Vikings DT and 2013 Korey Stringer Good Guy Award Winner Kevin Williams
I’m Chip Scoggins with the Star Tribune and it’s my pleasure to be able to present the 2013 Korey Stringer Good Guy Award. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to cover Korey or get to know him, but whenever you talked to people who knew him well or whether it’s other media members or Tom West or staff members they always tell you how great a guy he was. I’m proud that our chapter can continue to honor Korey by presenting this award every year. I think as media members we value athletes that are accessible and also give honest and insightful answers and Kevin Williams definitely embodies that. Anyone who covers Kevin knows that he’s not a guy who is going to rant and rave and draw attention to himself, that’s not his style or personality, but I think when you go to Kevin you know you’re going to get good, insightful, thoughtful answers. Knowing his stature inside the NFL and inside his own locker room, you know that his works carry a lot of weight so, Kevin, on behalf of the Vikings media contingent, thank you for your help this season and throughout your career. I present to you the Korey Stringer Good Guy Award.
Wow guys, becoming popular here the last few weeks in my old age. I’d just like to thank you guys for voting and choosing me for the award. I know you guys have a tough job to do and us as players don’t always make it easy for you, so I appreciate you guys voting for me for this award. I never really got to play with Korey or meet Korey. He was already gone before I got here, but I heard he was a great guy and it’s a tremendous honor to receive this award in his name.
Q: How difficult has it been to put up with all the questions over the years?
A: It’s not been too bad. You guys have a difficult job, like I said, to do and to try to get the information you need you have to ask the tough questions. As bad as we might not want to answer, it’s your job to try to get the info and get your story done.
Q: What’s worse, talking after a loss or talking on the witness stand?
A: Probably talking after a loss because the emotions are always flowing. It’s easy to answer stuff after a big win or you play well, but to answer the tough questions after you’ve lost a game, and especially a game where you’re close to winning, is always difficult.
Q: Who’s the guy who you kind of looked up to both as a player and dealing with the media?
A: Lance Johnstone was a big influence on me when I first got here. I don’t think I could have modeled myself after Randy (Moss) too much with some of the stuff he did with you guys. I had Lance in my group, (Chris) Hovan, all those veteran defensive lineman in my group. They were huge in kind of pointing you in the right direction and saying the right things and trying not to make a monkey out of yourself with the media.
Q: It took you a few seasons to come out of your shell a little bit. Was there a point when you felt more comfortable to you to talk more?
A: I just had to accept it. If you’re going to play well on the field, you’re going to be asked a lot of questions about the game after it’s over, so basically just had to embrace it and roll with the punches.
Q: Coach Frazier talked spoke well of the veterans stepping up last Saturday night and talking to the team about needing to win the game and staying together as a team. How important have the veterans been keeping the team together in the second half of the season?
A: We are just trying to keep encouraging the guys to fight. We’ve had a bad season here before, but if you look at the tape, guys are not lacking in effort and fight and that’s one thing we’ve tried to pride ourselves in. We still have to clean up mistakes and still have to correct all the miscues we had, but playing hard, that’s something all of us have emphasized and even Coach Frazier, so that’s something we really try to hang our hat on.
Q: Now that you’re the veteran in your group, what is one piece of advice you would give the young guys early in their career with dealing with the media?
A: If you don’t know the answer, just say you don’t know. You can’t sit there and make up and answer or try to exaggerate something. Answer it truthfully. You guys are going to keep digging, you’re going push us and try to fish for information, but be respectful and answer the best you can without giving too much away or not telling game plans or whatever the question may be.
Q: You have one more game in the dome. Are you going to grab any souvenirs?
A: I was telling my wife the other day, there was a little bit of emotions running just thinking about that. I was realizing that was my next to last game on this contract in the dome, so in the dome for good. I don’t know what is going to happen next week, we’ll see. Probably a lot of thoughts go running through my head before the game.