Trent Williams is in his sixth season as the Washington Redskins' starting left tackle and recently received a five-year contract extension that will make him one of the top-paid offensive linemen in the NFL.
Is it fun again to knock people in the teeth and dominate physically at times?
"It feels fun to win. If you play great and still lose, it still feels terrible. You don't sleep any better at night. I've always wanted to win, playing great is fine, but it doesn't mean anything when you lose. Even the way film is graded, nobody gets kudos for doing a good job in a losing effort. Playing well [against Miami] doesn't do anything."
Is the turnaround time for Thursday night games a huge problem?**
"It's extremely tough. I'm not speaking for me and my team, but I'm speaking from a player in the NFL. Those Thursday games are one of the hardest things you'll do while you are playing in this league. You got guys that are still feeling [the previous week's] game like it just happened a few hours ago. You are still extremely sore. You get those nicks and bruises that really don't heal until Thursday or Friday. You get through it because everybody has to deal with it.
Ultimately, everybody in the NFL will have one of these of weeks. It's a give-and-take type of deal. You get the weekend off, but it is an extremely fast turnaround for a football game. It's a physical game, and the next day you feel like you have been in a car wreck."
What has Bill Callahan's influence meant to you?
"I am an older guy. He isn't as tough on me as he is on the young guys. My respect for the young guys like [Brandon] Scherff, [Morgan] Moses, all those guys on the offensive line — the one-, two- and three-year guys — my respect for them, it's paramount, it's through the roof. He is so tough on those guys. He doesn't let up not even one bit. Even when you look at [a good game], you say 'God, Brandon played well or Moses played well.' When we watch the film, that's not the message he's conveying. He's saying, 'Hey, that was good, but we need to do this better,' and, 'We need to do that better.'
He doesn't let up on those guys — and they don't shell up, either. They take the coaching and the criticism in stride. They go out there and work, before practice, after practice, during practice, during special teams. The extra work those guys put in is second to none. I've got a ton of respect for the way they've grown in the last few weeks and how they've performed the last few weeks."
Do you have to do less teaching or working with the other offensive linemen because of Callahan?
A countdown of the top-10 images of tackle Trent Williams during the 2014 season.
"I've been taught a lot of the technique that he's teaching. I'm older, I've worked it, I know what it's supposed to look like. With that being said, he doesn't let me just relax and get through the drills. He puts the pressure on me to actually say, 'You go take these two guys to show them what I want it to look like, while I takes these guys or the rest of the group to show them.' ...He puts it on me to help convey his message to those guys and to show them what the technique is supposed to look like, to give them insight on how well the technique does work and how it looks when it's done right. That's another way how he's really kept me locked in. It's stuff I learned a long time ago, when I was around their age. He keeps me sharp. He demands concentration out of me at all times. He doesn't let up for me. It think that does help me a lot."
How has being a dad changed you as a person and as a player?
"It's night and day. Once you have a life or a couple of lives that you value more than yours and you know that their success is a direct reflect of how well you do around them, how well you raise them and the lessons you instill upon them. The difference that it makes in you as a man is night and day. I love my kids to death. There's nothing I wouldn't do for them. Ultimately, it allows me to go out there on the field and say you know what I'm representing these two little lives, that look at me and say, 'That's Daddy handling business.'
Even when I'm not on the field, when I have to walk through the mall and people stop me and ask me to take pictures. The way that I react, they're paying attention to it. By me taking the extra time to sign autographs, or for me to meet and greet a fan and to actually have an engaging conversation — to not say, 'All right, let me take the picture and keep going' — I think they learn from that and say, 'If my Dad can conduct himself like this with all these eyes on him, in public, in the mall, when we're out eating, if he can conduct himself in a good manner, there's no reason why I can't.' That's how I look at it. They definitely force you to be on your best behavior. They force you to look at every situation to say, 'How can my next decision affect me, or my family or my kids?'
I think the change is definitely for the better."
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