San Francisco 49ers left tackle Trent Williams has not played football since 2018, so suffice it to say, he’s ready for some football.
“I’m just so ecstatic just to get back in the building, put a jersey on, put my helmet back on, just get around the guys, feel the camaraderie in the locker room and just that friendship, the bond that you get that comes with a team,” Williams said. “I think I missed that a lot over the last 12, 14 months. So it just felt too good to be true and honestly I know we have a lot going on, but I was so excited just to get back in the swing of things and I kind of overlooked it.”
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, for whom Williams will be blocking, has made an impression.
“I think the player is well documented, but as a person, I think he is the one of most down to earth guys you’ll meet,” Williams said of QB1. “Could be probably the hottest thing walking around this Bay Area [and] he is a very laid back, very welcoming guy. So I just can’t wait to get started, man. It’s literally, I feel like it’s going to be a blast and I can’t say enough good things about this team.”
Williams came to the 49ers from the Washington Football Team, an organization whose vibes and culture could not be more different than the ones at Levi’s Stadium.
“…[As soon as you walk into the building, the vibe is different,” Williams said. “I think my first team meeting before it even started, first time with all being together, I could just feel the vibe then. And just this environment here that Kyle [Shanahan] has created, John [Lynch] has created, I think they’ve done an outstanding job. They got a bunch of like-minded fellows in the locker room only. I think everybody feeds off each other and everybody cares about each other. It’s just one of those things that you’ve got to experience to believe.”
The energy is something that goes from the locker room to the practice field.
“…Coming from where I came from, a walk through was a walk through,” Williams said. “I mean, our walk through here was pretty intense. It was a lot of focus, a lot of attention to detail, and guys were flying around. And yeah, you can tell this is a hungry group of guys and I feel like I fit right in.”
This NFL season is going to be different and one of those differences is the likelihood of games being played without fans. Although it will take some getting used to, Williams is not concerned.
“It’s going to be weird not to have fans, but a majority of the football we play, nobody watches it,” Williams said. “You go through practice and you go through scrimmages and we’ve been playing this game my whole life. So, I mean, the fans make good support. They make it for what it is. They make it game day, they give that extra cherry on top that just make the experience a dream. But the game is the game, whether the fans are there or not, and we have to execute…”
Let the games begin.