Trent Williams still loses sleep over matchups like Myles Garrett

Oct 13, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 10:52 am

Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers during warm up before the game against the Los Angele...

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Trent Williams has been around the block a few times, spending the last 13 years as one of the top offensive tackles in the NFL. Despite that, he still finds challenges at age 35, gearing up for one this weekend against the Cleveland Browns.

The San Francisco 49ers’ All-Pro left tackle is locked in on stopping the elite pass rush of the Browns, especially defensive end Myles Garrett. And while Williams is uber-confident in his abilities to contain Garrett, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about it at all hours.

“I’ll be up in my bed thinking about it all night,” Trent Williams told the media Thursday. “I was up last night thinking about it. You do lose sleep.”

And for good reason, as Garrett is one of the premier pass rushers in the league.

Only 27 years old, the Texas A&M product has been a superstar since Day 1, recording 80 sacks in his career. Garrett has been so dominant in fact, that he’s a single sack away from breaking Reggie White’s record for most under the age of 28.

And Trent Williams will be the man tasked with keeping White’s record intact. It won’t be easy though, seeing his defensive counterpart as one of the best in the league.

“He doesn’t have a weakness,” Williams said of Garrett. “You can only speak of two or three players in the league across positions that don’t have a weakness. He’s definitely one of them. So running at him, running away from him, sliding him, chipping him. None of it seems to faze him at all.”

The Browns took a play out of the 49ers’ playbook in the offseason as well, acquiring DE Za’Darius Smith to line up opposite of Garrett.

Similar to San Francisco’s defensive mindset, Cleveland loads up at the line of scrimmage, causing havoc for their opposition. And while Williams and the 49ers are used to this from their own defense, they still expect their work to be cut out for them on Sunday.

“Because Za’Darius Smith is a hell of a rusher as well,” Trent Williams stated. “It ain’t like you get too much of a break if he’s not on your side. So I’m expecting (Garrett) to be on the blind side about 85 percent of the time.”

The star-studded combo is so lethal that they remind Williams of his days in Washington.

Playing in the NFC East, he saw a lot of the Dallas Cowboys and hall-of-fame pass rusher DeMarcus Ware during the early part of his career. Garrett reminds Williams of Ware, only this time in reverse, with the former being the elder to the young gun pass rusher.

“It takes me back to the DeMarcus Ware and [former edge defender] Dwight Freeney days, to when I’m having to block them and I’m a young pup and they’re in their prime, their heyday,” the left tackle recalled. “Because those were guys where athleticism won’t win, sometimes great technique won’t even win, and that keeps you up at night. Knowing you can be perfect technically and still lose. There’s a lot of rushers in the league that you don’t worry about that with. If you’re good, then most likely the protection will be good. But with Garrett, you can be outstanding and he can still embarrass you.”

Through the first five weeks of the season, Garrett is tied for third in sacks (5.5), and that’s with the Browns being on their bye last weekend. And thanks to the addition of Smith, that number should only increase with added pressure across the defensive line.

But just like diamonds, Williams’ career is built on pressure moments like this, expecting a big clash of titans on Sunday in Ohio.

“I’m expecting to have to buckle up, man. This is going to be a hell of a ride,” he said.

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Sunday, October 15th @ Cleveland Browns – 10:00 AM PST
  • M0nday, October 23rd @ Minnesota Vikings – 5:15 PM PST
  • Sunday, October 29th vs. Cincinnati Bengals – 1:25 PM PST
  • Sunday, November 12th @ Jacksonville Jaguars – 10:00 AM PST
  • Sunday, November 19th vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 1:05 PM PST

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