Guion's growing up while slowing down

  • Article by: KENT YOUNGBLOOD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 6, 2011 - 3:18 PM

The fourth-year pro will replace Kevin Williams for two games at DT, after maturing and doing more film study.


Letroy Guion (right)

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Letroy Guion has slowed down in order to speed up.

Just give him a minute, and it will all make sense. Guion believes he is about to enter his fourth pro season a far different player -- and, he suggests, person -- than he was as a 20-year-old, fifth-round draft pick coming out of Florida State early. And the key was slowing down.

Off the field, that is.

"I just slowed my life down a little bit," Guion said after practice Monday. It was a short workout and a cool day, but Guion was sweating hard after it was over. "I just started paying more attention."

When he says slowing down, what he likely means is taking his time, especially in meetings and with film. Guion paid more attention in the former and watched more of the latter.

He'll need both. With Kevin Williams serving a two-game suspension, Guion will be taking his place as a starting defensive tackle. As such, he represents a lot of what the 2011 Vikings will be about -- trusting younger players to take a step up. As Jared Allen pointed out, he is the only person currently starting on the defensive line who started last season's finale.

"Not having Kevin here sucks," Allen said. "It really does. But we have guys. Guion has been here, he knows the level of play we expect of him. ... We have to move forward. Hopefully we'll get through the first two weeks, then welcome [Williams] back."

As a rookie, Guion was inactive for 15 of 17 games, spending the season watching and learning from Kevin and Pat Williams. By the end of year two, Guion had seen action in only nine games.

Things started changing last season. Getting into a limited rotation at defensive tackle, Guion had 16 tackles (12 solo) and two sacks. Still, he was a work in progress.

Guion came to camp this fall a little thicker and stronger, now over 300 pounds at 6-4. As the preseason progressed, coach Leslie Frazier noted Guion's obvious maturation.

His teammates noticed it, too.

"He's definitely maturing," Allen said. "Think about it. He's still a young kid. He came out a couple years early. He's developing. We work on a lot of technique here. ... He's naturally strong, gifted, athletic. When he gets his technique working on all cylinders, he's a tough dude to deal with."

Guion flashed his skills in the preseason. In the second preseason game in Seattle, he had a hand in three of four stops during a goal-line stand that started at the Vikings 2 near the end of the first quarter. He got the tackle on first down and got great push on fourth down during the stand.

"It's more about knowing formations," Guion said of playing the run. "You know, playing the double-teams, knowing the zone plays, just knowing what you're seeing and reacting to it."

What he sees now is opportunity. How will he react?

"He came in young, but he's made gains year after year," defensive end Brian Robison said. "We're ready to see what he can do in these first two weeks."

So is Guion. "It will be exciting," he said. "I'm looking forward to it."

  • related content

  • Vikings' Greenway: The $41 million man

    Tuesday September 6, 2011

    Chad Greenway grew up playing nine-man football in South Dakota. Now the LB is the new $41 million man.

  • Ponder is No. 2 quarterback for opener

    Tuesday September 6, 2011

    It wasn't a ringing endorsement or a commitment beyond this week, but coach Leslie Frazier said rookie Christian Ponder will be the No. 2 quarterback when the Vikings open the...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland - LP: T. House 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
Cincinnati 0
Kansas City 0 Postponed
Chicago WSox 0
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 9 FINAL
Oakland - LP: K. Graveman 3
NY Mets - WP: M. Harvey 8 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia 2
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 8
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: E. Frieri 4
Atlanta - WP: S. Miller 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 2
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Matusz 5
St. Louis - WP: M. Belisle 5 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 3
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 1
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 5 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Brown 4
Los Angeles - WP: B. McCarthy 11 FINAL
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 8
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: V. Pestano 4
Minnesota - WP: T. Stauffer 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 5
Atlanta 83 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Chicago 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 92
Golden State 109 FINAL
New Orleans 98
Memphis 115 FINAL
Portland 109
Washington 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Detroit 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay 0
Nashville 3 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
Calgary 7
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Columbus 4
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
New England 4
Sporting Kansas City 4 FINAL
Houston 4
Vancouver FC 1
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters






question of the day

Poll: Where will Adrian Peterson be playing in 2015?

Weekly Question