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Trent Williams Can Really Run

Posted by Matt Terl on November 20, 2010 – 12:10 pm

As the team prepare to bus off to the airport to head to Nashville, I want to look back at one last play from Monday night’s debacle, and one more minor positive takeaway. And please keep in mind that when I say minor, I mean, like, a very, very, VERY SMALL positive takeaway.

The picture above is from the last Eagles touchdown of the game, a 40 yard Dimitri Patterson return of a Donovan McNabb interception to finalize Philadelphia’s 59 point night. And, you’ll notice, even though this comes with the team already trailing by 31 BEFORE this touchdown and the game well on its way to ending (5:19 left in the third quarter, to be specific), that’s rookie left tackle Trent Williams desperately trying to fight off a block to prevent the touchdown.

Which means that the young offensive lineman has successfully kept up with a cornerback streaking down the field, and almost succeeded in catching him. We’ve heard a lot about Williams’ freakish athleticism, but this was possibly the most explicit on-field display of it in some time. (You can also watch the video of the play after the jump.)

Williams, of course, downplayed this. “It was just playing football,” he told me, shrugging. “They got the ball. Now I got to play defense.”

But his teammates took notice of the effort.
“He busted his butt to get down there,” Kory Lichtensteiger said.

Wide receiver Anthony Armstrong was the other guy who got close to Patterson on the return, and he was also impressed with Williams’ hustle. “The fact that he was right there,” Armstrong said, “you don’t usually see that happening. He took a good angle and he was right there. A couple more yards, he might’ve dove and gotten him.”

Armstrong, for his part, had some additional motivation for trying to chase down the cornerback. “I feel like it was my fault for the interception,” Armstrong said. “I think I probably should’ve stepped back through the ball. I’m like, ‘Dammit, I messed up, lemme run down and catch him.’ If we had a few more yards, I think me and Trent could’ve gotten him — we already ran into each other.”

Williams agreed with that assessment. “I had to fight through like two blocks while I was running,” Williams said. “I feel like if I hadn’t had to fight through those blocks I probably coulda got him. It probably woulda been on the one [yard line], but, you know.”

I asked if the offensive coaches had thought about trying to harness his speed for a tackle eligible play, and Williams chuckled. “We joke around about it,” he said. “They just gotta figure out a way. We, me and Kyle, we’ve talked about it a couple of times. I don’t think it’s going to happen, not this year anyway.”

So, yeah, it was a minor detail that took place because of another miscue in a game that was out of hand. But seeing two of the young building blocks of the Redskins future busting their butts in that situation … well, it seemed like a potentially good sign for something in the future.

“You know, the Bills over the Oilers, a 35 point comeback, sure, that stuff is in your head,” Armstrong said. “But mainly it’s pride, and it’s showing that you didn’t quit. When you’re already down by a bunch, the worst thing you could do is have eleven guys walk off the field while this guy’s returning his interception.”

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