While San Francisco looks for a young receiver to emerge this offseason, Kyle Williams patiently rehabs the season-ending knee injury he suffered in Week 12 of the 2012 season.
The fourth-year wideout is running full speed right now, but hasn't joined in on team periods during 49ers Organized Team Activities. Williams ran short to intermediate routes during individual periods and then worked on striding out on an adjacent practice field under the careful supervision of the team's medical staff.
Williams is hopeful his calculated approach will help him return to training camp where he can contribute to the offense and kick return units.
"I just have to listen to trainers," Williams said. "At this point I feel good, feel great, making progress every single day and we just want to stay on that same path and be ready for week one."
Williams is taking a careful approach to his rehabilitation. The waiting process, however, isn't an easy one for a competitive player.
"I want to be out there with my guys and help steer the young guys in the right way," Williams said. "I want to be out there with them… but we have to be smart. You can't put the foot down on the gas if all the parts aren't working right."
When healthy, Williams has gears unlike many wide receivers in the NFL. At 5-foot-10, 186 pounds, the quick wideout has the foot speed and shiftiness to make plays all over the field. Williams also excelled as San Francisco's kick returner, averaging 27.2 yards per return in 2012.
In addition, the 49ers have opportunity at punt returner, something Williams handled at times in 2011. The fourth-year player has moved on from two fumbles in the NFC title game that year and is eager to compete for punt return duties this coming season.
"I want to help this team in any way possible," Williams said. "Whatever they need me to do I'm in there."
As bad as Williams wants to go through every drill with his 49ers teammates in the offseason, the experienced wideout trusts the advice of San Francisco's medical staff.
"You have to stick to the plan we had from day one," Williams said.
The 49ers will continue to monitor the young receiver's progress in the months leading up to training camp. Williams said the goal was for him to be ready before the regular season.
Until he's given the full-go by team doctors, Williams will continue to share wisdom with young receivers on the roster. After Michael Crabtree injured his Achilles this offseason, Williams now stands as the longest tenured receiver on the roster.
Williams is all about sharing tips. He credited the young wideouts for asking questions. Williams is perfectly fine with sharing his knowledge of the routes used in San Francisco's offense.
"I'm happy to," Williams said. "I want to see the young guys progress."
Williams believes the young players will emerge this offseason. But the entire receiving corps will benefit the longer they hang around Boldin.
"He leads by example and you know the way he's doing stuff is the right way to do it," Williams said. "His work ethic, it's second to none."