2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Vikings defense getting KWilliams back vs Bears

    2013-09-12 15:28

(Eds: Updates with quotes, background and details. With AP Photos.)
By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
AP Sports Writer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Vikings defense has two things going for it this week coming off a humbling loss at Detroit in the season opener.

First, they expect defensive captain Kevin Williams to be back at defensive tackle after missing the 34-24 loss to the Lions with a knee injury. Second, they don't have to face Reggie Bush, the Lions running back who torched them for 191 total yards and a touchdown.

Defensive coordinator Alan Williams said Thursday that he expects the veteran (no relation) to be in the lineup Sunday at Chicago. The return of a six-time Pro Bowler to help shore up what was a soft middle of the Vikings defense will certainly help. But his mere presence in the huddle should bring some much-needed assurance to a unit that did little right in Week 1.

``Just to see a familiar face out there is going to be nice,'' defensive end Jared Allen said. ``Not having him out there on the field is different.''

Kevin Williams suffered a bone bruise and hyperextension of his right knee in the third preseason game against San Francisco. The Vikings used several players in his place against the Lions, including rookie Sharrif Floyd, who was predictably uneven in his first career game after missing three weeks with a knee injury. Kevin Williams returned to practice this week and fully expected to be ready to play against the Bears.

``Win or lose, my personal experience is, I hate missing a game,'' he said Wednesday. ``You want to be out there contributing, helping the team win. For us to lose the way we did, letting Reggie run the ball effectively and then the screens, I just felt you always could help out and do your part.''

Bush channeled his Heisman Trophy-winning days at USC, rushing 21 times for 90 yards and catching four passes for 101 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown on a screen pass. The Lions rolled up 469 yards of offense, including 117 on the ground against a team that used to pride itself on stuffing the run.

What Alan Williams saw when he reviewed the game tape earlier this week was a rash of missed assignments, poor angles taken on runners in the open field and sloppy tackling.

``We have to tackle better, keep our gaps better,'' Alan Williams said. ``Anytime you let a team run and throw the ball effectively, usually it's a long day. That's what happened against Detroit. We have to try to make this team one dimensional. We can't let them throw the ball anytime they want and run the ball down their throat.''

Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Bears will present many of the same challenges the Lions did. Chicago also has a strong-armed quarterback (Jay Cutler), a big, physical receiver (Brandon Marshall) and a versatile running back who is as comfortable split out wide as a receiver as he is in the backfield in Matt Forte.

The Vikings did a solid job on Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson last week, limiting him to four catches for 37 yards. But in doing so, they left the rest of the field wide open for Bush. They know they can't afford to do the same thing this week against Forte, who rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown and had 41 yards receiving in a season-opening win over Cincinnati.

As bad as things were in Detroit, the Vikings have appeared loose and confident in practice this week. They know there are a lot of problems to fix, but confident that adjustments can be made to bounce back similar to last year when they won four straight in December to make the playoffs.

``This is only my second year, but last year I remember people panicked four or five times during the year,'' safety Harrison Smith said. ``It doesn't change what happens inside this building. Whatever outside people want to say, let them say it. We're just going to go about our business and learn from it and try to get a win.''

Having their big fella back in the middle only reinforces that.

``Just having the experience of a guy out there that's seen it before,'' Alan Williams said. ``Not only that, but Kevin is still a good football player. His leadership, and when the guys look at another guy like that in the huddle, it gives them confidence that we're going to get the job done.''

---

Online:

AP NFL website: http://pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Tim TebowApr 20 03:52p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) officially signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Adrian WilsonApr 20 07:22a

Free-agent SS Adrian Wilson (Bears) is expected to retire Monday, April 20, and join the Arizona Cardinals coaching staff. The Cardinals, the team Wilson played for from 2001-2012, have announced a press conference.

Tim TebowApr 19 07:42p

Free-agent QB Tim Tebow (Patriots) is expected to sign a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, April 20.

Stefen WisniewskiApr 18 01:02p

Free-agent C Stefen Wisniewski (Raiders) signed a one-year deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday, April 18. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Ryan JensenApr 17 05:02p

Baltimore Ravens exclusive rights free-agent TE Phillip Supernaw, SS Brynden Trawick, CB Rashaan Melvin and OT Ryan Jensen re-signed with the team Friday, April 17. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

Adrian PetersonApr 17 12:42p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said earlier this week that he's not sure if he'll participate in the team's offseason program. Minnesota is set to start their offseason workouts [ More ]

Adrian PetersonApr 16 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson will not receive any further suspension after he is reinstated from the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Adrian PetersonApr 16 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has been informed that he will be reinstated from the commissioner exempt list starting Friday, April 17.

Sammy WatkinsApr 15 11:33p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (hip) is able to work out in some capacity during the team's offseason program, although head coach Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday, April 15, that [ More ]

Kai ForbathApr 15 10:53p

Washington Redskins restricted free-agent PK Kai Forbath posted on social media Wednesday, April 15, that he has re-signed with the team. The club has not yet confirmed the signing.

George JohnsonApr 15 08:33a

Detroit Lions DE George Johnson was acquired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, April 15. Tampa signed Johnson to an offer sheet that was disputed by Detroit, but the [ More ]

Philip RiversApr 15 12:13a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is under contract for one more season, and he has expressed a desire to play out his deal. However, the Chargers might be [ More ]

Josh GordyApr 14 06:03p

Free-agent CB Josh Gordy (Colts) signed a veteran minimum deal with the New York Giants Tuesday, April 14, according to a source.

Ricardo LocketteApr 14 05:23p

Seattle Seahawks WR Ricardo Lockette signed his exclusive-rights tender Tuesday, April 14.

Ike TaylorApr 14 09:32a

Free-agent CB Ike Taylor (Steelers) announced his retirement Tuesday, April 14.

Wade SmithApr 14 02:12a

Free-agent OG Wade Smith (Eagles) announced his retirement after 12 years in the National Football League.

Michael CrabtreeApr 14 01:13a

The Oakland Raiders are giving free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) a one-year, $3 million deal with another $2 million in incentives, a source said Monday, April 13.

Eben BrittonApr 14 01:03a

Free-agent OT Eben Britton (Bears) has been suspended four games by the NFL for an unspecified violation.

Matt ForteApr 13 08:02p

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte was not present for the start of the offseason workouts Monday, April 13, according to sources. Forte is entering the final year of his [ More ]

Cody LatimerApr 13 08:02p

Denver Broncos WR Cody Latimer, who is expected to line up across from WR Demaryius Thomas in 2015, has been praised by WR Emmanuel Sanders, who figures to move [ More ]

Joe MaysApr 13 04:32p

Free-agent LB Joe Mays (Chiefs) signed an undisclosed deal with the New York Jets Monday, April 13.

Zackary BowmanApr 13 02:22p

Free-agent CB Zack Bowman (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the Miami Dolphins Monday, April 13.

Sean RichardsonApr 13 02:02p

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson will remain with the Packers after the team decided to match the one-year, $2.55 million offer he signed with the Oakland Raiders, according to a source.

Sean RichardsonApr 12 10:02a

Green Bay Packers restricted free-agent SS Sean Richardson signed an offer sheet with the Oakland Raiders, and the Packers have until Monday, April 13, to inform him if they [ More ]

Jason CampbellApr 12 07:02a

Free-agent QB Jason Campbell (Bengals) is considering retirement, according to sources close to the team. Campbell has rejected multiple opportunities to sign a contract for 2015, including offers from [ More ]

James CaseyApr 11 01:02p

Free-agent TE James Casey (Eagles) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Saturday, April 11. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Johnny ManzielApr 11 12:22p

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has been released from his rehab facility.

Victor ButlerApr 10 03:22p

New York Giants LB Victor Butler has been suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancing drugs.

Anthony SpencerApr 10 01:12p

Free-agent DE Anthony Spencer (Cowboys) signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints Friday, April 10. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Charles TillmanApr 9 04:02p

Free-agent CB Charles Tillman (Bears) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Thursday, April 9. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rob HouslerApr 9 12:42p

Free-agent TE Rob Housler (Cardinals) has agreed to terms with the Cleveland Browns on a one-year deal, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Le'Veon BellApr 9 09:52a

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell was suspended three games and fined an additional game check after violating the league's substance abuse policy, according to league sources. He has appealed.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group