Williams believes play-tipping accusations are ‘nonsense'


AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — After gaining attention on social media, Trent Williams dismissed the notion that his stance is tipping off defenders what plays the 49ers offense is running. 

The veteran left tackle explained that with the exorbitant amount of plays that Kyle Shanahan has in his arsenal, even if Williams did indicate whether it was a run or pass play on deck, there would be no way to determine which of the numerous plays it could be. 

“It’s pretty [much] nonsense,” Williams said on Friday. “If you just think that football is as simple as knowing if it is a run or a pass, and you dismiss the knowledge that you have to have to compete at a high level, just because you know it’s a run, doesn’t mean you know what type of run.” 

Shanahan is known for his expansive playbook and the head coach is unconcerned about the online claims about his left tackle. If the case were that Williams’ stance had been a factor for opposing defenses, it would not go unresolved. 

“Oh, it definitely would be a big deal,” Shanahan said. “I don’t study your viral videos or whoever’s, we’re pretty good with Trent.”

Williams explained that defensive players only looked to his positioning to make their call, he could take advantage of the situation with misdirection. The 13-year vet has the ability to disguise what the plan is. 

“We just installed 50 runs with six different looks each run. So I could show you run all day. Do you know which 50 runs we are running? There’s plays where we want it to look like a run and we are passing it and there are runs that look like a pass and we are running it. 

“If you’re looking for me to tell you everything, then I can manipulate you. Which is why they don’t look at us that much, as much as you guys think. It’s never been that big of a deal on this side.

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Star pass-rusher Nick Bosa himself doesn’t put that much into an offensive lineman’s stance or potential pre-snap tells. The Ohio State product’s method is more big-picture. 

“I’m not huge on pre-snap stuff,” Bosa said. “I know a lot of guys do, but I think when I’m guessing, unless it’s something that’s glaring and obvious, then I’ll obviously use that, but for the most part, formations I’ll look at. That will help me in the run game. But our scheme allows us to just stare at the ball and get off the rock.” 

The controversy may continue online, but it appears that there is very little concern about Williams’s stance in-house. 

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