If you were to listen to the media this off-season, you’d be forgiven for believing that personal accolades are all any Jets player could hope for in a season that is set to be a disaster. However don’t tell that to Leonard Williams, one of the Jets most exciting young players.
Williams was one of the bright spots during a 2016 campaign that we’d like to forget. He finished the year with 68 tackles, 7 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. However the stats don’t even tell the true story, at times he was unblockable and his motor was consistently hot. He forced runners into tackles and quarterbacks into bad decisions.
So it’s music to the Jets ears that he now believes he’s in the best shape of his life after an off-season of intense MMA training:
“It just helped me on body movement and control,” he said. “We touched weights here and there, but we focused on maximizing how we use our bodies. When we’re on the field, we don’t have weights. We have our bodies and that’s what we’re really focused on.”
Williams was named to the pro-bowl in 2016, and you have to imagine it’ll be the first of many, but the individual accolades don’t drive Williams:
“I’m not really focused on self-accolades besides how much I can do for my teammates,” he said. “I’m expecting the same thing out of my teammates, too, and how much they can give to the team. I’m really focused on what we can do together because I’m not on the field by myself. There’s 10 other people and they help me do my job. I’m going to try to help them do theirs.”
The Jets are being completely written off this year, and logically... I think we all understand why. However with that kind of negativity, it tends to bring people together, which is why you’ve heard a consistent message coming out of 1 Jets Drive. Nobody cares what anybody else is saying outside the organization, if you can get 53 players pulling in the same direction, with the same attitude and the same commitment, strange things can happen.