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Updated: July 29th, 2010 7:27pm
Leaner Pat Williams reports at 324 pounds

Leaner Pat Williams reports at 324 pounds

by Tom Pelissero
1500ESPN.com
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© AP 2010
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MANKATO, Minn. -- It was obvious from the moment Pat Williams walked in from the parking lot.

The Minnesota Vikings' big defensive tackle isn't quite so big this year.

Williams said he's shed 18 pounds, dropping him to 324 -- the lightest, according to Williams, he's been in his six years with the Vikings.

"I'm always fast," Williams joked on Thursday, shortly after moving into the team's dormitory on the campus of Minnesota State University, Mankato.

"I'm always a sideline-to-sideline guy. I just feel healthy."

Williams has played much heavier than his listed 317 pounds for years. Now, at age 37, Williams is coming off elbow surgery -- the injury kept him out of minicamp, but he said he'll be ready when training-camp practice begins on Friday afternoon -- and entering the final year of his contract.

Two years ago, Williams took tainted diet pills in attempt to make weight at camp and ended up in a two-year legal entanglement over his NFL-imposed suspension. He thanked head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman and strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy for helping him shed the weight naturally this time.

"I just want to feel good this year, so I ain't got to worry about nothing," Williams said, "so if I want to take some days off, Coach won't get mad at me."

Teammates took notice.

"He's looking slim and looking good," fellow defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "It's good for him, and it'll help him out down the stretch. Hopefully, he can play some of my snaps."

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Tom | @TomPelissero | Tom Pelissero
In this story: Kevin Williams, Pat Williams
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