I was lucky enough to get the chance to speak with Washington Redskins Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams late last week.
He was available to some members of the media as part of Gillette's new Fusion ProShield campaign. To learn about this promotion and to see Williams show off his "dance moves" check out the information below and follow the link to the YouTube video.
In the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, Gillette is celebrating the importance of protection and shielding by teaming up with select NFL offensive linemen, aka the players who tend to fly under the radar but also protect the face of the team.
That’s something Gillette’s new Fusion ProShield – which has lubrication before and after the blades to shield faces from irritation – can get behind.
To celebrate these unsung protectors, Gillette is finally giving them the chance to dance – literally – by showcasing their signature protection-inspired #ShieldMove dance. NFL O-Liners Rodger Saffold (St. Louis Rams), John Urschel (Baltimore Ravens), and Trent Williams (Washington Redskins) debuted theirs last week and are inviting guys around the country to submit their very own dance on Twitter with the hashtag #ShieldMove all month long to receive some fun perks. Here’s Trent’s video, The Wall.
Williams was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer several questions about the Redskins' 2015 season and the team's offensive line among other things.
You can hear the interview in its entirety via the SoundCloud app (10 minutes in length) or read a slightly abridged version of our discussion below. I've listed minute markers for each of the questions so that you can jump between them if you would like.
James Dorsett (0:22): The Redskins only won 7 combined games between 2013 and 2014 and they finished last in the division both years. What are the main factors that you attribute this year's dramatic turnaround and division title to, and what do you have to say to those people that think that the Redskins simply won the division by default?
Trent Williams: A lot of people say a lot of things. You can't really get caught up in everybody's opinion, because I mean, obviously there's a lot of people in this world. If you get too caught up in every opinion you'll never be able to live your life. They can keep saying whatever they want to say, but for us it was a great accomplishment.
To win a division no matter what, under any circumstances, any time you're able to win a division and to get in the playoffs I think you've got to say the team did something right.
I think Scot had a lot to do with the turnaround. With bringing in the key guys and making the key calls, I think what he did was probably the most important aspect in this team's success.
James Dorsett (1:53): How would you evaluate your individual performance this year, and how does it compare to some of your other successful seasons in the league? Are there any areas left for you to improve upon at this point in your career?
Trent Williams: This season was definitely better than the last season. For me as a player, what I'm focusing on in the offseason is to be better than the year before.
There are a lot of areas I feel like I can improve on, but I think the most important key is being consistent. I'm just trying to be great consistently and not just here and there.
James Dorsett (2:53): What do you think about the development of the team's young offensive lineman Morgan Moses, Brandon Scherff, Spencer Long and Arie Kouandjio? If you had to pick one of them to have a breakout season in 2016 which of them would it be?
Trent Williams: It's tough, man. I think you can take....Brandon, I already kind of feel like he had a breakout year in 2015. With what we asked him to do and his consistent high level of play, I think he had an outstanding year.
As far as Arie and Spence, there are a couple of other young guys on the line also; you've got Takoby Cofield. Those guys are coached to continue and to grow and to groom into being great players. I feel like any one of those guys can potentially step up if given an opportunity and play some great football.
James Dorsett (3:53): What about a non-offensive linemen on the team, somebody not in that position group that maybe you see making a big leap next year?
Trent Williams: I like Quinton Dunbar, man. I just think he has a ton of potential. We've seen him in flashes here and there during the season and actually in some really pivotal roles and huge games. He played some really good football.
I look forward to seeing him when given a whole offseason to really train and to groom himself as a defensive back in the NFL, as opposed to being a wide receiver. I think he has a really bright future.
James Dorsett (5:04): Why do you think that the team's pass blocking improved so much this season when, at the same time, the running game kind of regressed and actually really struggled to get anything going in a couple of games? How do you see Bill Callahan and the rest of the offensive line remedying that going forward?
When you've got the weapons that we have on the outside and you've got the weapons we have at tight end and wide receiver and Jamison Crowder and not to mention the gunslinger that we have in Kirk, it's so hard not to want to drop back and pass the ball 40 times a game.
When you're that style of an offense usually the run game is the one thing that suffers from it. If you look at the Patriots and you look at Tom Brady, he doesn't really have a consistent running game either, but you would love to have the ball in his hands.
I know it's an old school outlook that you have to run the ball to be successful; but while that may be true in a lot of cases, I'm down to do whatever works to do to win. If it's keeping up the run or trying to improve on the run to win, I'm down for it. If it's throwing the ball 40 times a game, then I'm down for it. Whatever gets the W is what I feel like we need to do.
James Dorsett (6:56): Who is the best pass rusher that you faced this season?
Trent Williams: I like Chandler Jones a lot. I think he's one of the most improved guys this year. I think he's had an outstanding season, and blocking him was pretty tough.
Obviously the Robert Quinn's of the world. Everybody knows what he can do, so that doesn't really surprise anybody. You know, that's the obvious guy there.
Willie Young from Chicago is a darn good pass rusher as well.
James Dorsett (7:45): Who do you think is the best that you've ever faced in your career?
Trent Williams: Maybe Von Miller.
My rookie year, having to face Dwight Freeney in a primetime night-scheduled game was pretty tough.
Obviously DeMarcus Ware. He was a thorn in the Redskins' backside for a long time with the Cowboys. He's an outstanding rusher.
James Dorsett (8:35): Do you care to make a Super Bowl prediction?
Editor's note: This interview was recorded before this past weekend's divisional round playoff games.
Trent Williams: I think the Cardinals have a good chance of making it, and I think the Broncos have a good chance of making it. That would be my two.
I think that the Cardinals have a better chance of stopping the Broncos' offense. Obviously the Broncos' defense is going to make it hard on the Cardinals, but they have so many weapons that it's going to be hard to take away all of them.