Trent Williams held his own against DeMarcus Ware
I highlighted the matchup between Trent Williams and DeMarcus Ware heading into last night's game. I gave the edge to Ware, because Williams is an inexperienced rookie tackle. So in last night's game I focused on Williams to see how he would do. For a rookie, he did very well.
In the passing game, Williams did receive help. There was either a tight end beside him to widen Ware out on the line of scrimmage or a running back behind him to keep Ware honest. By forcing Ware to take a wider alignment, it gave Williams time to get back off the ball and get in front of Ware. When the running back was behind him, Williams had help high but needed to protect himself against the inside move. Ware gave him a lesson on that as he took an inside lane to Donovan McNabb on the only sack given up by the Redskins. Even so, Williams held his own.
Williams has great feet for a big man and is very agile, enabling him to get in front of pass rushers, as he did last night. I watched him block Ware one-on-one on a couple plays and he handled him. I saw him get up the field finishing blocks.
He also showed good hand-eye coordination. It takes timing to be able to get in front of a pass rusher and then see the opportunity to deliver the first blow. The initial punch on a pass rusher is the most important blow for an offensive tackle. It slows the momentum of the rusher, and buys time for the quarterback to throw the ball. Now, the rusher must counter that initial punch. On Ware's single sack, Williams was not able to stop the counter move inside. He will have to improve on this aspect of his game if he is to become an elite left tackle.
In the grand scheme of things, these are all things Williams will learn with more game experience. I learned that he is a competitor and won't be intimidated by big names or reputations. He reminds me of a fella I was drafted with by the name of Chris Samuels. Williams has a long way to go before he can reach that level, but he shows the promise and potential to be the same type of cornerstone player at his left tackle position as was Samuels, who made six Pro Bowls in his 10-year career with the Redskins.
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