Kyle Shanahan: Trent Williams in motion is scary to watch, I can’t believe it’s legal

NFL: JAN 16 NFC Wild Card - 49ers at Cowboys
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When the 49ers added a new wrinkle to their offense by putting offensive tackle Trent Williams in motion, coach Kyle Shanahan believed he had stumbled upon something that would instill fear into opposing defenses.

“He’s probably the best guy you could imagine ever doing it. I can’t believe it’s legal. It’s scary even for me to even watch,” Shanahan said of Williams in motion. “I thought it was one of the cooler plays I’ve seen, just because of who was on it.”

Shanahan said there’s nothing unique about the play itself, it’s just that it’s highly unusual to have the 6-foot-5, 320-pound Williams in motion. Shanahan said the motion was something the 49ers previously had fullback Kyle Juszcyk run, then they decided to try other players in that position and finally gave Williams a chance to do it after he had mentioned he’d love an opportunity to line up in the offensive backfield.

“We just look at it as the same play we’ve been doing for 10 years, and just, what’s one more thing we can add to it,” Shanahan said. “It used to only be Juice, then we added the tight ends, then we added running backs, then we added receivers. Trent mentioned it to me a long time ago, kind of halfway joking.”

There’s no joking about it now, it’s a formation that has become a staple of the 49ers’ offense.

19 responses to “Kyle Shanahan: Trent Williams in motion is scary to watch, I can’t believe it’s legal

  1. It is scary, and probably should be illegal. Did you watch Trent just completely unroot a D-lineman, then plow downhill against a second defender?

    I don’t know how you stop that on a short yardage situation other than try and guess correctly and overload that side. But he’s likely to still win.

  2. There have been a few times when they did this and it didn’t work at all. Why send him in motion only to run the ball up the middle and get stuffed for a two yard loss?

  3. Yeah. That sounds like a good idea. Remove Trent Williams from having any blocking assignments and see how the rest of the offensive line gets to deal with Aaron Donald AND Von Miller AND Leonard Floyd.

  4. Really surprised every team isn’t doing this. Now DBs have to take the trucking and can’t go low, having a huge lineman pulling out wide is a massive advantage. Poor rule design by the NFL but Shanahan clearly has spotted how to exploit it.

  5. A staple? They ran it twice (?) against the Pack and the second time he either whiffed or they didn’t even run it that direction as he didn’t hit anyone.

  6. Yet they ran it on 4th down away from where he was going in motion towards. Needless to say they did not get the 1st down. Genius. Outsmarted everyone except the team you were playing.

  7. It’s legal as long as he is in motion parallel or away from the line. That may have been questionable a few times. I’ll be curious if it gets called Sunday.

  8. it actually was illegal the way he ran it, angling towards the line of scrimmage before the ball was snapped. you can only run parallel to the LoS – this isn’t the CFL. still a very cool play but he should probably flatten his motion next time, or the refs should throw a flag.

  9. Makes sense that your best blocker in a 3 point stance would be unstoppable if given a full head of steam at the snap. It’s demoralizing to tell your opponent what your going to do, then execute it, and they can’t stop you. If you use it as misdirection then your showing you don’t truly have confidence, and if it backfires, you’ve just outsmarted yourself. Play action, QB sneak around end, maybe. But putting Williams in motion one way and running another is a waste.

  10. The second time it was run, Mitchell messed up and hit the wrong gap. If he would have followed Trent around the edge it looked like it could be a chunk play, much less the one yard they needed.

  11. Shanahan is feeling pretty good. He’s trying to mess with the Rams. But the Rams have some decent players on defense, and Aaron Donald isn’t the only one.

  12. Congratulations in advance, Josh, for being the first high-level coach in NFL history to get caught cheating on three different teams!

    You couldn’t even make it to the regular season your first year — oh, yeah, also your last — in Denver before getting caught recording exhibition opponents’ practices in consecutive weeks.

    Hey, one more for your HOF display case — first coach in NFL history to get caught cheating on two different continents in the same month!

    And look who welcomed you back immediately.

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