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May 22, 2012
Kyle Williams: It's not like you want to forget about something like that


Kyle Williams spoke to local reporters today for the first time since his two flubbed punt returns in the NFC Championship. Williams said he's dealt with that game by focusing on the upcoming season, and he said preparation for the 2012 campaign started almost as soon as the 2011 season ended. Here's the transcript:

What's the offseason been like for you?
KW: I haven't really stopped. Ever since a week after that last game, I've been going. There was no break and I've been going full-throttle since then. I feel great.

Has it been a different regimen than the past?
KW: No, it's just been more. The same type of stuff, but the volume has definitely been turned up and it's been very rigorous. I'm pushing myself to get an edge -- that's what it takes.

Do you use what happened in the championship game as motivation?
KW: Well, to some degree. It's not like you want to forget about something like that. You want to build off of that, learn from it, take it as a mistake and build off it, you know? It was a tough time, obviously, for me and for the whole team. But the way these guys had my back, they continue to have my back. That, coupled with the work ethic, has just kind of been a good therapy for me. So I've just been going hard, and I'm ready to go. I'm ready to go now.

On whether he's been more explosive this offseason.
KW: I think that's a direct result of the amount of work. There was no dropoff from last year. We went through the whole season, and immediately afterward we've been working. There's been no dropoff.

How intense do you think the competition at WR will be?
KW: Very intense. It's something that I look forward to, that we look forward to as a whole group. And we're building off that. Guys are getting better every day. It's already started

What kind of impact has Randy Moss had on you?
KW: Oh, a huge impact. He's a vet and he's a savvy vet and he's a first-ballot hall of famer once he gets done playing. So if you can't learn something from a guy like that, then you're not paying attention. So just the way he goes about his business, the way he works and the way he takes care of himself every day - it's something that you can't help but learn from.

What's he like?
KW: He's one of those guys who leads by example. And he's the same guy every day. That's the best lesson he can give to any of us.

Has your role changed this year?
KW: Well, last year I bounced around, I did just about everything last year and it's been the same this year. Bouncing around, doing a lot of things, doing different things. And that's what I'm comfortable doing - inside, outside. If they need me to drop back and be next Alex back in the backfield, I'm comfortable with that, too. Special teams, I'm fine with that, too. Any way they want to use me, they can use me. I'm defeinitely open to it.

Can you see yourself as the primary punt returner?
KW: Well, it's tough to when you've got a guy like Ted Ginn, somebody that I've looked up to since I was a younger guy in high school. So as long as Ted's around, I'll be able to step in and fill that void for us. But it's wherever they put me. Wherever they put me, I feel comfortable with myself and my abilities on the field no matter where I'm at.

What was you reaction to the Saints bounty scandal, particularly audio about you?
KW: I really didn't have a reaction to it. I'm really not going to speak on anything like that because there's so much speculation and so much gray area of what could have been said and all that. I'm really not going to touch on that.

Does the recent attention given to concussions concern you about what you do for a living?
KW: It comes with the territory. It's one of those things that when you sign up, you know what you're getting into. That's one of the things that can happen, that's a possibility always. You just have to be able to protect yourself on the field as much as you can.

Do you have any effects after the season ended?
KW: It's tough to say because I wasn't seeing a doctor every day. It's one of those things where concussions affect you in a lot of ways, and down the line ... You see guys that have been out of the league for 20 years and they're having problems with it. But again, I feel great, I feel like I'm back to myself, I feel normal and I have for a while.

Were there particular guys in the locker room who had your back after the Giants game?
KW: You know, it's hard to say. It really is. Because just about everybody in that locker room was either calling my phone right afterwards .. I mean Dashon (Goldson) was one of the first people to call me, and then Crab (Michael Crabtree) and Teddy (Ginn). These guys were like my brothers. Everybody in that locker room kind of came to my side and (got) my back. And even Pat (Willis). Pat - he was there before he even got to my locker. He was waiting on me to see if I was good. It's just one of those things that you can tell the type of guys you have in this locker room because they didn't turn their backs on me. And they could have. They really could have. They came to my back and they were there for me.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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