When the time comes for the 49ers to make their final 53-man roster decisions, will Kyle Williams’ killer fumbles on a pair of punt returns in the team’s overtime loss to the Giants in the NFC title game lessen the likelihood he survives the final cut? Interestingly, those fumbles might end up helping Williams in a roundabout way, considering how much we hear the receiver-returner entering his third season has impressed the Niners’ braintrust with the way he has handled his very costly turnovers.
“With the signings they’ve made, bringing in (Mario) Manningham and (Randy) Moss, and the probability that they could draft a couple more receivers, it looks like he could have work to do to make the final roster,” one team insider said of Williams. “But he has rebounded really well from the muffs. (Niners GM) Trent Baalke had a good conversation with him and came away thinking Kyle really had it together mentally. You know, he had a similar situation in college involving a couple of costly fumbles and came back from that. The thing is, he is just a real solid kid. He’s not afraid to talk about what happen. He doesn’t shy away from anything and has been very up front.”
Williams also actually displayed some legitimate big-play flashes in the slot last season, most notably in the Week 13 win over the Rams, when he had a 56-yard catch-and-run for a score and a 25-yard reverse scamper that set up one of David Akers’ four field goals. “He proved to be a very smart, solid slot,” the source said of Williams. “He knows how to read defenses and he had a real good chemistry with (QB) Alex Smith.”