RICHMOND – As a two-time Pro Bowler and the glue that holds the offensive line together, Trent Williams may well be one of the greatest left tackles the Redskins have ever seen. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have other talents as well.
“I think I’m a great athlete, if you want to ask my opinion,” Williams said while holding his youngest daughter Makayla. “I feel like I could play a lot of positions on the football field. Obviously I could play offensive tackle the best, but you know, who knows? If I could have lost about 50 pounds, I probably could have been a nice tight end or maybe even an outside linebacker.”
He also thinks he could be a suitable backup option for Robert Griffin III after he was seen throwing a ball around with teammates at practice.
“I think I definitely could be,” laughed Williams when asked if he would make a good emergency quarterback. “I do have a talented arm. Not to toot my own horn, but, you know, just telling the truth.”
Joking around can be a good way to relieve the stress of training camp, but it’s not all fun and games for the big left tackle and his teammates. After running a full-pad practice at the beginning of the week and resting on Tuesday, they wore just jerseys and shorts on Wednesday.
“Today was a great pace,” Williams said. “Usually after going a few days real hard – contact like we did – and you have an off day, you come back and usually after the off day practice is a little sluggish and guys aren’t on their assignment. But today was really well – we didn’t see any type of sluggishness. Everybody competed fast, fast-paced ball. We had a great practice.”
Coach Jay Gruden’s first training camp has been under a microscope since it started last week. From Marty Schottenheimer to Jim Zorn to Mike Shanahan, the Redskins have seen every preseason approach in the book, but there has been little proof that one procedure is preferable to the others.
The organization will be hoping that Gruden’s energy and enthusiasm are the answer to finally unlock a successful start to the season.
“Obviously the younger coaches can relate to the players more,” Williams said. “Naturally they’re younger, so they’re going to have a lot of energy at practice, so I think that definitely helps. But, I mean, they know what they’re talking about. We have a group of very smart coaches, very football-savvy. To us they’re veteran coaches, because the information that they give us has been such a help. Couldn’t ask for a better coaching staff.”
Aside from the coaching staff, one of the biggest boosts for Washington this year comes in the form of a healthy Griffin, who now has his first full offseason behind him. Williams couldn’t be more thrilled since it makes his job that much easier.
“It’s a breeze,” Williams said. “Obviously he’s healthy, he’s 100 percent, so he has the confidence that he once had before the injury. So everything just happens a lot quicker, it’s a lot smoother and the team runs a lot better.”
While Griffin is undoubtedly helping his line, they have also been working to improve as a unit throughout the offseason.
“I think it’s a great group,” Williams said. “We only added one new guy, but Shawn [Lauvao] is a vet, so he doesn’t have that learning curve that a lot of the new guys have. The more we play together, the better off we will be. Obviously we’ve got to get that cohesiveness down. I think playing together on the O-line, you need a little time to build that chemistry and I think we’re coming along fine.”
From everything training camp has had to offer so far, Williams looks primed to have another great season, whether he’s protecting his quarterback – or his family.
“I’m protective by nature obviously,” joked Williams. “I’ve got two little girls, so you know I’ve got my shotgun ready.”