The difference in talent between the San Francisco 49ers and Washington’s football team is noticeable for anyone to see. After a week of padded practice, Trent Williams said, “we have a lot of absolute monsters on both sides of the ball. This camp has been highly competitive.” It isn’t easy to keep up with 1-on-1’s, as both lines, the running backs, and linebackers, and defensive backs and wide receivers are all competing simultaneously. Each group seemingly has a star player. When they all come together for team drills, the competition goes to another level.
At the beginning of the month, Williams was worried about shaking off the rust in practice. With no preseason games, that is the only way for Williams to test himself. Williams said he was looking forward to playing in the preseason after he had a year off. He wanted to feel the game atmosphere and “knock those nerves down a bit.” Williams spoke about how foreign going into the regular season would be without playing in the preseason, though he acknowledged everyone is going through the same thing.
Luckily, Williams is going against a certain somebody who will give him a better look than anyone would during the preseason, and perhaps the regular season. Here’s Williams’ quote on Nick Bosa:
Luckily, I have one of the best rushers to go against in the league every day. Nick’s better than I thought he was, and I already thought he was one of the three or four best rushers in the game. I see his trajectory as being one of the best in the game when it’s all said and done. Nick Bosa will be the first name to come out of people’s mouths.
Williams credited Bosa’s work ethic, how serious he takes the game, and how smart a player Bosa is. That reads like hyperbole, but 2019 was likely the worst version of Bosa we’ll see if he’s healthy throughout his career. Williams said the discussions he’s had with Bosa about technique had been a great help, and he couldn’t have planned a better training camp as far as learning-wise and knocking the rust off.
Williams said he was “in the dumps for 16 months” without football, but coming to the Bay Area where everyone is like-minded, hard workers has forced him to be a better player, and he feels the pressure to be the Trent Williams of old. Needless to say, Williams is in a much better place with the 49ers.
Williams isn’t worried about working too hard or overworking himself, thanks to the year off. He cited how his teammates just finished playing in February, so he can understand the load management for them. Williams welcomes the hard work and feels it’s necessary for him to become the player he needs to be.
I asked Williams to give himself a scouting report of himself, because to the naked eye, it doesn’t look like there’s much rust at all. Here’s what he said:
[Laughing] Oh, there’s definitely rust. I’m getting there. I’m getting back to myself. Football is not foreign to me. I’ve done it all of my life. It’s easy to kind of, one rep here, two reps there to look good, but I’m going for the consistent, ‘good reps and good reps,’ and continue to stack them. When I feel like I’ve been kind of playing flawless, but as close to mistake-free football as possible, then I’ll feel like the rust is gone. The rust isn’t just physical; it’s mentally as well.
Williams praised Laken Tomlinson, saying he’s been there as constant positive reinforcement for Williams. They talk a lot, and Williams feels like Tomlinson has everything that’s needed to be an All-Pro guard. He said last year, “Lake really put it together if you watch him on film. He played as one of the best guards in the league, no matter what people say if you watch the film. He proved it. For him, it’s just about having another consistent year, and everyone will start to deem him as a Pro Bowl/All-Pro player because that’s the talent he has, and that’s the goals he sets out for himself.