Kevin Williams, the Vikings defensive tackle who just had his contract restructured for 2013, found no fault last season in alternating with another defensive tackle, unlike teammate and defensive end Jared Allen, who wanted to be on the field for every defensive play.
“Alternating, oh, it took a minute to get used to, but it helps you stay fresh during the game. It will help in the long run, being older,” Williams said.
Talking about how having younger players helped them turn around the team’s 3-13 record in 2011 to 10-6 and into the playoffs in 2012, Williams said: “We’re not as heavily laden with older guys and experience. We have a lot of young guys we counted on this year and they’ve played well for us.”
Williams, 32, said he believed he had a good season and definitely wanted to stay here. He was originally going to be paid $7.5 million in 2013 but it wasn’t guaranteed. Now he will get paid $4.9 million and it will be guaranteed, with a $100,000 workout bonus.
• The Vikings report for their organized team activities Monday and while it’s not mandatory, coach Leslie Frazier is hoping everybody shows up. It will be interesting to see which players don’t. In the past some key players, such as center Matt Birk and wide receiver Percy Harvin, haven’t attended.
• Former Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith hasn’t hired any of his former Gophers coaches to work with him at his new position at Texas Tech, but Smith is set to hire TCU assistant Alvin “Pooh” Williams, who played for Smith at Tulsa in the early 1990s. Smith did hire Steve Goodson, who was special assistant to the coach at Minnesota. The Gophers wanted to keep Woodson on Pitino’s staff, but Goodson chose to stay with Smith.
• Former Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe pulled out of the Portsmouth Invitational tournament but continues to train in Atlanta as he gets ready for the NBA draft. Most analysts have Mbakwe as a potential second-round pick, along with teammate Rodney Williams. Chad Ford, writing on ESPN.com, said, “Mbakwe and Williams both look like pros. Mbakwe will never be a star, but his toughness should get him a spot somewhere in the league.”
• The Twins’ four top prospects are Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Oswaldo Arcia and Eddie Rosario, and they are all dominating in the minor leagues. At high Class A Fort Myers, Sano is hitting .413 with four home runs and 12 RBI and Rosario is hitting .388 with one home run and six RBI. At low Class A Cedar Rapids, Buxton is hitting .474 with two home runs and nine RBI. And Arcia, who is back up with the Twins for a second time in a week, was hitting .394 with three home runs and eight RBI for Class AAA Rochester.
Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on 830-AM at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. email@example.com