Quinnen Williams ready to push Jets to new heights; Packers on the brink | Catch My Job


Williams proves he doesn’t always have to be the quarterback who sets that foundation. The Jets have him, along with a group of promising young players that includes Hall, Vera-Tucker, rookie cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and rookie running back Garrett Wilson. It’s already apparent that defense is where this team needs to build its identity for now, as the Jets rank 10th in the league in points allowed in Monday Night Football after ranking last in that category in 2021. Williams likes the way this unit attacks, as it allows him to use his blend of size, strength and speed.

That combination was on full display in the Jets’ 27-10 win over Green Bay, when Williams had two tackles, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and that blocked field goal.

“Playing this system was a little different at first, especially after playing linebacker at Alabama and first coming into the NFL,” Williams said. “The first year I got a chance to take (the ball) off, I really enjoyed it. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I just know that I loved doing it. When this second season came around, I really focused on the details of the scheme.”

Jets linebacker Quincy Williams — Quinnen’s older brother, a 2019 Jags third-round pick who joined New York in 2021 — said the change in focus was unmistakable this offseason. “He was more locked in,” Quincy said Thursday. “He has a schedule every offseason, but I felt like he stuck to it last offseason and put in more time. Instead of doing a few practices, he was trying to add value. Instead of staying in shape, it was all about how to get better.”

The Jets have the feel of a team that realizes it’s on the verge of something exciting. They can look at the AFC and see that they are legitimately in contention for a postseason berth. There are two big AFC East games coming up against the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, who have already beaten the Miami Dolphins by 23 points. It’s been a good ride for this franchise so far, even with the losses of Hall and Vere-Tucker. (NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Jets are acquiring running back James Robinson from the Jaguars.)

Williams plans to keep that momentum going.

“I’m just trying to be a part of a culture change here, something that hasn’t been here for the last 10 years,” Williams said. “The biggest thing we talk about is consistency. You have to be consistent, week after week. I won a lot of games in college, but every week you get the best of everybody. We now have success, but you can be complacent. We have some amazing guys in our room — guys like CJ Mosley and Kwon Alexander — who have won and been to the Pro Bowl before. They help us realize that the things we do well we have to do better. And the things we do badly, we have to correct.”

Williams is humble enough to defer to those veteran defenders because he wants everyone to get their due. It’s that part of his personality that makes him so endearing, wanting to be one of the guys. The reality is that the Jets need Williams to be more than just another talented player who does a good job. They need him to be exactly what he’s turning into: a rising star with the ability to make everyone around him better.


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