The first surgery of Trent Williams' life put more fear into him than any

pass-rusher on a football field."I was scared Tampa Bay Buccaneers Hoodie ," Williams said. "I was terrified."Not much terrifies the Washington Redskins' star left tackle, though this was different. Now eight months removed from major surgery on his right knee, Williams is ready to get back on the field when the Redskins open the season at the Arizona Cardinals and already looks like the player he was before the debilitating injury."He looks amazing," coach Jay Gruden said this week. "We just have to make sure we take care of him, get him right. Physically, I think for the game, he's in great football shape. He's always been in great football shape but I expect him to be Trent Williams, the best left tackle in football."Williams has gotten that kind of praise from Tampa Bay defensive end Gerald McCoy and others around the NFL and earned respect for playing through countless injuries. His six games missed last season were more than he sat out for injury combined over the previous five seasons.This knee injury was so bad it forced Williams not to play and affected his mindset."It was difficult to have to — I'm not going say give up — but basically have to go ahead and I guess bow down out of the battle," Williams said. "I just more so felt defeated because I had tried so hard to continue to work through."Williams was so determined to gut it out he played games even when Washington was eliminated from playoff contention. The sight of his name on the injured reserve list for the first time in his career was the wakeup call he needed to finally go under the knife.That happened Dec. 29: a medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction by way of a tibial tubercle osteotomy, which involved breaking his tibia bone and realigning it with the knee joint. Every doctor he saw told him he was underestimating how major it was."I was," Williams said. "Maybe I was in denial. I did underestimate how intense it was and how hard the recovery was going to be."Eight weeks of being unable to get around without crutches or assistance followed. Williams spent months building the strength back up on both legs, got eased back into practices and still had a hurdle to overcome that's common to players coming off knee surgery."Trent came in and he did drills with us in OTAs and to me he looked quicker and faster than he had been before Youth Customized Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys ," running back Chris Thompson said. "But then when you get out here and bodies start flying, people start coming towards you full-speed, mentally you're just like, 'Oh, I don't know if I'm ready yet.'"Williams took limited snaps in the preseason as the team preferred a cautious approach to getting Williams to Week 1. As he built up his workload through training camp, teammates saw glimpses of Williams at his best."He hasn't lost his step," right tackle Morgan Moses said. "The guy obviously is an incredible athlete. He runs like a deer. He runs like a guy that's supposed to be playing slot receiver."Williams is still dealing with scar tissue and managing internal expectations. But now he can put his weight on his right leg without the burden of worrying about what'll happen next."It's a relief because at the time I was playing and putting other ligaments and other parts of my body at major risk and I knew the risk I was taking prior to doing so," he said. "When you're competing and you're a competitor, all that stuff kind of falls to the wayside. You throw caution out the window. But it feels great knowing I'm not bowing out anymore."Follow Stephen Whyno on Twitter at ://SWhyno .The Crow’s Nest: Week 1 Headlines 'Don't let Fitz fool you:' What the Saints expect from Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick | NOLA.comBucs starter Jameis Winston begins three-game suspension Sunday.Inside One Buc - 9/5: Nassib Addresses Media; OT Smith Returns | Pewter ReportOn the first official practice of the regular season, we talked to a new Buc for the first time, and many other players and coaches.Could Chris Godwin’s walk-off TD catch be the start of something big? - The Local PaperBucs receiver Chris Godwin's first career touchdown came on Jameis Winston's final throw of 2017, setting the tone for an impressive offseason.Bucs’ Carl Nassib looking for a fresh start away from the Hard Knocks cameras - The Local PaperDefensive end Carl Nassib , who was claimed off waivers from the Browns where he was a star on Hard Knocks, said he's glad to be part of the Bucs. He also doesn't miss the HBO cameras."I'm The Starting Right Guard" - JoeBucsFan.comThird-year offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch was all smiles at his locker today chatting with the Sage of Tampa Bay sports, columnist Ira Kaufman, at One Buc Palace.Keepin' The Streak Alive - JoeBucsFan.comDonovan Smith was on the practice field today. But per the first injury report of the season, he was limited.The Identity Tampa Bay, JoeBucsFan, Derrick Brooks & Ira Kaufman Join Forces For A New Show - JoeBucsFan.comJoe is so darn pumped!!Ex-Buccaneers K Roberto Aguayo working out with Jets - Jets WireJason Myers can't be feeling all that secure in his new job right now.Dirk Koetter: Former Saints CB De'Vante Harris taking advantage of 'fresh start' with Bucs | NOLA.comThe Saints waived Harris in August after two years with the team.Steelers, Le'Veon Bell's agent exchange barbs - NFL.comWhile Ben Roethlisberger and other Pittsburgh Steelers players prepare to open the season against the Cleveland Browns, tensions seem to be ratcheting up with Le'Veon Bell and the organization.