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49ers' Kyle Shanahan talks tactics and the 'illegal' Trent Williams

The 49ers are a physical team and with head coach Kyle Shanahan's intention to place Trent Williams at fullback, they just got a whole lot more dangerous.

The 49ers are a physical team and with head coach Kyle Shanahan's intention to place Trent Williams at fullback, they just got a whole lot more dangerous.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Trent Williams has been somewhat of a revelation under 49ers' head coach Kyle Shanahan which is exactly why the team will be hoping that the All-Pro player is at 100% when they face off against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday

The 49ers like the rough stuff

In the time that Kyle Shanahan has been head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, one could say that they have made a reputation for themselves as being a very physical football team. That in itself might seem a strange thing to say when considering the fact that American Football is often called a violent sport. Yet Shanahan and his charges have most definitely found creative ways in which to crush opposing defenses as they went about taking names in the post season. One such tactic was putting Trent Williams in the backfield.

How does it work? Quite simply Shanahan has opted to put Williams up at fullback instead of six-time Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Why you ask? Two reasons really, the first being oppositions don't want the kind of trouble that Williams brings and secondly because Williams has taken to it like a fish takes to water. "Just one more piece we can add to it," Shanahan said Thursday. "Trent mentioned it to me a long time ago kind of halfway joking. And he was the only guy left and he's probably the best guy you can imagine ever doing it. I can't believe it's legal. It's scary for me to even watch."

Is Trent Williams is Kyle Shanahan's secret weapon?

It would be understandable if one started to think of Shanahan as a cruel man, especially when you take in the notion that he has even considered giving the 6-5, 320-pound Williams the football as a means to inflict even more damage on opposing defenses. Already boasting the most physical running game in the league with Eli Mitchell and Deebo Samuel, would it be overkill to throw Williams into the mix this deep into the post season? Regardless the 49ers main concern on the eve of their NFC Championship date with the Los Angeles Rams will undoubtedly be Williams' health. Having not trained in midweek due to his ankle injury, Shanahan will likely make a game day decision when it comes to his ace in the sleeve.

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At any rate should Trent Williams be good to go come Sunday, you can expect to see him lined up in motion once again as his coach doesn't believe that doing so was the cause of his injury during the Divisional Round victory over the Green Bay Packers. "It's not something that Trent had to practice too much," Shanahan said. "He had to just time out the motion with the snap count and run full speed through the D-gap and clean up whoever shows. And when they showed, they got out there pretty fast. I thought it was was one of the cooler plays I'd seen, just because of who was on it, not because of the play we ran," Shanahan said.


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