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Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan on Trent Williams: “I’d be really surprised if Trent wasn’t fired up in a few weeks”

Rohan Chakravarthi
Feb 1, 2023 at 2:10 PM--

The San Francisco 49ers concluded their 2022 season with a disheartening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, losing 31-7 and moving into offseason mode.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch conducted their postseason press conference on Wednesday, and they touched on a variety of intriguing topics, of which Trent Williams' retirement was one of notice.

When addressing the media for the final time earlier this week, Williams was hesitant to provide a definitive answer on his future, acknowledging the toll that an NFL season takes on the body.

"I mean, it's a long season," Williams told reporters Tuesday as the 49ers cleared out their lockers, ready to embark on the offseason. "And having two long seasons back-to-back, it does get pretty grueling for a 34-year-old guy like myself. I'll be 35 when the season starts.

Williams has thought about life after football, citing his age, as well as the unfortunate result of this season.

"You do kind of think about what's life like after football. I've done this every year of my life since the second grade. You do get to that age where, especially at the end of the year like this, with it being as exhausting as it was, and still not getting quite where you want to be.

However, Williams didn't have an answer about what his future currently holds as the 49ers went into the offseason.

"I get it. You get to that age. But honestly, I'm just taking it one day at a time, and we'll just see how that goes going forward."

Given the nature and timing of Williams' comments, it wasn't surprising that Shanahan and Lynch were asked about their left tackle's future.

Shanahan understood the nature of Williams's comments, especially given how the season went.

"Yeah, I do, but if everyone had to do a press conference and talk for a while after these games, I'm sure we'd say a lot of things that didn't tell you guys exactly everything that's going to happen for the next eight months."

However, Shanahan didn't view Williams' comments as a sign of potential retirement, but instead an indictment of how the 49ers season ultimately ended.

"But, I didn't read his words as that's a big thing for him. I know Trent loves football. I know it's very hard at his age, in any situation to do what you do for that long and come up short."

Shanahan doubled down, sharing his beliefs that Williams would likely return for a third full season in San Francisco in 2023.

"I'd be really surprised if Trent wasn't fired up in a few weeks."

Shanahan's statement makes sense when considering the context of Williams's words, who acknowledged the toughness of dealing with consistent shortcomings.

"Honestly, I'd be lying if I said it didn't," Williams said. "Yeah, it does. I mean, it isn't hard to get up for the NFC Championship or playoffs or anything like that. But, yeah, the day-to-day grind, it does get pretty redundant, doing it for a long time. But I'm blessed. I'm blessed to be able to play the game for as long as I have, and whatever God has in the future for me, I know I'll have it.

"But to answer your question, yeah, it does get a little—it's like a rerun almost."

However, Shanahan's belief that Williams should be fired up for another year should ease some doubt in the mind of 49ers fans, at least for now.

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