Vikings' new hire Williams not rushing things

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 26, 2012 - 6:52 AM

In his first week on the job, Alan Williams is focusing on what needs to be done in the present rather than on specific details that can wait for the future.

The Senior Bowl will provide a chance for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier to observe his new staff, including new defensive coordinator Alan Williams (right).

Photo: Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

MOBILE, ALA. - Go ahead. Fire the direct questions at Alan Williams. He knows they're coming.

As the new Vikings defensive coordinator, Williams understands it's imperative he establish a voice. And soon.

It's his turn now to plot the master plan for a defensive rebirth. But only if he can successfully pick off the myriad questions that have greeted him at the doorstep of his new job.

So about that NFL coaching experience, those 10 consecutive seasons working with defensive backs in Indianapolis ... What took the 42-year-old so long to move on and move up?

"People can easily forget why you coach," Williams said. "You coach to win championships. You coach to help people improve. And that's what I was doing in Indianapolis. There's a fulfillment to that. I don't know that anyone gets into coaching with a narrow focus of 'I just want to move up.' For 10 years, Indy fit my needs. We were winning. I was developing good players. So I stayed."

OK, but with this new opportunity in Minnesota, now what? How will the new defensive setup work, with Williams holding the title as coordinator but coach Leslie Frazier vowing to be heavily involved -- like a driver's ed instructor with his own steering wheel and brake pedal?

"We're a long way from finalizing that," Williams said. "But I can say I have no reservations -- none -- about Les having input. He's a terrific communicator. And he's a coach who no matter the talent of a guy, when they finish up with him, they're better."

Oh, and one other trivial footnote -- only because it's bound to come up eventually. With Williams dwarfed by his defensive players at this week's Senior Bowl, just how tall is he really?

"Five-seven and three-quarters," he asserted. "Plus I'm still waiting to see if there might be a late growth spurt."

For a little guy in a behemoth's world, he hopes for a coaching growth spurt, too.

Plus, for all the recent coordinator changes across the NFL, Williams is the only one who has had this Senior Bowl experience to assert himself and begin establishing coaching chemistry.

"That is as important as what we're going to do with our players in the fall," Frazier said. "Because they'll really follow our lead as coaches. So this is a chance for Alan to get a head start on OTAs and minicamps. ... I think this gives us a leg up as a staff as we're trying to develop and really chart the course for where we want to be from a defensive standpoint."

With that head start, Williams has promised not to rush ahead, affixing a four-word philosophy to his Senior Bowl work: "Be where we're at."

So if you're looking for details into what exactly he plans to do schematically, if you're curious as to how he perceives the Vikings depth chart, that research barely has begun.

"This is crucial for me: Be where we're at," Williams said. "Right now, we're at the Senior Bowl. So we need to take care of our responsibilities in this environment and focus directly on evaluating these guys. That way, when it comes time to make some big decisions in the draft, we've put our work in."

In the week since hiring Williams, Frazier has reminded his protégé to look at this as a clean slate, to recognize the Vikings personnel and system but to offer fresh ideas, new wrinkles and a distinct philosophy.

Williams said he will offer a similar message to Vikings players, discarding reputations, shoveling dirt on 2011 and promising a new opportunity for guys to prove themselves.

"The slate is clean," he said. "I think the worst thing I could do is have preconceived notions of who someone is as a player. Especially now. Time is on our side. So why not do my due diligence?"

Yes, those big initial questions -- Williams' inexperience as a coordinator, his yet-to-be-specified authority and heck, even the height thing -- likely will be discussed until hard-copy results materialize.

But during his first week on the job, Williams is earning the confidence of his assistants.

Said defensive backs coach Joe Woods: "All players want to know are the things you can teach them to help them make plays. That's it. They don't care who you are. If you get in front of that room and you spit knowledge and they know you know what you're talking about, that's all that matters. I don't care if it's a rookie or Jared Allen, your knowledge and your ability to teach breeds respect. Alan has that."

  • related content

  • QBs' intangibles impress assistant

    Wednesday January 25, 2012

    The Vikings aren't in the market for quarterbacks this offseason. But they have three interesting prospects with which to work on the North team at this week's Senior Bowl: Wisconsin's...

  • VIKINGS DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR ALAN WILLIAMS

    Senior Bowl: 3 p.m. Saturday at Mobile, Ala. • TV: NFL Network

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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 NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close