last year – in addition to Ray Edwards.

\"They got better, which is amazing because they had a really, really solid defense last year,\" Rodgers said. \"The front four they have, I'd put that against any front four in the NFL. The guys with Edwards and Jared and the two Williamses in the middle, it's a very solid defense. I don't really see any weak spots. You've got a very solid linebacking crew, you've got maybe the best free safety in the game in (Darren) Sharper, who is a ball hawk. Antoine Winfield may be one of the most underrated corners in the league as far as his toughness and coverage ability. You've got (Cedric) Griffin playing at a high level in his third year and the rookie in the secondary (Tyrell Johnson) is doing a nice job. They've got it down on defense. I'd be surprised if they weren't in the top five in yardage, if not number one. It's going to be a good test for us on Monday.\"

Informed that Rodgers was handing out the bouquets to the defensive line, Williams didn't seem to care.

\"He can say nice things (or) bad things. We just want to have fun. That's how we always do it, just going out there and having fun. Everybody takes the talking serious, but it's just fun. … Basically, in game time we have fun and after the game we shake hands and smile,\" said Williams, who has a history of trashing talking and enjoys revving up a rivalry.

\"I'm always like that. Anybody that knows me can see I'm serious, but I'm having fun with it. You've got to have fun because (with) all the negative stuff off the field, you want to keep everything fun. I'm serious, though. I'm still having fun, but I'm serious.\"

While the addition of Allen will almost certainly help the Vikings' pass-rush pressure from the defensive line, the quick defensive end likes to mix up the talk as much as Williams. Earlier this year, after he was acquired by the Vikings in a trade from Kansas City, he said he'd like to put his helmet into Rodgers' spine.

Asked about those comments this week, Allen said it has more to do with winning games than going after any specific quarterback.

\"Yeah, whatever quarterback I happen to play. They've got a good team over there. They were in the NFC Championship Game last year. They won the division last year. For us this is huge,\" Allen said. \"We're going on the road, Monday night football, to play a division opponent. So we look at it like it's a game and a half. We've got to go up there and we've got to win on the road. So that's what all of our focus is.\"

On the other side of the border, Rodgers was downplaying the significance of the divisional game, despite it being an intense rivalry over the years.

\"It is just another game. It's your attitude you take into the – it's your focus each day in practice and in preparation with the film study you do every week. It is just another game,\" he said. \"Everybody outside of the locker room is going to make it up to be a big spectacle and that's fine. The pressure I put on myself to perform and the expectations we have as a team will stay the same. To the 53 in the locker room, it is just another game, but it's an important one to get off on the right foot.\"

Allen admitted that there could be more of an onus to get to the quarterback since it is Rodgers' first year in a starting role.

\"You've got to go up there and you've got to put pressure on 'em. You've got to force them to beat you. So whatever quarterback it is, you always want to get pressure on the quarterback and hopefully get in his head and rattle him. But obviously a quarterback's job is not to get rattled,\" Allen said. \"That's the whole game plan. We're watching a lot of film and we'll put a game plan together that we think is best to beat the Packers.\"

Pat Williams said he isn't worried about getting any sacks – he'll leave that to his defensive ends. He was asked if he thought his words could more easily rattle a less experienced quarterback like Rodgers.

\"I don't know, but we'll have to find out Monday night,\" Williams said.

Packers defensive tackle Ryan Pickett didn't seem impressed when informed of that some of the Vikings were firing verbal shots over the border.

\"I haven't heard any details. We'll let them guys talk, and we'll go out there and play football,\" Pickett said. \"It's a division game, so that's important. We want to win our division first. That's our first goal. That's the importance of this game.\"

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked about the Vikings' talk Tuesday and said, \"I've never seen anything to gain from that, and that's really the only message that I've ever given our players. … It speaks volumes about the way they go about their business.\"


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