We had no clue going into the offseason that All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams will be protecting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s blind side next season, but general manager John Lynch made it happen.
After legendary San Francisco 49er Joe Staley announced his retirement during the NFL Draft, Lynch was able to find a more than worthy replacement in the 31-year-old Williams, trading a third and fifth-round pick to Washington to acquire the big man.
The seven-time Pro Bowler caught up with the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, who asked Williams about his thoughts on playing with Garoppolo.
“I think Jimmy (Garoppolo) is awesome.” Williams said. “I think he’s proven he’s a quarterback that you can win with in this league, which is hard to find.”
“From being in my position, not having a lot of success in the league, having a good quarterback, as opposed to having musical chairs back there is huge.” Williams said. “I am extremely happy to be a part of an offense that doesn’t really need me to win.”
Rapoport asked Williams about missing all of the 2019 season because of a dispute with Washington’s front office and a lack of trust in the organization, but he still thought he would play with the team last year.
“It [not playing] never crossed my mind, not once,” Williams said. “It’s crazy, when I went back at the trade deadline, we were still at odds. We hadn’t really spoken, but I had a conversation with (Washington owner) Dan (Snyder) and things were kind of cool. Williams recalled. “It obviously didn’t rectify things, but just me being in that building, being around those guys again and just watching the game of football, which I had missed so much, I had felt like somebody on the outside looking in for so long.”
Williams added that his competitive juices started flowing late last season while he was away from him the game, and he wanted to join a team that would help him develop as a player.
“When I looked for a team to go to, I looked at the opposite side of the ball to see who can I sharpen my iron on every day in practice. Williams said. “When I get out there on the field, I can’t come up with a rust excuse. All of that, to me, doesn’t exist. I’d rather be rusty in practice and be able to sharpen my iron then than to try and do it Monday night with all the cameras on me.”
Rapoport then asked Williams about going against a beast like defensive lineman Nick Bosa in practice every day, something the left tackle is relishing.
“That in itself excites me as a competitor, because I know I can get some of the best work done during the week so that on Sundays, you’re not going to see too many guys better than that group, especially not any individuals that much better than Bosa,” Williams said. “I think they just don’t have many guys in the league that’s just better than him.”
The question mark around Williams is how long he will stick around the Bay Area. With just one year left on a contract that the 49ers restructured last month, we are hoping Lynch and Shanahan can convince him to be the anchor of the Niners’ line for several more seasons.
“For me, I just want to get back into the swing of things, get my feet wet, get back onto the field. I didn’t want to make any lofty demands coming off a year where I didn’t play.” Williams said. “It’s the NFL, and it’s all about what have you done for me lately. Obviously, I didn’t play last year, so, realistically, I want to come in and just kind of cement myself with dominant play, not just going off what I have done in the past.”