Trent Williams is known as one of the best in the business, so when the veteran tackle admits that another player is challenging him, it is significant.
One of the best aspects of 49ers training camp for most members of the media is the opportunity to watch Williams face off with former No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa. It doesn’t matter if it is in one-on-ones or in team drills — the chess match between the two linemen is impressive.
Bosa’s well-calculated return to drills while coming back from an ACL injury kept the contest from taking place until the final week of open practices. It was then that Williams noticed how strong the edge rusher had become since the last time they had faced off against each other — nearly one year ago.
“Nick has been outstanding,” Williams said on Friday. “I don’t know how he could have gotten stronger, but he did. Very few people come back from a major injury and are better than they were when they left. I played Nick before he left and played him when he got back and he is better.”
Bosa, like Williams, is a student of the game. Both linemen research and diligently work on techniques to improve their game. It was important for the eight-time Pro Bowler to point out that it’s not simply brute strength when it comes to Bosa’s technique — it’s also incredible skill.
“Nick is a very sharp guy,” Williams said. “It’s all between his ears. He was just blessed with the ability and having the body to do so. Honestly, he is such a smart guy. Staying around the game and studying the game, his mind always stays sharp.
"I feel like he came back with a recipe of moves just for me. I know he’s been mentally going through it.”
Williams welcomes the competition citing that Bosa has helped him quickly knock the rust off since his return. The left tackle can’t take any reps off when the former DROY is on the field and both know that it’s beneficial for everyone involved.
“There are very few that have it all like he has, that can move that fluid,” Williams said. He can also move you off the spot with strength. He can also run by you or finesse you with inside moves. I think that’s what makes him so special It’s definitely good news for the Faithful.
Bosa likely will not see the field until the regular season starts. Kyle Shanahan explained on Friday that he hadn’t yet spoken to the edge rusher, but that the decision was leaning towards Bosa sitting out the final exhibition against the Raiders.
The Faithful have been patient this long — what’s a couple more weeks?