How Chase Young’s immediate 49ers fit surprised Trent Williams originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
SANTA CLARA — During the 49ers’ traditional pregame procession to the field prior to their win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at EverBank Stadium, Chase Young surprised Trent Williams by joining him at the front of the tunnel leading to the field.
It wasn’t that the All-Pro left tackle felt like Young didn’t belong, but Williams was surprised by how much he did.
“I didn’t [expect it] the first week, but literally he fit right in and it was like he had been doing it with us the whole time,” Williams told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday. “That’s what lets you know it’s a hand-and-glove fit with him and this organization.”
Young quickly has made an impact on the 49ers’ defense, setting the edge opposite of Nick Bosa on the defensive line. His presence alone has also opened up opportunities for Arik Armstead and Javon Hargrave on the interior.
Williams admitted that he can’t help but watch the group when they are on the field together, especially Young.
“I see a ton of him,” Williams said. “I watch him pretty much every play he’s in there. To watch him, Bosa, Hargrave, Armstead, all pin their ears back, it’s a sight to see. I’m glad I don’t have to play those guys.”
Young’s chemistry with the 49ers’ defense and the locker room, as a whole, has been immediate. The group already put together a dominating performance in Jacksonville that included five quarterback sacks, 10 quarterback hits, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
That wouldn’t have been possible without a certain level of ease for Young to join an entirely new organization.
“I definitely am,” Young said of his comfort level. “My teammates definitely helped. When I stepped into the locker room, it was all love. Everybody embraced me, and everybody was excited that I’m here. Just very fortunate to be around a good group of guys that let me be myself.”
Williams understands what the fourth-year NFL player is going through, having spent a large part of his career in Washington as Young did. The left tackle believes that this is the best opportunity for his new teammate to show the world what he is capable of.
“He’s a special player and I’m so glad to see him motivated and get a breath a fresh air,” Williams said. “Maybe a new change of scenery is good. I went through it. I know it was good for me. I can kind of see his vibe that it was good for him. I think that this atmosphere can get the best out of him.”
Young already is on his way to a career-best season with 5.5 sacks through eight games. The star pass rusher’s most productive season, statistically was his NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign in 2020, when he logged 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss and 12 quarterback hits.
Young will have another chance to add to his totals as the 49ers hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, and Williams certainly will be watching when the defense is on the field.