It didn’t take long for Trent Williams to draw his first stiff test of the season. Last week the fourth-year left tackle had the assignment of holding four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews in check as the Redskins faced the Green Bay Packers.
Williams rose to the occasion turning in a Pro Bowl-caliber performance of his own, holding Matthews without a sack for the first time in six games.
The showing by Williams drew praise from offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who said this week, “I thought Trent had one of his better games here. He was pretty impressive. He had a few highlight plays that you guys probably know of that you don’t see very much from a tackle in this league or anywhere that were very impressive. I think he played consistently, too. I don’t think he had a penalty in the game. I thought he did a very good job.”
In today’s Gameday Q&A, Williams talks about his goals for the season, his post-career aspirations and his road to the NFL.
MJ: Kyle Shanahan said you just had one of the best games you’ve played since becoming a Redskin. What was the key?
TW: I didn’t do anything different. I just think it’s, I guess, experience.
MJ: That’s no easy assignment, though. You made Clay Matthews look like Casey Matthews.
TW: (Chuckles). Clay Matthews is a great player, so he kept me up studying him a lot. It worked out good for me.
MJ: How do you build on a performance like that?
TW: I’m just trying to be consistent and trying to follow up with that kind of effort and make it a thing I can do every Sunday instead of having one good game here, one good game there. I want to compile those types of games every week.
MJ: You all haven’t been able to establish the balance we saw last year. How much would that help to be able to open this next game with a long scoring drive?
TW: I think it’ll give us that confidence we had at the beginning of the season. It’ll make for a big lift for us, and not just for us, but for our defense too to be able to keep them off the field for a bit. When we can open our full playbook, it definitely eases our stress.
MJ: If you weren’t playing football, what would you be doing?
MJ: How come?
TW: I like sports, I like coaching. That’s probably what I’ll do when I quit.
MJ: Have you done any coaching before?
TW: I haven’t coached a team literally. But I help people out here and there when I can. Wherever I can offer some coaching points, I do.
MJ: What kind of coaching style do you think you’d have?
TW: I’ll probably be a laid back coach. Probably like my coach – [offensive line] coach Chris Foerster.
MJ: What’s his style?
TW: He’s on the mellow side, but of course, he gets fired up when he needs to. He’s an encouraging coach. He’s not one that tries to put you down. He brings you up the whole way.
MJ: What makes that coaching style effective?
TW: You get guys that basically want to play. They don’t want to let you down. When you have a coach that’s down your throat every day, you feel like you’re always letting them down anyway, so it doesn’t matter. But if you have a coach that’s encouraging you, you want to win for them and you don’t want to let a person like that down.
MJ: Do you have any hobbies? Anything you’re into outside of football?
TW: Naw, not really. Football’s about it for right now. I collect shoes.
MJ: How big is your collection? Any favorite of the bunch?
TW: Probably a few hundred, mostly sneakers. I’ve got a lot of pairs I take pride in.
MJ: When did you realize that you had a chance to become a pro football player?
TW: My sophomore year in college. I just figured that I saw the guys I played with make it to the NFL, so I felt like I had a chance. I didn’t know I’d be a first round draft pick, but I thought I’d get an opportunity.
MJ: How’d you pick football as your sport?
TW: I wasn’t tall enough to play basketball. I hit my growth spurt in ninth grade, but I’m 6-5. That’s point-guard height. Obviously, I’m not a point guard, so, I had to make a business decision. I played basketball [as a forward], until I got my first scholarship offer. I liked basketball more than I liked football at that point, but then I decided to dedicate myself to football, and here I am.
MJ: Good business decision.
TW: Yeah, real good.
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.
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