San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Trent Williams said Thursday he’s excited about playing for his new team days after he was acquired from the Washington Redskins on the last day of the NFL Draft.
Williams spent the last decade with the Redskins before he and the organization were involved in a high-profile disagreement over a mass on his body that proved to be cancerous. Williams made it clear last season he was ready to move on from the team.
He said he was happy to be reunited with coach Kyle Shanahan, who was an offensive coordinator with the Redskins.
“I’m extremely excited to get back in a building with not only Kyle [Shanahan] but there are a ton of coaches who were with me my first four years of my career. It’s going to be a happy reunion,” Williams told the San Jose Mercury News.
“This was a preferred destination on mine, just because of the familiarity I have with Kyle and the offense. Obviously with this an ascending team, I thought I’d fit right in.”
He said it was important for him to join a Super Bowl contender.
“It was extremely important for me, being at this point in my career. I’ve played a lot of football. I haven’t won a lot of games. I just wanted that to change,” he said. “I’m an ultra-competitive guy, regardless, and go the extra mile when I shouldn’t. Doing that when you know at the end of the year you have a real possibility of holding up the Lombardi Trophy, it’s a lot easier and the vibe is different. You work for a different reason that just maintaining the elite level of your play every Sunday.”
Upon the announcement of the trade, longtime tackle Joe Staley announced his retirement due to health concerns. Williams said he didn’t feel the pressure of filling in for a potential Hall of Fame lineman.
“I don’t really feel pressure. Joe is an outstanding player. He’s been a Hall of Famer, or will be. His legacy is his legacy. I have my own and have to work on mine,” he said. “Me being the best me is doing the best I can do to carry a torch. You don’t replace a guy like Joe. It’s one of those guys you get used to being there, it takes time not having that face in the locker room. You don’t replace him, you just learn to live without him, and hopefully I can make that a little easier.”