Chris Samuels has high praise for Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 4, 2010; D02

Blog excerpt from

Recently retired Chris Samuels, who is making the switch from player to volunteer with the Redskins, has publicly expressed excitement about the development of rookie left tackle Trent Williams, who occupies Samuels's former position. And Samuels has said privately that Williams could soon become a top-notch lineman.

"Chris told me, 'Man, anything you would want in a tackle, he has it,' " said wide receiver Malcolm Kelly, who also was among Williams's teammates in high school and in college at Oklahoma. "He said that if he works, he's going to be as good as he wants to be. . . . It says a lot about him."

After organized team activities Wednesday at Redskins Park, Williams, the fourth overall pick in the April draft, worked individually on field goal blocking with special teams coordinator Danny Smith. Williams is steadily becoming more comfortable with the Redskins' zone blocking scheme and the speed of the NFL, teammates said, and having Samuels's support has helped his transition.

"Obviously, it makes me feel good inside, just knowing that they have confidence like that in me," Williams said. "Chris, being around the game a long time, six-time Pro Bowler, he's probably one of the best tackles to come through Washington in a long time. Just hearing that from him, and I lean on him for a lot of advice on and off the field, so Chris has been a great mentor for me."

On his first play as a Redskin, Williams remained in his stance after the ball was snapped while the other linemen were already blocking. He took some good-natured jabs from teammates, but said he's "almost close to being offsides now.

"That was embarrassing. I've [come] a long way. It's still a long way to go, but I feel like I'm right where I need to be," he said.

Carter mending quickly

Outside linebacker Andre Carter has returned to the field sooner than expected.

Carter had surgery in January to repair the torn biceps he played with in December and was not expected to take part in drills until the mandatory three-day minicamp that begins June 16. But Carter, who is making the switch from defensive end, participated in the first two days of this week's OTAs.

"Just working, man," Carter said Wednesday. "Like everything you do, it's always an adjustment. But my arm is feeling great."

The team's medical staff has limited Carter's participation "just to kind of build me up slowly," he said. Having taken a maximum of only 12 to 16 reps in each OTA, Carter is eager to increase his workload. He seemed to be lined up with the second-team defense, working out of base and nickel packages.

"We just don't want to overdo it," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "I told him to be smart about it and he's a pretty smart guy."

Carter is coming off a personal-best season in which he ranked seventh in the league with 11 sacks.

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