The New York Jets have invested a lot into their defensive line and Leonard Williams doesn’t know what a sophomore slump is. His potential for a big season in 2016 is huge.
Recently, team reporter of the New York Jets Eric Allen, joined Bud and the Manchild on ESPN Radio to talk about the latest happenings around defensive end Leonard Williams. That is the player that stuck out in our interview with EA.
In the interview below, EA said “Leonard Williams is going to be a force” and well, he’s going to have to be for the Jets in 2016 and beyond. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson is engulfed in the middle of a contract stand-off with the Jets. Defensive end Sheldon Richardson is fresh off of an off-the-field skirmish involving a speeding car, allegedly marijuana and a child in the car.
So the Jets are going to be relying pretty heavily on their second year defensive lineman out of USC. Head coach Todd Bowles spoke about his versatile budding defensive star and commented on his minimal sack production in year one. Here’s what he said, courtesy of the Media Relations Department of the Jets:
On what he has seen from Leonard Williams so far…
He’s active out of pads. He’s getting off the ball quick, all the things he showed last year and you look for him to make the jump mentally in his second year.
On if he can see Williams making a jump in his pass rushing production…
I don’t think it’s a jump. Sometimes the ball comes out. You’re going to get quarterback hits that are sometimes just as good as sacks because they cause turnovers or they rattle the guy or cause incompletions. It’s not necessarily about the sacks. The numbers look nice but if you get 12 pressures and 12 sacks and you have 200 chances, it’s all about getting pressure and disrupting the quarterback, not so much sacking them all the time.
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Speaking of those pressures and apparent lack of sack numbers, Williams was third among 3-4 ends with 19 quarterback hits (trailing only J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Wilkerson), he was able to convert only three of those hits into sacks.
So it’s not like Williams wasn’t getting to the quarterback, because clearly he was.
For Williams it’s doing the little things and seconds can be all the difference from a quarterback hit to a strip sack of an opposing quarterback.
Williams tried last season just using his physical prowess because he says, “I got away with that in college with just going down the middle of a guy a lot of times because I could out-physical them.”
He quickly figured out that he simply can’t do that at this level and the more time this guy gets to nurture his talents, the quicker he’ll become an All Star. Perhaps those headlines saying, “Williams is on verge of DPOY (defensive player of the year)” aren’t so crazy after all.