Alan Williams is a name that’s not often brought up when talking about the success of the Minnesota Vikings in 2012. The new defensive coordinator took over for a unit that was one of the NFL‘s statistical worst in 2011.
Last summer he made headlines when he revealed the Vikings would use more of a hockey philosophy, specifically on the defensive line. Meaning, that he would rotate more players in and out to help keep everyone fresh. Jared Allen was not the biggest fan of this at first, but I would argue that the change in philosophy worked.
Players like DE Everson Griffen and DT Christian Ballard played many more snaps this year, and Griffen especially made the most of his time. It looks like he could be a future star pass rusher, and some of that credit must go to Williams for giving him the playing time.
The Vikings have a winner with Williams. He’s from the Tony Dungy coaching tree, and he no doubt is fully committed running the famous Tampa-2 scheme in Minnesota.
I expect the Minnesota defense to only get better in the coming years, especially if Williams sticks around. It’s a unit that has turned the corner after a couple of down seasons, and there are still many key players in their primes that should be around for awhile.
Williams is the right man for the job, and if the Vikings play their cards right in free agency and in the draft, this could be one of the best units in the NFC next season.
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