Trent Williams can’t hide his joy over being in the Bay Area. The 49ers’ new left tackle is thrilled to be out of a deteriorating situation in Washington, instead plugged in as a cornerstone player on a contender, already bonding with his Super Bowl-hungry teammates.
Williams took reporters on an insightful, wide-ranging journey Thursday in a video conference this first week of training camp workouts. Their walk-through practices have reflected game-like energy to Williams, who did not play last year in his final season with Washington.
“The friendship and bond that comes with a team, I’ve missed that a lot over the last 12, 14 months,” Williams said. “It felt too good to be true. I know we have a lot going on but I was so excited to get back in the swing of things I kind of overlooked it.”
Here are his top five quotes from Thursday’s media session:
1. On Nick Bosa, the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year last season:
“He’s going to be one of the pivotal tools for me to use to knock the rust off. Probably one of the biggest challenges I can face is Nick. He’s one of the top four or five (pass) rushers in the game. To get that work and have that everyday, we can bounce ideas off each other, it’s going to work out best case for me and I hope he gains just as much I do from it.”
2. On not opting out as a high-risk player, having overcome a cancerous growth removed last year from his scalp:
“To be honest, I didn’t even give it a thought of opting out. I didn’t play last year. If I don’t play this year, it’s going to be by force, not by options. I have nothing against guys who opt out. Everyone has the own situation to think through. Me, personally, it wasn’t an option.”
3. On what 49ers he’s eager to see play:
“I’m looking forward to seeing Jet (Jerick McKinnon, who trained this offseason at Williams’ Houston gym). After two years, the way he’s looked in offseason. I just can’t fathom him not being a breakout player.
“I want to see George (Kittle) up close, and seeing that defense and the three linebackers, the way they fly around, the way the DB communicate and how freakish the D-line is, I just want to get this team to a game. It feels like college again, when we (Oklahoma) had three of the top four picks atop the draft. I haven’t gotten that feeling since then.”
4. On his first impression of Jimmy Garoppolo:
“The player he is, it’s well documented. As a person, he’s one of the most down to earth guys to meet. He’s probably the hottest thing walking around the Bay Area. He is a very laid-back, welcoming guy. I can’t wait to get started. I feel it’s going to be a blast. I can’t say enough good things about this team.”
5. On the first walk-throughs of camp
“The walk-through, (Raheem Mostert) says it’s a run-through. I say it was a game. Coming from where I came from, a walk-through was a walk-through. Ours here was pretty intense, a lot of focus, a lot of attention to detail and guys were flying around.
“You can tell this is a hungry group of guys and I feel I fit right in.
“…As soon as you walk in the building, the vibe is different. My first team meeting, the first time we were all together, I could feel the vibe. This environment that Kyle and John have created, they’ve done an outstanding job. They’ve got a bunch of like-minded fellas in the locker room. Everybody feeds off each other and encourages each other. You’ve got to experience it to believe it.”