In a bit of a surprising turn, nose tackle Ian Williams has been lining up with the first team defense early on in training camp. It was thought that free agent signing Glenn Dorsey would be the front runner for that spot but he has been taking second team reps and a back seat to Williams thus far.
“He’s always been a good worker here,” said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “He just kicked it up a notch. I think he saw an opportunity. We signed him to an extension, which gave him a message. The two nose tackles that were ahead of him are no longer here.
The extension Fangio is referring to was a two-year deal worth 3.2 million dollars that Williams agreed to this past March. The 49ers gave Williams the extension based on what they saw out of him in practice as he has only appeared in four games over two seasons. In addition to the coaching staff, Williams also made an impression on his teammates.
“He’s always been like that — explosive, high motor, going to always move to the ball, is never going to stop,” said guard Alex Boone . “He’s the kind of guy you like to play against. He gets you good reps (and) really gives you a good feel for how it’s going to be in a game.”
One one the reasons for Williams success might be the workout regime he endured during the offseason. He played last year at 330 pounds and reported to camp at around 310.
Whether Williams holds on to the starting spot or Glenn Dorsey makes a run to claim it, the 49ers have to be happy thus far with the competition at nose tackle.
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