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Leonard Williams My goal this year is a sack in every game

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Jets DL Leonard Williams tells the News: ‘My goal this year is a sack in every game’ 

Leonard Williams is one of the Jets' main bright spots entering this season.

Leonard Williams is one of the Jets' main bright spots entering this season.

(SZAGOLA/CSM/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK/SZAGOLA/CSM/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Opposing coaches will likely suffer from insomnia upon hearing Leonard Williams' newest objective for the upcoming season. If the Jets defensive lineman weren't already enough of a royal pain in the posterior, he has raised his personal bar to frightening levels.

"My goal this year is a sack in every game," Williams told the Daily News. "That's my goal. It seems like something's that pretty tangible. If you're looking at it game-by-game, a sack a game doesn't seem too far away (or) too far of a stretch."

Williams has proven to be much more than just a large human with a wild shock of hair in his first two seasons. He has been a versatile, disruptive force that has fast become the face of the franchise, a 6-5, 302-pound game-wrecker with an arrow pointing to the sun.

He hasn't shared his lofty goal with his coaches. "It's just something that I think about personally," he said.

Jets' Leonard Williams: 'My goal this year is a sack every game'

He didn't have an aha moment, either. "I don't think I really woke up with it one day," he said.

Williams has 10 career sacks in 32 games, but don't be fooled. He's a consistent annoyance, a pocket-collapsing presence that knows he's been tantalizingly close to the quarterback more times than not. Williams had at least seven pressures from five different alignment techniques last season en route to 55 quarterback pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

When he doesn't drill the signal caller, he's usually in the neighborhood.

"You're going to be close sometimes," Williams said. "You're going to miss. That's where good players become great. Changing that. From close to making it. It can turn from no sacks a game to two or three a game."

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The scariest part: Williams is only 23.

He was a first alternate for the Pro Bowl after his breakout second season (seven sacks, 68 tackles, two forced fumbles). He is stout against the run, too. Williams was second to former teammate Damon Harrison in defensive stops among interior lineman last season, per PFF.

Sheldon Richardson, Mo Wilkerson and Williams comprise one of the most talented defensive line trios in the league. The trick now, of course, is juggling the talent on the most stacked position group on the team.

"Coaches are really saying that they like our one-on-one matchups with me and Sheldon on guards," Williams said in the run-up to the Jets’ third preseason game against the Giants on Saturday. "And they like Mo more on the tackles. So they position us in the right places."

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Williams hopes to reach the 16-sack mark this season.

Williams hopes to reach the 16-sack mark this season.

  (ROBERT SABO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Williams, one of the most selfless players on the team, is a pliable piece to Todd Bowles' defensive puzzle who has proven to be productive all across the formation.

"When he moves, he looks smaller than he really is," defensive line coach Robert Nunn said. "He's got very good quickness. ... I don't believe he's scratched the surface to where he can go. My only hope is that I don't screw him up. Because he's a talented young man with a really unique skill set. ... I'm not sure where the ceiling is, to be honest with you."

Nobody does, which has made folks on One Jets Drive downright giddy in the run-up to a season likely littered with speed bumps. Williams is one of the few knowns on a roster filled with unknowns, a compass for a wayward team.

He has taken ownership of his own personal growth with the maturity of a much older man. He has added an important element to his daily routine that has made all the difference: daily meditation.

He'll meditate for 5-10 minutes when he wakes up and just before he falls asleep each day, book-ends to a focused life.

"It just helps me set an intention on my day in the morning," said Williams, who was introduced to meditating by girlfriend Hailey Lott, daughter of Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. "The night meditations are: Did I accomplish my intention?"

Williams' transformation from a reserved rookie staying in the background to an emerging leader has been stark. His decision to attend a leadership symposium in the spring was a critical step in his development. He admits that it's still challenging getting in a teammate's face in a productive way, but he's getting there.

"It is hard," Williams said. "I still struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone, because sometimes I want to be a leader and step up more, but sometimes I'm like, 'Okay, I don't want to cross any boundaries.' It takes stepping out of your comfort zone."

"I'm a little bit more comfortable with who I am," he added. "I'm a little more established on the team. So, I'm comfortable with it now, but it's still hard in general to step out of your comfort zone and tell somebody else what to do."

Williams is a budding superstar. Nobody would be surprised if he realizes his newest goal.

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Where's the selfless, team-first attitude? ;) 

Once again, if this was said by a player who isn't universally loved by all Jets fans (e.g. Sheldon Richardson), the critique would surely be what a selfish player he is.

Personally I'm fine with him setting lofty personal goals and think he's a great kid on top of being a major talent. He's the easiest individual on the team to root for. It's just fun to note he is the only active, non-IR'd player that Bowles selected for an isolated, individual, non-team Fathead in that Florham Park hallway, and his comments are un-coincidentally all of the "I" and "me" variety. 

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1 minute ago, Sperm Edwards said:

Where's the selfless, team-first attitude? ;) 

Once again, if this was said by a player who isn't universally loved by all Jets fans (e.g. Sheldon Richardson), the critique would surely be what a selfish player he is.

Personally I'm fine with him setting lofty personal goals and think he's a great kid on top of being a major talent. He's the easiest individual on the team to root for. It's just fun to note he is the only active, non-IR'd player that Bowles selected for an isolated, individual, non-team Fathead in that Florham Park hallway, and his comments are un-coincidentally all of the "I" and "me" variety. 

Why isn't he trying to get a sack on every play? 

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The problems with last season have been hashed over ad nauseum, I know. That said, one of the less talked about problems was how our vaunted DL looked like a bunch of guys picked out of a bar. No push. No pressure. No menace. I would have thought, given the investment we've made there, that the DL could dictate the momentum of games. It does, actually, but not the way we want... 3rd and long, and they give opposing scrub QBs 5-6 seconds to throw.

Anyway, I really like Williams. Hope he meets his goal... but more importantly, I hope he meets it in the context of that unit (and the whole defense) becoming game-breaking and stifling.... and throw in some other cliche football adjectives.

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3 minutes ago, Integrity28 said:

The problems with last season have been hashed over ad nauseum, I know. That said, one of the less talked about problems was how our vaunted DL looked like a bunch of guys picked out of a bar. No push. No pressure. No menace. I would have thought, given the investment we've made there, that the DL could dictate the momentum of games. It does, actually, but not the way we want... 3rd and long, and they give opposing scrub QBs 5-6 seconds to throw.

Anyway, I really like Williams. Hope he meets his goal... but more importantly, I hope he meets it in the context of that unit (and the whole defense) becoming game-breaking and stifling.... and throw in some other cliche football adjectives.

Because who's our edge rusher? This falls under why the Jets have been so bad. We've invested 3 high picks to 3 similar players on the DL. Its like every new GM felt the need to pick their own DL. 

Let's hope the Jets find a guy on the edge to take pressure away from Williams. Let's go Donahue! 

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Should be a nice matchup in week  two . From left to right, Lg K Osemele C Rodney Hudson and RG Gabe Jackson .   Leonard Williams gets a sack against that interior , and he has earned it.

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16 minutes ago, MDL_JET said:

Because who's our edge rusher? This falls under why the Jets have been so bad. We've invested 3 high picks to 3 similar players on the DL. Its like every new GM felt the need to pick their own DL. 

Let's hope the Jets find a guy on the edge to take pressure away from Williams. Let's go Donahue! 

This.  And failed to trade any one of them, instead giving Wilkerson a big extension.  It's a nice but unnecessary luxury to have all 3.  You can only play so many 3-4 DEs in their ideal position at one time.   And the two best games for the DL last year were opener without Richardson, and Ravens game without Wilkerson.  One of Macc's biggest failures is that we are going into another season with our top 3 assets being redundant.  

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Quotes like this from players are meaningless. I don't blame Leo for answering a question about his goals. But, the media now has a numerical imposed standard by which they will deem Leo's season a success or failure. Annoying little sports paparazzi. 

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1 hour ago, Sperm Edwards said:

Where's the selfless, team-first attitude? ;) 

Once again, if this was said by a player who isn't universally loved by all Jets fans (e.g. Sheldon Richardson), the critique would surely be what a selfish player he is.

Personally I'm fine with him setting lofty personal goals and think he's a great kid on top of being a major talent. He's the easiest individual on the team to root for. It's just fun to note he is the only active, non-IR'd player that Bowles selected for an isolated, individual, non-team Fathead in that Florham Park hallway, and his comments are un-coincidentally all of the "I" and "me" variety. 

tenor.gif

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2 hours ago, Sperm Edwards said:

Where's the selfless, team-first attitude? ;) 

Once again, if this was said by a player who isn't universally loved by all Jets fans (e.g. Sheldon Richardson), the critique would surely be what a selfish player he is.

Personally I'm fine with him setting lofty personal goals and think he's a great kid on top of being a major talent. He's the easiest individual on the team to root for. It's just fun to note he is the only active, non-IR'd player that Bowles selected for an isolated, individual, non-team Fathead in that Florham Park hallway, and his comments are un-coincidentally all of the "I" and "me" variety. 

Nailed it.  Personal accomplishment trumping the team's is the trademark of this organization. 

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7 minutes ago, Il Mostro said:

Nailed it.  Personal accomplishment trumping the team's is the trademark of this organization. 

I was just having fun with it. I really don't care, and find nothing wrong with anything he said.

I just find it amusing that this is the polar opposite of what Bowles claimed he was shooting for, and in terms of setting examples, Leonard Williams was one of his poster boys (quite literally, in this case).

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18 minutes ago, Sperm Edwards said:

I was just having fun with it. I really don't care, and find nothing wrong with anything he said.

I just find it amusing that this is the polar opposite of what Bowles claimed he was shooting for, and in terms of setting examples, Leonard Williams was one of his poster boys (quite literally, in this case).

Quote didn't bother me at all, but I think we do have to point out the hypocrisy because the board would go ballistic if Richardson said that.  

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8 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

Quote didn't bother me at all, but I think we do have to point out the hypocrisy because the board would go ballistic if Richardson said that.  

No, they wouldn't. B/C getting sacks is not selfish AT ALL. There is ZERO selfishness in saying you want to get a sack a game or as many sacks as possible. 

It's not like saying you want to get a certain amount of TDs or catches or rush yards a game. B/C that means you are asking to get more touches, taking touches away from others and changing the way the offense is run. Defense is completely different. And sack or tackles in particular are a free for all. If you get there, you make the stop- kudos. There is absolutely nothing selfish about it and if Richardson said it I would not think he is being selfish either. If anything, its a good example to set for the rest of the players - "hey, if you don;t step it up, I'm gonna get there first and get the sack."

If you dissect it, you could even argue that saying you want a lot of INTs is selfish b/c you may be inclined to take more unnecessary chances. But even that is a bit of a stretch. 

This is not a selfish statement by Big Cat and it would not be a selfish statement of anyone who's job it is to sack the QB said it. 

LMFAO

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2 minutes ago, PepPep said:

No, they wouldn't. B/C getting sacks is not selfish AT ALL. There is ZERO selfishness in saying you want to get a sack a game or as many sacks as possible. 

It's not like saying you want to get a certain amount of TDs or catches or rush yards a game. B/C that means you are asking to get more touches, taking touches away from others and changing the way the offense is run. Defense is completely different. And sack or tackles in particular are a free for all. If you get there, you make the stop- kudos. There is absolutely nothing selfish about it and if Richardson said it I would not think he is being selfish either. If anything, its a good example to set for the rest of the players - "hey, if you don;t step it up, I'm gonna get there first and get the sack."

If you dissect it, you could even argue that saying you want a lot of INTs is selfish b/c you may be inclined to take more unnecessary chances. But even that is a bit of a stretch. 

This is not a selfish statement by Big Cat and it would not be a selfish statement of anyone who's job it is to sack the QB said it. 

LMFAO

Go read the Klecko thread and what everybody is saying about Gastineau.  I don't think it was a particularly selfish statement, but you don't think people wouldn't see it that way if Richardson said it? 

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hmmm, maneesh writing a nice puff piece on the jets?  is the twerp trying to make peace with the fan base or is he just trying to lull everyone to sleep and then start nailing the jets from game one on?  williams is a very nice player and if he does get 16 sacks, great.  but he won't be able to do it unless wilk and shelly hold up their part of the bargain.

speaking of shelly, he has been looking pretty good on the field so far.  could be he's going to have a great season.

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On 8/25/2017 at 0:21 PM, Sperm Edwards said:

I was just having fun with it. I really don't care, and find nothing wrong with anything he said.

I just find it amusing that this is the polar opposite of what Bowles claimed he was shooting for, and in terms of setting examples, Leonard Williams was one of his poster boys (quite literally, in this case).

Oh, I am dead serious.  Even after offloading a few guys they perceived as being divisive or undermining to the coaching staff, there is something about the chemistry on this team that stinks.  

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On 8/26/2017 at 1:10 AM, Integrity28 said:

The problems with last season have been hashed over ad nauseum, I know. That said, one of the less talked about problems was how our vaunted DL looked like a bunch of guys picked out of a bar. No push. No pressure. No menace. I would have thought, given the investment we've made there, that the DL could dictate the momentum of games. It does, actually, but not the way we want... 3rd and long, and they give opposing scrub QBs 5-6 seconds to throw.

Anyway, I really like Williams. Hope he meets his goal... but more importantly, I hope he meets it in the context of that unit (and the whole defense) becoming game-breaking and stifling.... and throw in some other cliche football adjectives.

To be fair they don't exactly have the benefit of game-like conditions practicing against our offense...

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7 hours ago, Il Mostro said:

Oh, I am dead serious.  Even after offloading a few guys they perceived as being divisive or undermining to the coaching staff, there is something about the chemistry on this team that stinks.  

Agreed.

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On 8/25/2017 at 1:51 PM, The Crusher said:

Love love love this kid. Getting better every year. He will be the second best player on the defensive unit behind Dexter McDougle this year. Book it. 

Ha ha.  I cannot help but feel that his big dog status (well deserved) is diminishing Mo and Meathead's play a bit.  They know they are not in his class and it affects them.  Hopefully they will get over it.  He is drawing the most attention from offensive lineman, after all.

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On 8/25/2017 at 3:57 PM, PepPep said:

No, they wouldn't. B/C getting sacks is not selfish AT ALL. There is ZERO selfishness in saying you want to get a sack a game or as many sacks as possible. 

It's not like saying you want to get a certain amount of TDs or catches or rush yards a game. B/C that means you are asking to get more touches, taking touches away from others and changing the way the offense is run. Defense is completely different. And sack or tackles in particular are a free for all. If you get there, you make the stop- kudos. There is absolutely nothing selfish about it and if Richardson said it I would not think he is being selfish either. If anything, its a good example to set for the rest of the players - "hey, if you don;t step it up, I'm gonna get there first and get the sack."

If you dissect it, you could even argue that saying you want a lot of INTs is selfish b/c you may be inclined to take more unnecessary chances. But even that is a bit of a stretch. 

This is not a selfish statement by Big Cat and it would not be a selfish statement of anyone who's job it is to sack the QB said it. 

LMFAO

having personal goals is not selfish, unless your goals hurt the team's progress.  How can a pass rusher getting sacks hurt the team?

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3 minutes ago, jack48 said:

Ha ha.  I cannot help but feel that his big dog status (well deserved) is diminishing Mo and Meathead's play a bit.  They know they are not in his class and it affects them.  Hopefully they will get over it.  He is drawing the most attention from offensive lineman, after all.

Mo and Sheldon got nothing to worry about. Pretty sure Mac has a trade in the work dumping Leo for another safety and a long snapper. Jetnation response, " Leo was good but eventually his hair would have gotten so big couldn't wear helmet anymore." " Good trade Mac, getting rid of him while he still had value." " Leo had a history of big hair."!

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