Pat Williams (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)
Pat Williams had been considering retirement the last two years, but he says he’s ready to play for a couple more years. He’s hoping that will be in Minnesota.
Pat Williams was doing one of the things he does best on the players’ off-day Tuesday – putting smiles on the faces of children during a Vikings visit at Children’s Hospital and Clinics in Minneapolis.
But, while he was all about hanging out with the kids on Tuesday, he still has plans to hang out with the boys in the Vikings locker room. Already the NFL’s oldest defensive player at age 38, he plans to be a defensive version of Brett Favre. While the Vikings are having a depressing season, Big Pat said he’s ready to give another shot next year … and potentially beyond.
“I’ll play (next season),” Williams said. “(I’ve) talked about it, thought about it. I’m still feeling good, I’m still playing good and the game part is easy. So I’m still going to play.”
The bigger question may be this: Is Minnesota where he wants to finish his career? A free agent following the season, there is likely to be interest in him from a few teams that are looking for a big run-stuffer. But, when push comes to shove, if he has his way, Williams will stay in his Winter Park rocking chair. When asked if he wants to stay in Minnesota, he didn’t mince words.
“That’s what I’m hoping,” Williams said. “It ain’t all about no money to me. God has blessed me, so I just enjoy playing.”
And he may not be looking at a one-year deal to close out his career. He has a challenge in front of him to catch another legendary nose tackle for games played to etch his name is the history books. When asked how long he thinks he can keep playing at a high level, Williams said he’s looking long term.
“A couple more years,” Williams said. “That’s my goal. I’m trying to beat out Ted Washington.”
Washington played 17 seasons in the NFL. Williams is in his 14th season.
Pat and teammate Kevin Williams provided inspiration for kids that are dealing with life-threatening illnesses during their visit Tuesday and said he is trying to do the same with his younger teammates – letting them know that, despite dire circumstances, giving up isn’t an option.
“I’ve been telling the young guys it ain’t dead yet,” Williams said. “I’ve been playing a long time, so it ain’t dead yet. If everybody just gets the focus, we can still end the season with a positive.”
Any hopes that Brad Childress and Donovan McNabb might be reunited with the Vikings is all but dead. Childress, who is on the hot seat and thin ice – a weather anomaly common among NFL coaches of teams with sub-.500 coaches – at the same time, may not be with the team next year. Neither, it appears, will McNabb. Although there is an out clause in the five-year, $78 million contract that would cost the Redskins almost nothing if things don’t work out, if the Vikings want McNabb next year, they will have to trade for him. Given their experience with Randy Moss, don’t expect more picks to be heading out.
To the surprise of none, Devin Hester won NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning two kickoffs for 100 yards and having a punt return of 42 yards. The previous week, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe won the award.
FOXSports.com’s Jay Glazer interviewed Brian Urlacher on his weekly “AfterParty” program and asked him what he said to Brett Favre following Sunday’s game. Urlacher was offering sympathy, saying, “It was weird. He was upset. It is probably his last game at Soldier Field for sure. He wasn’t himself. He seemed down in the dumps. I felt bad for him.”
The NFL Players Association submitted a counterproposal to the NFL, which is considering expanding its schedule to an 18 regular-season games. The NFLPA’s proposal includes no more than five weeks of voluntary offseason workouts, a significant reduction in contact during training camp, expanding rosters by three or four players, adding a second bye week, pro-rating increases in salaries for the two additional games for players currently under contract and decreasing the number of games needed to play to make players eligible for the league pension.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.