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Just weeks ago it was a foregone conclusion that the Pat Williams era was over in Minnesota; local restaurants even reduced buffet prices back to pre-Pat levels.
However, Williams is now reportedly "50-50" on returning for his seventh season with the squad.
Regardless, he'll turn 39 in October, and his skills have noticeably diminished. What's more, he'll miss the first four games of the season as penalty for the 1982 StarCaps debacle, so the team is in dire need of young talent inside.
The gifted Christian Ballard of Iowa was added in the fourth round of April's draft, but his most natural position is the same three-technique tackle spot Kevin Williams plays. Fred Evans was not extended an offer, and Jimmy Kennedy is a career backup who couldn't find his way onto the field last season.
That leaves Letroy Guion, a 2008 fifth-rounder.
Like Ballard, the 6'4", 303-pound Florida State product is a one-gap penetrator, not a nose tackle.
However, the 24-year-old flashed some nice promise in limited opportunities last season. Once a raw prospect, Guion's arrow is pointing up, and he has the support of the coaching staff. He'll see plenty of reps through the season's first four games, and if he's able to add some bulk this offseason, he could push his way into regular playing time, even if Pat returns.