Hartman: New Vikings defensive coordinator has great coaching roots

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 16, 2012 - 11:00 PM

Alan Williams, who got his NFL shot from Tony Dungy, is in charge of turning around the Vikings defense.

hide

Vikings defensive coordinator Alan Williams

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

After going 3-13 last year, Leslie Frazier and his assistant coaches are all on the spot to show that the Vikings can post a much better record in 2012.

There were several coaching changes from last season on defense. The Vikings hired defensive coordinator Alan Williams; moved defensive coordinator Fred Pagac to linebackers coach, where he shares duties with Mike Singletary; and fired defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, who is now with the Jets, and hired Brendan Daly as his replacement.

When moves like that are made, it means that maybe ownership wasn't satisfied with the job being done -- and certainly the head coach wasn't, either.

Last season the Vikings ranked 21st in the NFL in total defense, giving up 358.2 yards per game. Oddly enough, that was still second-best in the NFC North behind only the Bears (17th overall, 350.4 yards per game). The Lions were 23rd at 367.6 and the Packers were dead last in the league at 411.6 yards per game.

But despite holding opponents to fewer yards than some of their division rivals, the Vikings were 31st in the NFL in points allowed per game with 28.1, in front of only the Buccaneers' 30.9.

So both of the new defensive coaches are certainly on the spot, especially Williams, who was highly recommended by former Colts coach Tony Dungy, who knows Frazier well.

Williams worked for Dungy at both Tampa Bay and Indianapolis. Dungy believes Williams will turn the Vikings defense around from last year.

"I was coaching the Tampa Bay Bucs, and [former Vikings defensive coordinator] Mike Tomlin recommended him to me," Dungy recalled. "We were looking for a guy to come in and help with our secondary. He and Mike went to school together at William & Mary. Alan is very, very bright, hard working, energetic guy, very sharp. He coached our defensive backs all the way from 2001 to Indianapolis all the way through the Super Bowl years there.

"He's like Mike Tomlin in a lot of ways in terms of his football knowledge and his ability to communicate. Not as fiery, not as outgoing as Mike, but just very, very smart and sharp and a good communicator."

Tomlin, of course, left the Vikings to become the Super Bowl-winning coach of the Steelers.

As for Williams, Dungy said Frazier and Williams worked well together for two years in Indianapolis and played a big part in developing some star defensive players.

"Bob Sanders, Marlin Jackson, Kelvin Hayden were some young defensive backs that helped us go to the Super Bowl," Dungy said. "Alan really did a great job of developing. He's a good teacher. I think he's going to do great things [for the Vikings].

"When we got [to Indianapolis], we kind of revamped the secondary. We had some veteran guys -- Nick Harper was kind of our standout -- but every year, we drafted guys and by the time we got to the Super Bowl definitely Bob Sanders and Mike Doss were really young guys, Big Ten guys, Iowa and Ohio State, and Alan did a good job of developing them.

"[In 2005,] the year before we got to the Super Bowl, we drafted Marlin Jackson and Kelvin Hayden No. 1 and No.  2, Marlin was at Michigan and Kelvin was from Illinois, so we had kind of an All-Big Ten secondary, and they were all young guys, and Alan did a great job of turning them into a Super Bowl-winning unit."

Dungy also pointed out that Williams was able to learn a lot of things from members of the Tampa Bay staff who went on to become head coaches, such as Tomlin, Herm Edwards, Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli, as well as from one of the great defensive coordinators in Monte Kiffin, now working for his son Lane at Southern California.

"We had quite a defensive crew as a matter of fact, so Alan learned from some really good ones," said Dungy, who has all the confidence in both Frazier's ability to becoming a winning NFL coach and in Williams' ability to turn the Vikings defense around.

New blackout policy

The Vikings' new ticket sales policy with regards to television broadcasts should mean that the team won't have another blackout in the Metrodome before moving to their new stadium.

The last time the Vikings were blacked out was in the 1997 home finale, but they have struggled several times in the past two years to make sure that their games were sold out and able to be televised in accordance to league rules.

But the NFL altered their blackout model this offseason so that teams could decide what percentage of tickets, from 85-100 percent, had to be sold in order for the local broadcasts to air. The Vikings have decided on a 90 percent sales base for broadcasting, which means some 6,000 fewer seats have to be sold than in years past in order for the game to be on TV.

Jotings

 Class AAA Rochester's Esmerling Vasquez, a 28-year-old pitcher the Twins selected off waivers from the Diamondbacks last year, has thrown 18 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, with eight hits, seven walks and 21 strikeouts. He had a seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance Wednesday. He spent the past three seasons in Arizona as a reliever, posting a 4.66 ERA over 137 innings. His last full season as a starter was 2007, when in 29 starts at Class AA Mobile he had a 2.99 ERA in 165 1/3 innings. He made 15 starts in 2008 but didn't start again until this year for Rochester.

• Twins lefthander Scott Diamond is 6-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 10 starts at Target Field this season. ... The Twins might have the worst record in the American League, but after Wednesday's game, they led the major leagues with 120 double plays.

• Former Gophers righthander and Colorado Rockies 11th-round draft pick T.J. Oakes left his start for Class A Tri-City at Eugene after recording only two outs Wednesday, reportedly because of an undisclosed injury. The first-team All-Big Ten selection and son of Gophers pitching coach Todd Oakes is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA in 10 minor league starts. His father, who is ill with leukemia, is preparing to have a bone marrow transplant, hopefully later this month.

• Rochester Century product Mitch Brown earned his first professional victory Wednesday, pitching five no-hit innings with two walks and five strikeouts for the Indians' rookie Arizona League team in an 8-1 victory over the Royals. The second-round draft pick (No. 79 overall) in June is 1-0 with a 2.75 ERA in six starts, but Wednesday's game was the first in which he pitched at least five innings.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 Top 5th Inning
Washington 3
Boston 6:05 PM
Minnesota
Toronto 6:05 PM
Baltimore
Oklahoma City 7:00 PM
Chicago
Dallas 9:30 PM
Portland
Calgary 6:00 PM
Boston
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 6:00 PM
Washington
Toronto 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Dallas 6:30 PM
Florida
NY Islanders 7:00 PM
Nashville
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 6:00 PM
Bucknell
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Navy 6:00 PM
Colgate
Temple 6:00 PM
East Carolina
UAB 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Lafayette
American Univ 6:00 PM
Lehigh
Wisconsin 6:00 PM
Minnesota
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Saint Peters
Arkansas 6:00 PM
South Carolina
Morehead State 6:00 PM
UT Martin
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
North Florida
Southern Ill 6:05 PM
Missouri State
Texas State 6:30 PM
Appalachian St
SC State 6:30 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Delaware State 6:30 PM
Coppin State
Middle Tennessee 6:30 PM
FIU
Texas-Arlington 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Norfolk State 6:30 PM
Hampton
NC A&T 6:30 PM
NC Central
Savannah State 7:00 PM
Florida A&M
Southern Miss 7:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Georgia State 7:00 PM
ULM
Marshall 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Rice 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ark-Little Rock 7:15 PM
Louisiana
South Alabama 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
Alabama State 7:30 PM
Grambling St
Alabama A&M 7:30 PM
Jackson State
Sam Houston St 7:30 PM
Lamar
Central Arkansas 7:30 PM
Nicholls
Portland State 7:30 PM
Northern Ariz
Southern U 7:30 PM
Prairie View
Alcorn State 7:30 PM
Texas Southern
Houston Baptist 7:30 PM
TX A&M-CC
SE Louisiana 7:45 PM
New Orleans
California 8:00 PM
Arizona
Eastern Ill 8:00 PM
Belmont
Memphis 8:00 PM
Connecticut
VA Commonwealth 8:00 PM
Davidson
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Marist 8:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Southern Utah
Northwestern St 8:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
North Texas 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 8:00 PM
Washington
Idaho 8:00 PM
Weber State
Abilene Christian 8:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Eastern Wash 8:05 PM
Idaho State
Bradley 8:35 PM
Drake
Cal State Fullerton 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
CS-Northridge 9:00 PM
Long Beach State
UC Riverside 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Stanford 10:00 PM
Arizona State
Utah 10:00 PM
Washington St
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
Arizona 54 2nd Half 3:48
UCLA 65
SC State 41 2nd Half 11:42
Bethune-Cookman 34
Delaware State 45 2nd Half 6:23
Coppin State 66
Portland 31 2nd Half 12:35
Santa Clara 46
Norfolk State 27 2nd Half 10:40
Hampton 42
NC A&T 45 2nd Half 14:13
NC Central 21
Savannah State 40 2nd Half
Florida A&M 23
Virginia Tech 19 2nd Half
Pittsburgh 17
Central Arkansas 20 2nd Half
Nicholls 33
Houston Baptist 29 2nd Half
TX A&M-CC 42
Gardner-Webb 33 2nd Half
Radford 19
Georgia 32 2nd Half
Missouri 27
Old Dominion 26 2nd Half
Marshall 28
Ark-Little Rock 31 2nd Half
Louisiana 23
South Alabama 31 2nd Half
Arkansas State 34
Georgia State 21 1st Half 3:15
ULM 26
Sam Houston St 5:30 PM
Lamar
SE Louisiana 5:30 PM
New Orleans
Northwestern St 5:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Alabama A&M 5:30 PM
Jackson State
Southern U 5:30 PM
Prairie View
Alabama State 11 1st Half 12:00
Grambling 11
Alcorn State 16 1st Half 9:01
Texas Southern 21
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 11 1st Half 10:31
Mercer 15
Abilene Christian 6:00 PM
Incarnate Word
La Salle 6:00 PM
Rhode Island
Illinois 6:00 PM
Nebraska
TX-San Antonio 6:00 PM
Rice
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
Oakland
Missouri State 6:05 PM
Indiana State
Georgia Tech 7:00 PM
(15) North Carolina
Presbyterian 7:00 PM
High Point
Charlotte 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Florida Atlantic 7:00 PM
UAB
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
North Texas
Wichita State 7:00 PM
Evansville
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Bradley 7:05 PM
Drake
Vanderbilt 7:30 PM
(12) Kentucky
Colorado 8:00 PM
USC
San Francisco 8:00 PM
Pacific
FIU 8:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
Weber State 8:00 PM
Idaho
Purdue 8:25 PM
Minnesota
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Long Beach St 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Hawaii 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Northern Ariz 9:00 PM
Portland State
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
Sacramento St
Utah 10:30 PM
Washington
BYU 10:30 PM
St Marys-CA
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: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close