Trent Williams met with the media Thursday afternoon to talk about his fit with the San Francisco 49ers. He made it clear that the 49ers were his preferred destination and that Williams is “extremely excited” to get back with not only Kyle Shanahan, but a few other coaches that Williams spent his first four years of his career with. Williams also cited the fact that San Francisco is an ascending team.
Williams on the vetoed trade to the Vikings and what he can bring to the table
As far as the trade goes, the Vikings long-term and what I looked at long-term didn’t really sync up. They just dropped out; it wasn’t really me refusing to go there. As far as this offense, the reason I was drafted is that me and this offense kind of marry up with my skillset. It’s a hand in glove fit. I know this offense like the back of my hand.
How closely did you pay attention to last year’s run?
I had a lot of time to sit and watch a lot of football [laughing], and obviously, with the success of this team, I watched a ton of 49ers tape. Me being so familiar with the whole coaching staff, I felt like an extended part of the family. I always had a biased view of watching the games going for Kyle.
On his current contract situation
We both agreed that we could take a “wait and see approach.” It’s the last year of my deal, so obviously it’s an incentive for me to play well. They gave up a third-round next year, so they’re invested in the deal as well. I think both parties are interested in something long-term, but I’m more than okay with getting my feet wet and just playing it out.
On the biggest challenges of joining a new team
Under regular circumstances, it would be extremely challenging. In this case, I literally can go line up in that huddle and go run a play today. That’s how familiar I am with the offense. The learning curve is a lot shorter.
On his relationship with Richard Sherman
A lot of people don’t know this, but me and Sherm talked that night. We kind of buried the hatchet then. Since then, we’ve built a great relationship the past seven years. He’s one of the guys I talk to a lot over the offseason. We’ve been good friends for a minute. I’m glad to be on the same team as him.
If Shanahan is right about having a year off helps Williams
Kyle’s 100% right. It’s crazy being 31. I feel like I’m 25 again. This is my first year off of football since the second grade. My body has had a chance to rest and heal. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in a position where I didn’t feel an ache or a pain. I feel rejuvenated, to say the least.
On the importance of going to a team that has legit championship aspirations
It was extremely important to me. At this point in my career, I’ve played a lot of football and played a lot of games. I just wanted that to change. When you know at the end of the year, there’s a real possibility knowing you have a chance to hold up the Lombardi Trophy; it’s different.
On the pressure of replacing Joe Staley
I don’t really feel the pressure. Joe is an outstanding player. He’ll be a Hall of Famer. His legacy is his legacy, and I have my own. You don’t replace a guy like Joe. He’s one of those guys that it’s going to take some time getting used to not having that face in the locker room. You don’t replace him; you learn to live without him. Hopefully, I can make that a little easier.
On what makes Williams stand out as a left tackle
God as blessed me with a lot of traits that you can’t train for. I appreciate that and try to do my best to sharpen them. As you said, I’m an athletic tackle. When you watch the film, I can move just about anybody anywhere I want to. I’ve grown a lot learning the game more. I developed on the go a lot and relied on my athleticism. At this point in my career, I don’t have to rely on my athleticism because I have a plan as far as fundamentals. I can use my IQ, as well.
On the 49ers defensive line
They’re the best in the league. What Nick has done is pretty much second to none. Armstead and Dee Ford are elite in their own right. Add in the young guy from South Carolina, and it’s a deadly mixture. They’ll be harassing QBs all year.