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Trent Williams overcomes nerves, plays well in debut

Trent Williams's NFL preseason debut began with the starting unit -- Donovan McNabb, Clinton Portis and Santana Moss, among others -- on the field with him, and continued long after those veterans had taken off their helmets and removed their shoulder pads. Something else accompanied Williams to the field as well: butterflies.

"Oh man, they were serious nerves," Williams said.

Williams is the Redskins' starting left tackle just four months after Washington selected him out of the University of Oklahoma with the fourth pick in the NFL draft. His nerves showed up on two penalties -- one when he and veteran guard Derrick Dockery moved early, another when he lined up too far off the line of scrimmage and the Redskins were called for an illegal formation, which negated a long gain on a swing pass.

But in the end, both Williams and Coach Mike Shanahan were pleased with Williams's first half of professional football.

"I thought Trent did a good job," Shanahan said. "Hard to say for sure until I look at that film. Had one penalty in there. We had that little dump we got called back. ... But overall, very pleased for his first game."

Williams said his nerves bothered him during the Redskins' first drive. But when he came to the sideline, the man he is replacing -- stalwart Redskins tackle Chris Samuels, who retired during the offseason and is serving as a coach during the preseason -- got him to calm down.

"When I got to the sideline, [he] just told me I was doing okay, just keep playing, just keep plugging away, just keep being nasty," Williams said. "That's what I did."

Williams showed some supremely quick feet in pass protection, and the offensive line didn't give up a sack when he was in the game. He controlled Bills defensive end Aaron Maybin, a first-round pick in 2009, blocking him onto his back on one play.

"To see Aaron Maybin out there, and he was a highly touted guy coming in, and to see I did pretty good on him, I was like, 'Okay, maybe I can play with these guys,'" Williams said.

That helped him quell the nerves and free Williams up to play the entire first half.

"Once I got my nerves under control, and I wasn't totally gassed every three steps I took, I think I did okay," Williams said. "I was prepared to play a half. [Shanahan] had already told me. I really kind of wish I could've got a little bit more. It was my first game being back out there. I just wanted to keep going. I'm so used to playing a whole four quarters."

Dockery and Artis Hicks, the starting guards, and starting center Casey Rabach played only the first two series. Stephon Heyer, who started at right tackle in place of an ailing Jammal Brown (hip), joined Williams on the field for the entire first half.

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 14, 2010; 1:01 PM ET
Categories:  Mike Shanahan , Offensive line , Trent Williams , preseason games  
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Next: Special teams produces mixed results

Comments

Thanks Trent!

You looked great ... we have no concerns about you up here.

On Malcolm Kelly:'s impending departure:

Kelly suffered a knee injury early in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl and missed most of the game.

Kelly did not work out at the NFL Combine.

On pro day at Oklahoma on April 9, 2008, Kelly ran a disappointing 4.75 and 4.68 in the 40 yard dash.

And with their second round pick (51st overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft... the Redskins select?

mmmmmkay!!!

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 14, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm now in the MK will be cut crowd.

Galloway had a few steps on the Corner and should have had a TD last night, but Mcnabb missed him deep. Unbelievable he can still fly!

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 1:12 PM

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Oooooooooooo!!

Posted by: WRBD | August 14, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Barry. But if this were a Reid post he definitely would have mentioned how Haynesworth felt about Williams' performance.

Posted by: NYPDee | August 14, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Trent looked great last night. Overall our starting O-line performed well.

Edwin Williams continues to impress me and I hope it's only a matter of time before he takes over for Rabach.

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

nice to read the consensus -- that Trent looked good. Though Maybin has been an underachiever as a pro.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 14, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

That he drafted Fred So You Think You Can Dance Davis makes Vinny Cerrato look a smidge shy of a total nimcompoop.

or maybe he just got lucky?

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 14, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Actually on 4 outta 8 of McNabbs pass attempts, there was pressure. He connected on two of those passes, scrambled for a first on one, and drew a roughing the passer penalty on the other.

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Trent!

You looked great ... we have no concerns about you up here.

-------------------------
agreed..

Posted by: jcnjcnj | August 14, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

nimcompoop.
.................
i always wondered how that was spelt

Posted by: jcnjcnj | August 14, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

McNabb is used to playing under duress.

He'll be just fine.

and Rex looked every bit the QB who lead the Bears to a National Football Conference Championship in 2006, deftly distributing the ball to players, racking up the second most points in the league that year.

Superbowl Sunday the guy has his first bad day in 16 weeks.

and Olin Kruez, the center who was involved in two costly fumbles that day?

he is never mentioned.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 14, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually on 4 outta 8 of McNabbs pass attempts, there was pressure. He connected on two of those passes, scrambled for a first on one, and drew a roughing the passer penalty on the other.

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 1:29 PM |

I bet Heyer was the culprit of 3 out of the 4 pressures.

Posted by: TWISI | August 14, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Releasing kelly is an intresting problem.....

He's a skilled dude for sure

He tears up the practice field.... then his hammy

He's got game but he can't stay healthy

I say release him n resign him to the p squad she if he ever heals if not the peace out

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | August 14, 2010 12:33 PM |

Malcolm Kelly is not eligible for the practice squad. He has an accrued season of NFL experience and that makes him ineligible.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 14, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

That he drafted Fred So You Think You Can Dance Davis makes Vinny Cerrato look a smidge shy of a total nimcompoop.

or maybe he just got lucky?

Posted by: Chia_Pet

Yeah its recognized he was drafted by Cerrato, but in the words of Fred Sanford, "You draft for NEED, not "best available", YOU BIG DUMMY!!"

Posted by: frak | August 14, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Just checked out a few highlights. Liked how quickly Cooley was moving. On the 19 yard pass completion, look at how quickly Cooley was downfield ... and making a cut. McNabb takes a shotgun snap, goes back 3 steps, steps up and throws. No chance for a pass rush to get there. Cooley was 15+ yards downfield.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 14, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"or maybe he just got lucky?"

100% luck...dumb luck.

Fred can play, but going back to that draft the OLmen were so deep.

Imagine how good our OL would be by drafting any decent OL the last few years instead of safeties and WR's.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 14, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/view/214670-chiefs-wr-marries-stalker?xid=cnnbin&hpt=Sbin

Because marrying the crazy lady always works out. Right Andre Rison?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 14, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Peeps forget that Rex threw 44 touchdowns for Bloomington South High School during his senior year, including a game where he threw six and two games where he threw four.

97 TDS on 7,518 yards over the course of his high school career.

not too shabby.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

MK hasn't played a snap since last season and there are dozens of people on this site s saying he will be cut. I will again state what I have been for weeks: Mk will make the team and will start this season, most likely within the first four games.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | August 14, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Its good to have a strong game against a weak team. And I'm glad we took advantage of their mistakes -- that is a very nice change. But it was a weak team, making unforced mistakes at key times. This paragraph from the AP article puts it in perspective:

The Bills scratched 13 players due to injuries, including five linebackers and four offensive linemen. Then Jackson and Lynch both went down on the offense's opening drive. Buffalo also committed three morale-sapping third-down penalties.: holding on tight end Jonathan Stupar that killed a drive; roughing the passer on linebacker Aaron Maybin that kept one Redskins' touchdown drive alive; and illegal contact against Andra Davis that led to another Washington touchdown.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I thought Trent Williams played pretty well, though I was not blown away by the performance of the starting O line in general. I didn't see to many running lanes in the first Q, and McNabb had to avoid pressure on about half of his throws.

It's the first game of preseason, so let's give them a week or two to work this out. I think the Ravens will provide a better measuring stick as to where we are than the Bills anyway. So while it was fun to watch them kick the snot out of Buffalo, that team didn't look very good.

Happy, but certainly not over confident at this point. (But waaaaaaay better than we looked a year ago - for example.)

Posted by: edvar | August 14, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Despite unrelenting criticism from his detractors, Grossman received the Ed Block Courage Award after the 2006 season ended. The award is awarded to one player from every team, who possesses ideal characteristics of sportsmanship, spirituality, and professionalism.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | August 14, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

MK hasn't played a snap since last season and there are dozens of people on this site s saying he will be cut. I will again state what I have been for weeks: Mk will make the team and will start this season, most likely within the first four games.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | August 14, 2010 2:02 PM


I haven't quite on MK yet. Wish he could stay healthy, and really want to see what he can do in this new offense. He needs to get healthy and get on that field sooner rather than later...

Posted by: edvar | August 14, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 1:29 PM |

I bet Heyer was the culprit of 3 out of the 4 pressures.

Posted by: TWISI | August 14, 2010 1:44 PM

`

Definitely on two of them and Heyer got away with a hold on the McNabb scramble.

Rabach got beat on one and on the McNabb td pass, pressure came from the left and up the middle

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Uh-oooooh. Looks like the Cult of Rex is starting to form along the ol' blog...

I thought he looked pretty good against a bad team, and got away with some very questionable throws. That TD to Davis is a momentum changing 98 yard pick-6 against a real D in a real game evrytime. (unless CR is defending - D'oh!)

Glad he played well, but he looked like the same old reckless with the football interception machine we have known him to be from the past.

Never been sold on Spurrier QB's. (though he is the best of that batch - is that like being the tallest midget?)

Posted by: edvar | August 14, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Its good to have a strong game against a weak team. And I'm glad we took advantage of their mistakes -- that is a very nice change. But it was a weak team, making unforced mistakes at key times. This paragraph from the AP article puts it in perspective:

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 14, 2010 2:03 PM

`

This is true. There were a few red flags. On one play a Bills WR had Carlos Rogers beat deep but Trent Edwards overthrew the receiver.

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I still say we are gonna whoooop the Cowpatties on opening day.

Hail

Posted by: Vicc | August 14, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Kelly is really frustrating. I just don't want them to give up on him yet. But if he can't even do the most important thing (getting on the darn field) then he is useless and we have no reason to keep him. Everyone says he has the best hands out of all our recievers. He is the prototypical reciever...big, strong, fast...the way our recievers performed last night hopefully made him realize he needs to get his butt back on the field as quickly as he can and make him really try harder to show what he can do because after last night, his job really is on the line here.

Posted by: rachel216 | August 14, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, yeahs, zcesest, Bills are not a very good team. But Skins haven't looked that SOLID or well-put-together as that for years, even against poor teams, but O.K., let's see that offense work against the Raven D, THAT is a real test..

"Definitely on two of them and Heyer got away with a hold on the McNabb scramble."

Not blatant, though...Don't get me started on "Big Brother And The Holding Company" in the NFL...That Janis was a wailer..

Posted by: frak | August 14, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah, yeahs, zcesest, Bills are not a very good team. But Skins haven't looked that SOLID or well-put-together as that for years, even against poor teams, but O.K., let's see that offense work against the Raven D, THAT is a real test..

"Definitely on two of them and Heyer got away with a hold on the McNabb scramble."

Not blatant, though...Don't get me started on "Big Brother And The Holding Company" in the NFL...That Janis was a wailer..

Posted by: frak | August 14, 2010 2:47 PM

Yea and here's the real point, we ususally play down to our competition. We stomped the crap out of a team we should have...that's a good sign...even though it is preseason. Having said that, we still have a ways to go.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | August 14, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

beep

Posted by: edvar | August 14, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Stay medium, folks.

Just sayin'

Posted by: gimmesummoe | August 14, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Have to disagree w/ Chia_Pet don't like Rex as a backup. Anyone can improve, but he showed a lack of fundamentals that was really bad. Love what they've done w/ the offensive line and overall of course, but don't like DeAngelo Hall either.

Posted by: AWeiss3 | August 14, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

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