Williams To Jackson: Work Harder

By Rick Alonzo
Updated: May 27, 2009

SAINT PAUL, Mn.— Vikings defensive tackle Pat Williams delivered a strong message to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson: Work harder.

Jackson is locked in a fight for the starting quarterback job with Sage Rosenfels, and he has been put on notice by Williams, an outspoken team leader.

“I talk to Tarvaris all the time (and) tell him you have to put in the time,” Williams said recently on Sirius NFL Radio. “This ain’t college no more. This is the NFL. You have to put in more time than you are used to putting in.”

“If you are putting in four hours, you have to put in eight. You have to put in more time than what he’s doing. I think if he puts the right time in, he will be a great quarterback in the league.”

Williams is one of the most respected veterans in the Vikings’ locker room, so the Pro Bowler’s comments carry significant weight. Jackson played poorly in Minnesota’s first-round playoff loss to Philadelphia last season, throwing a critical interception that was returned for a touchdown.

The Vikings created a quarterback competition when they acquired Rosenfels in a February trade with Houston. Combined with Jackson’s struggles, the trade was interpreted to mean Rosenfels likely would be the starter next season.

Jackson has had opportunities to establish himself as the Vikings’ quarterback since being drafted in the second round in 2006. But although he has shown flashes of potential, consistency remains elusive.

Williams also told Sirius that he recently sent a text message to Brett Favre and told the former Green Bay Packers QB that he would be welcomed in Minnesota.

“I told him if he comes we will open our arms to you, and if you don’t we understand,” Williams said. “He’s a hall of famer, and no one can take that from him. He’s still one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play.”