After a stellar season playing a 3-4 scheme under previous head coach Todd Bowles, New York Jets defensive lineman Henry Anderson is ready to adapt to new responsibilities with new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
It’s never easy when a team undergoes a coaching change, a seismic move that usually requires plenty of overhaul in terms of scheme and personnel. After playing arguably the best football of his career in 2018, Anderson could have rightly been apprehensive about switching gears in this year’s new defense.
But Anderson is meeting the new challenge with excitement and anticipation, believing his skill set has enough versatility to be effective no matter what he’s asked to do (via team correspondent Randy Lange):
I feel like I can excel in any type of scheme because I feel like I have pretty good technique and I’ve got pass-rush ability. I don’t know if I was relieved, but it was definitely interesting when I came here and talked with Coach Williams about what we were going to be doing on defense.
We’re definitely going to be mixing it up a lot. I think once he continues to see what guys can do in practice and how he can best utilize different body types in different styles of play, he’ll install different personnel packages. I think that’s one of the things he’s good at as a D-coordinator.
Team chemistry will be vital as the Jets roster looks to navigate these big shifts, and veteran defensive lineman Leonard Williams has been impressed with how the entire team, Anderson included, has come together:
I think ‘Goose’ is a great guy. We’ve definitely grown to become better friends on and off the field. Overall, I feel like the team has been doing a great job of coming together off the field. We’ve been doing a lot more activities together. D-Line and outside linebackers are always doing stuff together like going paint=balling and messing around. I think building that chemistry goes a long way on the field.
A proud franchise, the Jets haven’t given their fans much to cheer about in recent years in terms of playoff contention or any real relevance beyond the offseason. Despite some big changes at the top of the organization, the big additions made in free agency and the draft this year should allow them to take a massive step in the right direction in 2019.
With tons of young players in key positions, it will be paramount that veteran leaders like Anderson and Williams hold the core of the team together as they work to dig themselves out of the NFL basement.