Hartman: Vikings' Allen ponders life without Williams

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2013 - 12:23 AM

One is a Vikings defensive end, the other a defensive tackle, and both could leave through free agency.

Jared Allen can’t understand why the media continue to report that this will be his final season with the Vikings because he is a free agent.

Allen definitely will take less money to stay with the Vikings, and I know for sure that the Vikings will make every effort to sign Allen, who still is one of the best pass rushers in the league.

Like Allen, Kevin Williams also will be a free agent at the end of this season. One reason the Vikings defense has played better the past two weeks is that Williams has played some of his best football.

Allen talked Thursday about his experience playing with Williams.

“Kevin is like my brother, man, he is just always there,” Allen said. “He’s a constant pro. He’s always where he’s supposed to be when he’s supposed to be, on and off the field. The dude plays through injuries year in and year out, not a complainer. He just does his job time in and time out and does it at a consistent level.”

Allen was asked if he thinks about playing next season without Williams, either because of retirement or free agency.

“Obviously it goes through your mind, but like I said a million times this year, I can’t cross that bridge now, no sense thinking about it now,” Allen said. “I don’t know where his life is going to go, he obviously doesn’t know mine. We have four more weeks together, and that’s for sure unless the world ends tomorrow or something like that happens to us.

“We just take it day by day and just enjoy the experience of being a team. The NFL is a definite blessing. Nothing is guaranteed in this league, and I think that’s why he is the way he is. He understands it doesn’t matter what you’ve done, you have to continue to work and fight.”

Allen talked about Williams’ consistency and how special it is.

“I think that’s the difference: A lot of guys in this league have one good year; he has been playing at a high level for 11 years,” Allen said. “He’s a great one, in my mind. When I think of the term great football player, that’s what comes to mind is Kevin Williams. He’s just consistent in practice, consistent in his preparation, consistent in his play. To be consistent you have to be here, and the dude is always here. He plays through everything.”

This the sixth season together for Allen and Williams.

“Unfortunately our league has such a high turnover rate that you don’t always get to stay in contact with guys,” Allen said. “You get to know guys in this setting, and sometimes you’re around guys so much at work here that when you go home it’s just like, ‘I need a break.’ Kevin is one of those guys that I’ll speak with the rest of my life.

“In this league I’ve only made a handful of relationships that I stay in contact after you part ways. He’ll definitely be one of those guys.”

Defense improves

Allen was asked Thursday why the Vikings have played better the past two weeks, tying the Green Bay Packers and beating the Chicago Bears.

“Just being more consistent,” he said. “We’re better on third downs, a lot better on third down.

“We still have to limit the big plays and try to be more consistent tackling, but you know [stopping the] run game still needs to improve. Again I think a lot of that comes off the big play, or two big plays maybe. But I can’t fingerpoint one thing or the other.”

If the defense can play as well as it has recently, the Vikings could score an upset win over Baltimore on Sunday.

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