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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Plans To Limit Kevin Williams' Snaps Will Help Vikings Long-Term

By: Aj Mansour |

Minneapolis, MN – There’s a fine line that needs to be walked in the NFL. A fine line that straddles the careers of great veteran players and potential of what could come from young rookie players that are supposed to carry your team into the future. When the pieces came together on Draft Night and the Vikings drafted defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd with the 23rd overall selection, the Vikings began the long slow road walking that fine line trying to keep one of the great d-linemen in Vikings history (Kevin Williams) happy and at the same time developing the future in Floyd.

Monday afternoon, Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier mentioned that the Vikings began paving the way for this transition during the offseason before, and then again after, the NFL Draft.

“We had a good lengthy conversation in my office about where things were and what our plans were going forward,” Frazier said. “Then we talked again after the draft. But he’s been great, his attitude. He’s a pros pro. He doesn’t let things like this phase him, he understands the business of pro football. He’s been great for the young guys throughout the OTAs, as we started Training Camp his leadership has been terrific. If there’s anybody who can handle moments like these where you draft a guy as early as we did Sharrif. Kevin’s the guy.”

At age 32, Williams has 10 phenomenal seasons under his belt. Entering the final year of a contract that he re-negotiated during the offseason, common thought is that Williams is in the midst of his swan song season. But he’s not ready to roll over and die just yet.

Part of the transformational process begins this season as Leslie Frazier and the Vikings plan to implement Alan Williams rotational substitution that began last year using Kevin Williams as their poster child.

“With the snaps that he’ll get, you’re going to hopefully get even better play than we got a season ago having a young guy that can take some of those snaps off of him,” Frazier said. “So the number of snaps that he gets, they’re going to be high quality snaps and he can still play and play very well. a lot of what he does is based off of his experience. He’s one of the smartest football players you’ll ever be around and he’s able to use that to be effective on the football field. If we’re able to get what we expect out of Sharrif, that’s going to help take some of those snaps off of him and we should get more quality over time and that should be good for our team.”

So how many snaps can we expect from Kevin Williams? Frazier says 30-35.

“We kind of have to see how the other guys come along but if you had 30-35 good snaps from Kevin, that would be terrific,” Frazier said. “That means that someone else is getting another 20-25 snaps maybe that we’re splitting between one or two other guys.”

Situationally, Williams plan of attack will not change.

“The number of snaps will be down from a year ago, that’s the plan. But we still want to use him in all down situations,” Frazier continued.

For the time being, Williams is still effective, Williams is still the starter and frankly, Williams is one of the best defensive tackles in Vikings history. I think we all expect big things out of Sharrif Floyd, but the slow-roll process should benefit the Vikings both this season and in the long run.

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