- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Five-and-a-half months felt like forever to Trent Williams. That’s how long it had been since the Washington Redskins‘ starting left tackle last saw his teammates before reporting to training camp Wednesday.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been such an extended hiatus if he had showed up to any of the eight informal practices that players hosted during the lockout. That’s behind him now. The fourth overall pick in the 2010 draft arrived determined to live up to that pedigree this season.

“Consistency was a big issue,” Williams said in the Redskins Park parking lot Wednesday afternoon. “Some games I can look like a first-round pick, and then a play I look like I’m not even supposed to be out there. Just clean that type of stuff up, minor mistakes.”

Williams appeared to be in good shape as he stood before microphones and cameras wearing a tight T-shirt, long athletic shorts and sandals.

His condition was of significant interest because his offseason regimen was not supervised by Redskins officials during the lockout. Two members of the University of Oklahoma’s football staff publicly questioned his commitment to conditioning after the Redskins drafted him.

Williams, however, at least passed the eye test Wednesday. He said he weighs 319 pounds, down from about 326 at the end of last season.

“I tried to stop eating pork,” Williams said. “It’s in everything [in Texas]. I fell victim a couple times in letting myself cheat, but for the most part I just tried to cut out the fried foods three times a day. I couldn’t do that no more. No Burger King at 2 o’clock in the morning. You’ve got to eat, but you’ve got to eat healthier. There are way better options than a Whopper.”

Some of Williams‘ teammates wondered aloud in June why he didn’t join them at the offseason workouts. After all, he plays the most important position on the line and had plenty of room for improvement after his first year.

Williams, who worked out regularly in Houston during the offseason, explained himself by noting that he does not have email. He then was asked about the possibility of coordinating his attendance by phone.

“I’m halfway around the world, so it’s kind of tough to just get on the plane, and I don’t got a private jet,” he said.

“I don’t feel like I missed anything,” he continued. “The non-padded workouts are mainly for skill guys. Seven-on-seven, they can get the most work. For a lineman, if you’re into doing no contact, it’s really not that big a deal.”

Williams expects his base knowledge of the playbook to significantly help his play this season. He said 99 percent of his mistakes last season were mental, so the experience will help reduce them.

“Just overthinking stuff, thinking that the game was really harder than what it was,” Williams said. “I played mind games with myself a lot at times, and it kind of put myself behind the 8-ball.”

Defensive utility role for Alexander

Lorenzo Alexander met with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett on Wednesday to discuss his role for the upcoming season. The answer Haslett gave him was one he has heard before.

“I’m kind of like the safety valve, just like every year,” Alexander said.

He’ll take some snaps at both inside linebacker positions but ultimately will compete with rookie first-rounder Ryan Kerrigan for playing time at left outside linebacker.

Alexander is used to moving around. He has played on both sides of the ball and all along the defensive line. Last season, he converted to left outside linebacker in addition to being the Redskins‘ special teams captain.

“You want to get as many looks as you can at one position so you can go out there and dominate,” Alexander said. “But the reps I’ve taken, I’ve used the best I can.”



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