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singersp
11-04-2005, 07:13 AM
Vikings: Pat Williams: Escaping life's realities 3 hours at a time

Pat Williams has been playing at a Pro Bowl level, despite the fact his thoughts often are many miles away with his sick father.
Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
Last update: November 3, 2005 at 9:17 PM

Sunday afternoons serve as Pat Williams' time of refuge. For three hours, the Vikings nose tackle can take out the anger, sadness and grief that has been part of his life for most waking hours since Oct. 19.

It was on that day, Williams received the phone call from home telling him his father, Mayfield, had suffered a stroke. Mayfield, who is only in his mid-50s, has been hospitalized in a coma since then in Monroe, La.

"He's still really bad," Pat Williams said Thursday. "I'm just trying to stay here, stay focused and stuff. . . . But it's real hard. Like I'll be thinking about that all the time but they are just trying to keep me focused around here. That's why I've got friends."

Already dealing with the heartache of seeing his native Louisiana hit by Hurricane Katrina, Williams now finds himself trying to concentrate on his responsibilities as a football player while dealing with the overwhelming sadness of knowing his father might never wake up.

Williams has flown home twice, with the blessing of the Vikings, to visit. He could have gone again this week but won't.

"I don't think I could take it one more week going home because it's been kind of hard on me," he said. "Just seeing him there."

The sadness in Williams' eyes is such that when the 6-3, 317-pound man refers to himself as the baby of his family -- he's the youngest of five children -- the words don't seem strange despite his giant stature.

While Williams looks to his family for comfort, it's his family that marvels at what he has been able to accomplish on the two Sundays since Mayfield fell ill. In that time, Pat Williams has 12 tackles, two quarterback hurries, a pass broken up and has made life miserable for opponents. Williams, 33, actually has been doing that for the past three games since the Vikings switched to a 3-4 defense.

"My family doesn't know how I do it," Williams said. "Concentrate going back and forth and then playing good on Sundays, too. . . . [But I get] all the pressure out, my anger and everything. I leave it on the field."

Williams easily has been the best of the five major offseason acquisitions the Vikings made on defense. Signed to a three-year, $13 million deal after eight seasons in Buffalo, he is second on the team with 40 tackles and also has a sack and six quarterback hurries.

"I can't picture too many nose tackles playing better than he is right now," defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said.

Neither can Williams.

"I think I'm the best nose tackle in the league because I can run," said Williams, dubbed "track legs" by some teammates because of the athletic build of his lower body. "There isn't any nose tackle playing like me because nose and three-techniques are different. Everybody can't play nose. I watch film all the time of guys who are at nose and are getting blown out of there."

Williams dismisses suggestions the switch to the 3-4 is why he's playing so well and said the key to his success is that he simply doesn't respect any centers no matter what their credentials. "I figure I'll destroy every guy that gets in front of me," he said.

Williams did exactly that for most of his Oct. 16 matchup against four-time Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz of Chicago. That accomplishment left Williams unimpressed.

"I don't respect none of them, it don't matter who it is," he said. "The media wants to blow them up, they go to Pro Bowls, you all want to bump the guy up. Kreutz, he ain't nothing but a joke. He's been a big joke since he came in the league. I've never respected that guy."

It's clear Williams' respect is reserved for his father, a man never far from his thoughts.

"I'm playing for everybody," Williams said when asked about his motivation. "Like when I go on the field on Sunday I'll be thinking about him. So I'm playing for everybody. This is all heart."

Mr. Purple
11-04-2005, 07:52 AM
I love phat pat! My prayers go out to his father and his family.

gregair13
11-04-2005, 08:11 AM
well now we know why he is playing so damn good. i really hope he makes it into the pro bowl. he, so far, deserves to be there. and hey, mabye we can rally around this for fat pat and get into the playoffs...

hawaiianvike21
11-04-2005, 11:31 AM
I dont think kreutz is a joke, hes one hell of a center that knows how to get low and use his leverage to ward off most dt's. If any center is a joke it has to be cory withrow. He just cant do the job what so ever.

SamDawg84
11-04-2005, 03:04 PM
man pat is funny lol. but i think kruetz is not a joke. but he did suck vs the fat pat-anator lol

SamDawg84
11-04-2005, 03:41 PM
Pat can talk some smack too! Kruetz ain't a joke though.. He is a very solid center..

ultravikingfan
11-04-2005, 04:10 PM
"SamDawg84" wrote:

Pat can talk some smack too! Kruetz ain't a joke though.. He is a very solid center..

Gotta give credit where it is due. Kruetz is the best center in the NFC, maybe the NFL.

V4L
11-04-2005, 04:37 PM
"ultravikingfan" wrote:

"SamDawg84" wrote:

Pat can talk some smack too! Kruetz ain't a joke though.. He is a very solid center..

Gotta give credit where it is due. Kruetz is the best center in the NFC, maybe the NFL.


True dat Ultra.. With Birk and Mawae done for the season I'd say right now he is the best in the NFL.. No comes close right now.. If Mawae and Birk were back it would be a toss up i'd say.. He is in the top 3 though

Vikes
11-04-2005, 04:53 PM
Pat Williams plays hard every game. No grips about Pat.

ShanePurpleBlood
11-04-2005, 05:10 PM
Big Pat is the man. I hope he continues to do well in the 4-3 when we run it. It seems like Pat does good in 3-4 and Kevin does good in 4-3. I hope his father gets better.

Jviking
11-04-2005, 06:04 PM
Gotta love pat he is the best additon we have made. I hope his father recovers and I truly feel for he and his family.

singersp
11-04-2005, 08:34 PM
"ShanePurpleBlood" wrote:

Big Pat is the man. I hope he continues to do well in the 4-3 when we run it. It seems like Pat does good in 3-4 and Kevin does good in 4-3. I hope his father gets better.

Maybe we need to go to a 3.5-3.5 defense then! :lol:

cajunvike
11-04-2005, 09:13 PM
And where is he from? Louisiana...yeah that's right, Louisiana! Go Phat Pat...REPRESENTIN'!!!

SharperVikings
11-04-2005, 10:55 PM
"gregair13" wrote:

well now we know why he is playing so gol 'darnit good. i really hope he makes it into the pro bowl. he, so far, deserves to be there. and hey, mabye we can rally around this for fat pat and get into the playoffs...
Hopefully we do make it into the playoffs by winning the NFC North..but if we do make it, hopefully johnson doesnt take over starting over pep! We will make it to the playoffs if we can run the ball effectively, and play dang good defense..