Kevin Williams must back it up

Posted Dec. 01, 2010 @ 6:39 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Each Wednesday we'll identify one player, coach or area of the team that is most under the microscope. This week,we look at DT Kevin Williams, coming off his best game this season.

Amid the craziness surrounding the Vikings this season, it has been a quiet season for Kevin Williams. Too quiet.

Normally, for a player who escaped the threat of NFL suspension in the StarCaps case, this might be a good thing. But for Williams, one of the more destructive three-technique tackles of the past 5-6 seasons, quiet is never good.

Sunday was an exception. Simply put, Williams played his best game to date in 2010. He was all over the place, most often in the Redskins' backfield. Lined up opposite Artis Hicks, Williams torched the guy and sent him to the bench. He pressured Donovan McNabb and hit him hard enough to cause the QB to underthrow Anthony Armstrong on a deep ball. Williams battled against the run, which was totally taken away. He absorbed a few double-teams and also almost came up with an interception.

It was the kind of game Williams would have two or three, sometimes four times in a season. It's why he seems to end up in the Pro Bowl every year. At this stage right now, the only way Williams makes it to Hawaii (yes, the game is back there this year) is if the popularity contest/name recognition game takes over in that vote.

But one of the reasons he earned that recognition is because he was that good. Williams has to step up, and he'll be going up against a rather good player up front in Bills OG Eric Wood, who did a nice job on Lions DT Ndamukong Suh recently. But Williams is experienced and still dangerous, as Sunday showed, so he'll be on the spot to match his big game.

The rest of this defense, looking to pick up some respectability points down the stretch, really could use him to be dominant again.