NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks


49ers LT Trent Williams said his cancer diagnosis in 2019 changed his outlook on life.

“The football player, the sport, all that was kind of out the window at that moment in time,” Williams said, via “I really felt helpless. It felt as vulnerable as you could feel as a human, just not knowing what the next day might bring, not knowing how much longer you got left on Earth.”

Williams said the time leading up to his trade from Washington to San Francisco was the most challenging.

“I think that part of my life I learned the most about myself,” Williams said. “When tragedy strikes, everybody always thinks about the impact and whether you survive or not. Hardly ever do you think about how it feels to start from square one. I feel like that’s exactly where I was starting from, after going through those surgeries and taking the time off to recover and just mentally what I had went through just even having to think about dying at such an early age. When all the smoke clears, here I am, I haven’t lifted weights, I haven’t run, I haven’t even broken a sweat in eight or nine months. There was no easy way to go about it. There only was the hard route, that was to bust my butt and get into elite football shape and being the elite player that I once was, and having to hear all the doubts. I wasn’t very open with what I went through, so I know a lot of people doubted. They thought it was more so contracts, and I understood that, but the human nature of being criticized, it has an effect sometimes.”

As a result of everything he’s been through, Williams takes pride in every play he puts onto the field.

“I take so much pride in the product that I put out there. I’m always concerned, I’m always nervous, I’m always anxious about football and playing. I don’t feel like that part of it gets easier,” Williams said. “But when it comes down to actually going out there, every time I can tie my cleats up, I can strap my shoulder pads up and my helmet, just taking advantage of that. I do know how it feels for that to be snatched away.”

  • 49ers’ DE Nick Bosa will see his fifth-year option increase by $3.5 million due to his Pro Bowl appearance. (Brad Spielberger)


Regarding the Cardinals missing the playoffs last season, RB Chase Edmonds responded that the team “folded” in 2020 and thinks they must show higher urgency this time around. 

“I think a lot about last year,” said Edmonds, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “When you look over mistakes in your life, look over results in your life, you might have regrets about and you try to bypass it, that’s when it bites you in the ass again. I’m not going to be that type of player. Last year, we folded, and I was the first one to say that. This year, I think the team needs to focus on that. We need to have more urgency. It is a different situation but at the same time, we’ve been here before. We know what we have done wrong last year, whether it was uncomfortable situations in meeting rooms, uncomfortable situations player to player in the locker room, it doesn’t matter, it needs to be addressed. Guys need to look themselves in the mirror … and embrace the pressure.”

Edmonds added that he’s working to have a deeper understanding of their run scheme and what he’s facing from opposing defenses. 

“My approach is to understand the run scheme first, understanding who the line is responsible for, understanding who the unblocked man is when I get the ball, and understanding the gap integrity of the defense,” Edmonds said. “Whether or not the analytics say I should be getting certain yards or not, if I can understand what a defense is trying to do to me and I can understand what our scheme and what our goal is on each individual run, it’ll get me more success.”

As for playing alongside RB James Conner, Edmonds mentioned that Conner’s 14 touchdowns are second-most in the league and isn’t concerned with how the coaching staff rotates their rushing attack. 

“I’m going to throw a stat out there,” Edmonds said. “We’ve got the second-leading rusher in touchdowns (Conner) and we’ve got the first rusher in yards per carry (Edmonds) in the same backfield. I feel like, me and James personally, we’re going to put this on our shoulders. We accepted it. We embrace the challenge. However they rotate it I could care less, as long as we get a little bit of the touches so we can help navigate this offense.”


Regarding the Seahawks’ offensive struggles, HC Pete Carroll said that they must improve “in all phases” but expressed confidence in Russell Wilson

“We’ve got to be better in all phases. It’s the first thing. And it’s not just one guy,” Carroll said, via ProFootballTalk. “But I know that it took Russ time to get back after the time off and it wasn’t quite the same. He could still play and do well and do lots of things but he just had to work his way through it. I think it’s a little bit of everything. You know, we got to get to be better in all ways. I think it’s been a challenge in that regard, physically.”

Carroll added that the Seahawks have the players to succeed offensively but have had an issue with third-downs and general consistency. 

“It has been frustrating because we feel like we have parts that can get this done, but the consistency just hasn’t been there. There’s been a real common theme and that’s been that third down stuff that’s been a factor,” Carroll said.

Carroll has high praise for Wilson since his finger injury, mentioning that he’s not showing any signs of impairment. 

“Everything we see and what Russ is reporting too is that he feels fine. He really does feel fine,” Carroll said. “He’s working hard in practice. He doesn’t miss a rep. He’s doing everything that he normally does. His warm-ups are now totally complete. All of that. This is a finely tuned athlete that’s still got a finger in his throwing hand that is on the rebound. I’m not trying to give him an excuse and he would never want that. He feels like he’s fine. But the fact remains he’s still got to deal with that. But he’s not showing any signs of it. We don’t see anything in practice or in any of his turns that he takes. And so I go with what Russ says. Russ feels fine.”

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