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Todd Bowles Talks About What Leonard Williams Needs to Make the Leap

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday Todd Bowles discussed second year defensive lineman Leonard Williams after day two of Jets minicamp.

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.

On what the biggest thing is Williams needs to improve about his game…

Understanding the blocking scheme and using his hands.

On what guys who are athletically gifted like Williams can get away with in college but not in the pros…

Not using your hands, because everybody is crafty and everybody is smart and if you just try to go off of brute strength, you’re going to get out-positioned.

I think Bowles' comment about WIlliams as a pass rusher has some truth to it. People see only three sacks and might think he was lost as a pass rusher. From what I have seen both in terms of stats and the film, he was generating pressure pretty well. Sacks aren't the only thing that matters.

With that said, Williams can get even better. It is a testament to his ability that he could more than hold his own in the NFL last year without totally knowing how to play the game. If he refines his hands and some other technical parts of his game, this could be a big year.