San Francisco 49ers wideout Kyle Williams has patiently waited for a chance to erase the memories of January, when his two fumbled punt returns contributed to the team's loss in the NFC Championship Game.
It's unfair to blame Williams for a game the New York Giants eventually won, but this happens in football. Thousands of decisions, movements and reactions are boiled down to highlights for mass consumption. The easy, group response is to point to Williams' gaffes late in the game as the only factor, but the team itself doesn't look at the game through that lens.
Williams is still on the roster and hungry to build on an otherwise productive second season.
"It's not like you want to forget about something like that," Williams told Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee. "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."
Last season's playoff performance won't decide Williams' spot on the roster, at least not directly, but a restocked receiving corps might. Since the conference title game, the 49ers have added Mario Manningham, rookie A.J. Jenkins and Randy Moss. Williams has responded the only way he knows how:
"I haven't really stopped," Williams said. "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."