It takes players with that special little something to change a culture on a losing football team and Jets' linebacker Quincy Williams has that special little something.
It shows up in the stats sheet and it shows up on film. Williams has the ability to make high impact plays.
This former third-round pick, and brother of Jets' defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, has made the most of his opportunity this season.
It is not every day a player who is claimed off waivers becomes the second leading tackler on a team, but that is exactly what has happened with Williams, who has more tackles this season than in his first two seasons in Jacksonville combined.
"My number one thing is just running through people," Williams told the New York Post. "That's the main thing. At first, the crowd 'Oohs.' I love that. Then my teammates get hyped about it. It's basically me setting the tone for my teammates and then my teammates rallying behind me. I love that part of it."
Williams, who is out of Murray State, is good for that big blow up highlight film type of hit. The legendary John Madden used to call these types of hits, "Decleators." These are the kinds of hits that clean out the sinuses and these are the kinds of hits Williams makes on a regular basis. Currently, Williams leads the team with eight tackles for loss on the season, and his 15 tackles against Miami recently were the most tackles by a Jets' defender in a game since 2009.
While there are things Williams needs to get better at, it is important to recognize what he does well. It is especially important on a team that is 3-9 and in last place in the AFC East.
It is important for fans to be able to find bright spots to hang onto and Williams is one of those bright spots.
#56 Strongside Linebacker (SLB) Quincy Williams 5-foot-11, 225 pounds
40-yard-dash-time: sub 4.6 (ganggreennation.com)
Number of bench-press reps (@225 pounds) at his pro day: 17 (jetsxfactor.com)
2021 stats: 61 tackles (44 solo), 2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 0 interceptions (career year)
Games reviewed 2021: (9/26) DEN, (10/3) TEN, (11/28) HOU
Grade: B - (good player who is not elite, but is good enough to win with)
Squatty rigid and physical run and blowup hitter with elite close and poor technique taking on blockers in the box. He is absolutely at his best against the run, when he is left clean and he can take a straight-line approach to the ball carrier. He can deliver some real shots. Consistently struggled to beat blockers whenever he is contested by anyone. Does not know how to effectively take on, shed and fill holes. Got shoved around or hook blocked way too much. At times looks like he is taking his foot off the gas, and gives up too easily on running plays when he encounters resistance. Can look borderline soft and get dominated on running plays. Does not show enough fight at all when he is blocked. He is capable of coming on a delayed blitz and blowing up the quarterback. Has elite closing ability when the target is locked. Looks good carrying pass coverages into flats against running backs and he can carry pass coverages downfield against tight ends and looks good doing it. Extremely thorough in coverage assignments. Shows good straight-line football speed. Shows tremendous close to receivers in the open field and delivers some real knockout shots. He has to have it lined up because he cannot change direction in time otherwise. Misses sometimes because of it. Solid overall player who shows emotion and gets fired up when he makes a big play.
If Williams knew how to effectively take on and win against blockers in the box, he would be amongst the best linebackers in the game. However, as the saying goes, "he is what he is," and he is good enough to be a part of the solution for this team. Williams is another classic example of great scouting by Jets general manager Joe Douglas. To find players who can produce at this level off of waivers is special.
There is no question Williams is a hit in New York, in more ways than one.
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