Wide receiver Williamson is on own vision quest

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 23, 2007 - 12:40 AM

A trip to Nike headquarters revealed that his right eye is weaker than his left.

Players trickled into the locker room following the Vikings' first offseason practice until only Troy Williamson, a young assistant coach and a Jugs machine were left.

"This isn't working," Williamson said to the young assistant while trying to catch deep balls launched into a stiff, swirling wind. "It's crazy out here today. You got one of these machines inside?"

Moments later, Williamson, the seventh overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, was on his way inside to catch even more balls. It's become a daily routine, his way of dealing with the team-high 11 dropped passes he had in 14 games last season.

"I've caught about 13,000 balls in the three months since I've been back from Nike," said Williamson, referring to his two-day evaluation by Nike vision consultant Alan Reichow at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

"[Receivers coach George Stewart] keeps track of all that stuff, and the other day he asked me how many balls I thought I had caught since Nike. I was going to say about 1,500. But it was 13,000. That's a lot. But I'm a professional. I want to conduct myself as a professional by taking this thing seriously."

Williamson revealed Tuesday that Reichow -- or "Uncle Al," as Williamson now calls him -- determined that the receiver's right eye is weaker than his left. Reichow's evaluation included tests that judged hand-eye coordination, eye movements and eye strength from different angles.

"Looking straight ahead, my eyes are 20-20," Williamson said. "But, as Uncle Al says, the eye is really more complicated than you think. So they tested me on different gazes as I'm looking at a ball to catch it. That's when they determined that my right eye was weaker."

Reichow prescribed a set of drills designed to strengthen Williamson's right eye. Nike has not returned calls to the Star Tribune, and Vikings coach Brad Childress has avoided talking about Williamson's Nike experience in detail.

"It's stuff that we're trying to keep under tabs, trying not to let too much stuff get out," Williamson said. "The drills and stuff are confidential, but I will say it's an ongoing process. I'm not finished yet, and there's more stuff I'm working with. But so far it's a lot of work and it really, really helps."

Williamson's eyes won't be retested at Nike headquarters until mid-June, but he said his right eye feels stronger and he is seeing the ball more clearly when he looks over his right shoulder. Whether that transfers to the field this fall, Williamson will have to wait and see.

"All I can do is put in my time and do what I need to do to get myself better and my confidence back up," Williamson said. "I have to practice every day and make the routine plays over and over, and the big plays, too, when it's time. And then I can be the player that they expected me to be when they drafted me that high."

Williamson has only 61 catches and two touchdowns in 26 NFL games. He had 37 catches and no touchdowns last season.

The Vikings have at least two ties to the Nike evaluation process. Alan Reichow is the son of Jerry Reichow, who has been with the Vikings as a player or member of the scouting department since 1961. And before the 1994 season, then-Vikings receiver Jake Reed visited Nike. He caught 85 balls that season.

"At first, I was like, 'I don't know if this stuff will work,' " Williamson said. "I mean I had my eyes checked before and they were 20-20. But when Coach Childress called me with the idea, I said I was fine with it. I'm OK with anything. But this has really surprised me. It's really good stuff. And it's working."

  • related content

  • Vikings: Winfield misses optional workout

    Tuesday May 22, 2007

    The absence of the reliable cornerback caused no worries, but it did touch on the issue of his contract satisfaction.

  • Taylor: Peterson's arrival no bother to him

    Tuesday May 22, 2007

    In his first public comments since last month's NFL draft, veteran Chester Taylor expressed no concern about the fact the Vikings used the seventh overall selection on fellow running back...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters



Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon




question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question