The NY Jets have arguably the best linebacker duo in the NFL in C.J. Mosley and Quincy Williams. While the team may not have had much to celebrate in what was a disappointing 2023 campaign on a number of levels, Mosley and Williams proved to be consistent bright spots for Jets fans each week.
Mosley already had the pedigree. The five-time Pro Bowler had been seen as one of the best linebackers in football for quite some time, and even if he was no longer the same player he was in his prime, few players were as important to the Jets' defense as Mosley.
The same couldn't be said about Williams, however, entering the 2023 season. The Jets re-signed Williams to a team-friendly three-year, $18 million contract in the offseason, and the hope was that he'd continue to become a more consistent player.
No one could have expected the breakout season Williams had in 2023 — no one, expect for Williams himself.
Mosley spoke with FanSided's Stacking the Box during Super Bowl Media Week on Thursday, and he offered high praise to his fellow linebacker.
"[Quincy Williams] made my job so much easier. He really took it upon himself to be a better player, a better teammate, and a better person on and off the field. His work ethic got serious. A lot of people try to give me credit for it, but all I do is tell people where to line up. I don’t know what he’s doing when he’s at home. I don’t know what he’s doing right now. But I know that he’s working. That’s all I care about. The proof is in the pudding. He balled out this past year, earning first-team All-Pro. That’s something I haven’t even done. Now I've got to up my game. I told him one of the coolest things he did was he challenged me. He said he wanted to be the best linebacker in the league. That’s where I’m at too. Iron sharpens iron."- C.J. Mosley
C.J. Mosley refuses to take credit for Quincy Williams' breakout season
Mosley praised Williams for his attitude and work ethic and insisted that he deserved no credit for his teammate's breakout season. In fact, Mosley suggested that Williams' lofty career aspirations pushed him to be better.
Williams told Mosley before the season that he wanted to be the best linebacker in the NFL. He came pretty close to achieving that goal, earning first-team All-Pro honors this past season. As Mosley said, that's an honor even he has never achieved.
"Iron sharpens iron" was Mosley's phrase of choice. He's not wrong.
Not only did Williams put together by far the best season of his career in 2023, but his breakout also coincided with Mosley's best year with the Jets. The nine-year veteran finished with an 82.9 Pro Football Focus grade, which was actually the highest of his entire NFL career.
Mosley was PFF's highest-graded coverage linebacker in 2023. You can make the argument that this past season was the best of his entire career. That's a bold statement about a player who seems well on his way to Canton in a few years.
Just as Quincy Williams is pushing himself to be the best version of Quincy Williams, he's also doing the same for his teammate. Mosley and Williams make each other better. That's what helps make them arguably the best linebacker duo in football.
C.J. Mosley participated in this Super Bowl Media Week interview on behalf of Campbell's Chunky.