Monday, June 16, 2014

The Vikings tried to bring back Kevin Williams - should we be concerned?

Hmmm.

So Kevin Williams signed with the Seattle Seahawks last week, but then he said the Vikings made an offer to bring him back at the 11th hour.

I won't hazard to guess what Williams would have provided Minnesota on the field if he had decided to come back to the Vikings. But what does this say about head coach Mike Zimmer's confidence in the two guys who will likely be playing most of the snaps in the defensive tackle spot Williams manned for so many seasons?

Those two players are Sharrif Floyd and Tom Johnson. Floyd, of course, was the first of three players the Vikings selected in the first round of the 2013 draft. On the other hand, Johnson was a guy I wasn't very familiar when the Vikes signed him as a free agent in March.

Perhaps the Vikings thought Williams would provide some competition for Johnson, who figures to be the backup to Floyd in 2014, because he hasn't looked all that impressive during OTAs this spring. Williams isn't a guy you want playing 60 snaps a game as he approaches his 34th birthday. But he still played at a fairly high level last season for the Vikings and might still be better than Johnson.

My worry is that Zimmer wanted to bring Williams in because he hasn't been all that impressed by what he's seen from Johnson and Floyd, which would be a far greater problem for the Vikings.

We know Floyd made the least impact of the 3 guys the Vikings drafted in the first round last year. Cordarrelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes outperformed him on the field. Floyd didn't make many impact plays and often just blended when he was in the game.

But this year Vikings fans - and I imagine Vikings coaches - are expecting Floyd to play more in line with his draft status and to team up with newcomer Linval Joseph to form the kind of stout defensive tackle tandem Zimmer enjoyed in Cincinnati the previous four seasons when he had Domata Peko and Geno Atkins manning the interior of his defensive line.

I could be way off on this (and I hope I am), but the Vikings interest in Williams - and the timing of it - strikes me as peculiar considering they showed little interest in bringing him back in March before the new coaching staff had a chance to see Floyd and Johnson in action.

It's a situation worth monitoring at the least.

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