Williams laughs at past Kreutz barbs

Pat Williams laughed when reminded of the 2005 war of words he had with Bears center Olin Kreutz and said things are now good between him and Kreutz. However, Williams hasn't toned down the fun he tries to bring to the game. Plus, get notes and quotes on the blitzing Bears, Adrian Peterson and more.

Three years after calling Bears center Olin Kreutz "a joke" and Kreutz retaliating by calling Pat Williams a "fat slob," it's Williams that laughs when reminded of those oh-so-controversial quotes.

"We put everything past us and just basically have fun. Everybody is trying to (pull) that stuff up so we're trying to keep everything good," Williams said. "We just go out and battle, and at the end of the game just talk to each other and call it a day."

That's not to say that Williams doesn't enjoy a good ribbing between opponents. Time and again, the 317-pound nose tackle (how many people believe that's all he weighs?) and his loving-life personality tells people he's just having fun.

Most people who have dealt with Williams before know not to take his verbal barbs too seriously. Some opponents don't always get that, though.

"Some of them know I'm just having fun, like (Jerome) Bettis. When we played Pittsburgh, me and Bettis were on each other. We were just having fun. If a person knows me, he knows I'm just having fun with him," Williams said. "Some guys get sensitive and take it too seriously, but I'm just trying to have fun with the game. Everything negative going on outside the game, I'm just trying to bring some positive in the game, have some fun. It's back-and-back talking, but it's still fun. But other guys don't understand that."

Asked who was most sensitive about his talk, Williams mentioned Kreutz but quickly said they now "have all that straight" and just laugh about it.

"Everything is smooth with it," said Williams, who figures Kreutz probably gets asked about the 2005 trash-talking as much as Williams does in Minnesota.

But Williams takes the same approach with his teammates and coaches, trying to keep things light in the workplace to help people find joy in their work. Eventually, even his head coach, Brad Childress, came to appreciate the value of Williams' willingness to throw out a quick, jesting insult.

"He is chuckles every day," Childress said last year when asked about Williams. "He is one of those guys; he is what I call a sport bitcher. That is what he is, just the sport to it.

"It doesn't make a difference if it's what time we eat or what time we practice or what uniform we are wearing. It doesn't make any difference; he is going to do that just because. And if it was a sport, he would excel at it. You would want him on your team. He is a great guy to be around. He has got thick skin because he gets it dished to him as hard as he dishes it out. He doesn't let people really hang around in the training room, although he is kind of a fixture there. But if you open that door and come in there you better be ready for both barrels, whether you are a rookie or a veteran."

Childress also called Williams the "heart and soul" of the team. He might also be the funny bone.

"If you come in there all sad-faced, serious … I'm ready to go," Williams said. "On the practice field we're going to practice and have fun, but we're going to take care of business. You've got to know when to take care of your business, though. You can't play all the time."

GREAT EXPECTATIONS

With Adrian Peterson's first 200-yard game of his career coming at Soldier Field last year, there is talk of his expectations this year. Are they too high?

"He's a special player. He had two of those games last year with the Bears and the San Diego game. It can become expected of him, to say, ‘Hey that's what he's going to do.' He complains of that a little bit sometimes himself," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Like we keep telling him, just take what's there. Read it out. If it's blocked for five (yards), you have to push it in there for five. Sometimes there will be blocks for the distance, like Tennessee, and he needs to be able to take it the distance. He has to continue to stay patient and continue to work. Last week (he had) a 100-yard rushing day. That's a good day."

BEAR BLITZ

According to NFL Films, the Bears blitz more than anybody in the league.

"One of the things they do is walk up in gaps," Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said of the Bears defense. "I think that's one of the biggest changes. They are being a little bit more aggressive, so they are bringing more pressure in my mind. Still, you can see the fundamentals of what they're doing, playing their Tampa-2 defense. They have been playing aggressive. They are flying around and flying to the ball.

NOTES

  • The fan portion of Pro Bowl balloting has begun. To register your votes online, go to nfl.com/probowl/ballot.

  • Vikings LB David Herron (hip) has been declared out of Sunday's game. WR Bernard Berrian (knee), LB Erin Henderson (knee), WR Sidney Rice (knee) and S Madieu Williams (neck) are questionable. TE Jim Kleinsasser (foot) and CB Benny Sapp (hamstring) are probable.

  • For the Bears, S Danieal Manning and WR Brandon Lloyd are out. LB Nick Roach and CBs Trumaine McBride, Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher are questionable. Six others on the Bears injury report are probable.

  • Special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro said that Dontarrious Thomas, acquired this week and seemingly the most likely to start at middle linebacker, is preparing to play on all four phases of special teams. That might not happen if he starts on defense. Napoleon Harris, who had his first day of practice Thursday with the Vikings after signing a one-year contract, did not play special teams for the Vikings when he was part of the team in 2006 and starting at middle linebacker.

  • According to the latest Harris Poll that was conducted from September 15-22, a poll-high 52 percent of Americans say they follow professional football.

  • While the Vikings answer questions about the raised expectations on their running game – and Peterson specifically – the Pittsburgh Steelers could be ready to give former Vikings running back Mewelde Moore another start this season. He gained 99 yards on 17 carries in his first start with the Steelers Oct. 5 in Jacksonville.


  • Viking Update Top Stories