Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Redskins’ selection of Trent Williams left him “speechless.”
Here’s the transcript of the Q&A that Redskins’ draft pick Trent Williams did with the media corps via teleconference tonight. He’s brief and direct with his answers. I like it!
How did you feel when you got drafted by the Washington Redskins?
Speechless. I was barely able to talk on the phone with Coach Shanahan.
Explain the ‘Silverback’ thing? (The Commissioner announced him as Trent “Silverback” Williams)
It’s just a little thing that me and my teammates went with on the field, just saying beast-like. Silverback is one of the most-strongest beasts. I was joking around with Mr. Goodell and told him to call me that, and he actually did it.
When did you first get that nickname?
A couple years back. It’s been with me for a while.
Did you expect Washington take you?
I’ve seen the mock drafts and I heard the speculation, but I’m the type of guy that has to see it writing before I get overly excited.
When they moved you to left tackle from the right side last year, did you have any apprehension about it?
It was one of the great things that happened to me, but I’ve always been a backup left tackle behind Phil [Loadholt] and started on the right side. So I’ve always been acquainted with the position, and I’ve never really got rusty at it.
What do you bring to the team?
You’re getting a fierce competitor. I’ve got the desire to win, and I don’t take losing for an answer. I want to be the best, and they’re going to get a great teammate.
How do you respond to the doubters that don’t believe you project well to the left tackle spot in the NFL?
That comes with life, man. There’s always going to be criticisms somewhere. Everybody is not going to like you, and I’ve got to go about being myself and playing my heart out for coach Shanahan.
What’s it going to be like for you protecting a quarterback like Donovan McNabb?
It’s going to be an honor, man. He’s a great quarterback. I’ve looked up to Donovan as long as I can remember, man. I love his fierce competitiveness in the game. It’s a dream come true.
You were the first tackle taken in a draft people say is good at that position. How happy were you that you were first to go?
Like I said, words cannot explain the feeling. Especially to go to Washington, which I feel like is a dream situation for me. It was a great feeling.
Why is it a dream situation?
Just the type of offense they run. The coaches are the best coaches to play for. Coach Shanahan is a Hall of Fame coach. It’s a dream situation. Anybody in this situation would prevail.
Have you had a chance to meet or talk with Chris Samuels?
Yeah, I just got done talking to him. He told me he’s going to do everything in his power to help me become a good pro tackle. That coming from him, he’s one of the best to ever do it, also. I told him I was ready.
What’s your best physical gift, and what physically do you need to work on?
I think I’m working hard to get my technique as solid as possible. I think that will be my biggest challenge. I’m working on it day-in and day-out, and hopefully I do a great job there.
How do you feel about stepping in for a guy that made six Pro Bowls (Samuels)?
It’s some huge shoes to fill. I feel like God put me in this situation for a reason. I’m going to make the most of it.
Can you describe your interaction with Redskins coaches and executives before the draft?
I got a chance to visit Washington. I actually stayed a couple extra days with Malcolm [Kelly] just because me and Malcolm grew up together. I got a great feeling from the coaches and the GM, Mr. Bruce Allen. I got a great feeling about the team, I just didn’t know whether they were going to pick me or not. I felt like they was, but you never know in this draft.
Did Malcolm give you any advice about what to expect?
He gave me advice all through college. When he first got there, he was always filling me in with advice. I was like a sponge, soaking everything up.
What is this about Longview High School that has the Redskins so enamored? Who do they pick next year?
You know we got a running back coming out of Texas. I don’t think the Redskins have a running back need right now, but who knows.
Longview, Texas, is Dallas Cowboys territory, right?
They’ve got to change their allegiance now?
They might have to. They might have to hang a couple Redskins flags across the city of Longview.
When did you settle in at left tackle?
I felt comfortable but I was dealing with injuries the whole season. When I finally got the chance to be 100 percent healthy, I felt like things started to work out smoothly for me.
Did you start off a Cowboys fan and are you just changing today?
It might surprise you, but I didn’t have a favorite growing up. I was always into sports, but I’ve always followed players instead of the teams.
Who are some of the players you followed growing up?
I followed Walter Jones all the way. The first time I seen him, I watched every game. I tried to, anyway, on Walter Jones because I felt like he was one of the best to ever do it. So I tried to look to him and learn a lot about him.
Did you have a chance to sit down with coach Shanahan and watch film on the offensive line scheme?
I didn’t actually get a chance to watch film with Coach Shanahan. He just assured me that I’ll fit in great with the scheme. I trust his word.
Did you get to meet with Dan Snyder at all?
No, sir. No I didn’t. Not on my visit.
What’s the population of Longview?
A little over 80,000.
How good was the Longview team when all three of the Redskins [Malcolm Kelly, Robert Henson and you] were there?
We were pretty good. We never got a chance to win a state championship, but we were well respected.