Trent Williams is an intimidating dude. The 6′ 5″, 320 pound left tackle has been selected to the Pro Bowl four times in six pro seasons and it wasn’t for his personality.
But in the new #ShieldMove campaign for Gillette, Trent gives you a taste of his laid back style and sense of humor:
We spoke to Trent about the origin of his “Silverback” nickname, Richard Sherman, and the ridiculousness of defensive players celebrating a quarterback sack like a touchdown.
Male Standard – How did the relationship with Gillette ShieldMove campaign get started?
Trent Williams – It came from the ProShield razor, and how it protects your face when you shave, and what better position to get involved than offensive line? Which is what we do for a living, protect the shield. We’re asking all the fans to come up with some type of ShieldMove, put it on Twitter, use the hashtag #ShieldMove or #WhatsYourShieldMove and then me, John Urschel, and Rodger Saffold will get a chance to take a look at them and debate on who’s the best.
Male Standard – Trent, you’ve done something that millions of Americans have wanted to do at one point in their lives, and that one thing is to slap the shit out of Richard Sherman. Millions Trent, millions. How did it feel?
Trent Williams – It was so long ago, I don’t even remember (laughing). Since then, we’ve talked about our issues or whatever we had. We’re cool now, so I don’t really reflect on it too much.
MS – One thing I’ve always admired about you is that by presence alone, YOU are in charge of the entire field, any field you are on. With the black visor, you’re like a robot. Talk about being “Silverback” on the field in a league full of guys who have always been the alpha male.
TW – The whole “Silverback” nickname is a game they gave me in college. The guys said they saw a comparison in that I’m a laid back individual and at times, I had the ability to, you know, get enraged or show some type of athletic ability or strength similar to an animal, and they picked “Silverback.” That’s kind of where it all started.
I think it’s just leadership and the ability to get guys to kind of want to follow your lead. So you have to do something that gains their respect, and I try to do that on the daily basis. The way I work, how much time and effort I put in to my craft and I think guys see that and respect that.
MS – What’s the difference between offensive lineman and defensive lineman?
TW – Offensive lineman is one of the most selfless positions on the field. We don’t get a lot of recognition for the things we do. A lot of people couldn’t tell you the first few things about offensive linemen and what makes a good one. A lot of people are in the dark as far as the significance that it has to a team. I think defensive lineman, it’s all about stats. You can be an individual to a certain point. If you look, a sack nowadays is celebrated like a touchdown.
MS – How does that make you feel – does it make you upset?
TW – Yeah, because I think a lot of people lose sight of the fact that you may go up against a guy 40 times and you might stone him all 39, he gets one good play, and it’s kind of like celebrating when you’re down 40 points and you score a touchdown. That’s how we look at it.
MS – Just don’t do it when you’re down 40 and blow out your knee like the Bears’ Lamarr Houston!
See! You don’t have to worry about that if you aren’t doing any sack dances. No possibility of gettin’ injured.
MS – Is it weird to be idolized?
Yeah, I don’t think I’ve really came to grips with the whole trend of being idolized. I feel like I just came into the NFL, I’m only 27, I don’t really feel that old. But to hear kids say they idolize me, that they pattern their game after me, I’m kind of taken aback by that. It’s kind of humbling.
MS – Here’s a question for you, a real-life scenario: I’ve got this buddy, he’s 35-years-old. He’s a big Chiefs fan. He wants to buy a Marcus Peters jersey, who’s 22-years-old. I’m like, ‘Dude, you gotta go with the Joe Montana; you’re a 35-year old man.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, I don’t even want to hear that.’ What are your thoughts on seeing a dude older than you wearing your jersey?
(Laughing) Uh, you know, I don’t really…I like the support whether it’s coming from an older person or a younger person. No matter your age, you can still be a fan of a great player, no matter their age.
MS – OK, I’m going to tell him it’s shameful and that you said so. I’m not going to tell him what you really said.
TW – Don’t you dare misquote me.
MS – OK, time for Silly Questions With Paul! Question one: Would you rather lose your cell phone for a week, or, your car keys for a week?
TW – (After about 1.5 seconds) Cell phone.
MS – Really? That fast, that easy?
TW – If you lose your cell phone, at least you can drive and go get a new one. You can’t call someone to get a new car.
MS – Who got the better Christmas gift from Trent Williams – your mom, or, your special lady/wife?
TW – I don’t know, that’s a good question, ha ha, man, I don’t remember. Ha ha, probably my wife I would say.
MS – What did you get her?
TW – I don’t know, I don’t even remember what I got her. Every day is Christmas.
MS – It must not have been very good, Trent…
TW – We celebrate it year round, so…
MS – OHHH, BURN SAUCE! Very smooth. Final question: You can dunk a basketball which is awesome for a man of your size. Of any current or former NBA player, who is one player you are SURE, 100% positive, you are better than?
TW – Hahahaha! That’s crazy. (After about 2.5 seconds) I would say Shawn Bradley.
MS – Think you could posterize him?
TW – I don’t know about posterize, but I can definitely get some buckets up!
To celebrate these unsung protectors of the gridiron, 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) 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.