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Jets Spotlight : Where Does Leonard Williams Think the Defense Can Improve ?

Jets Defensive End Looks Back at His Fourth Season with the Jets and Looks Ahead to the Future with Team Reporter Olivia Landis
 
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A week ago, Nathan Shepherd returned to the Jets following a six-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

On Sunday, he turned in what was easily his best game as a pro. The second-year defensive lineman had a sack and three tackles for loss in the Jets’ 34-27 win over the Giants. Shepherd would have recorded another sack, too, had CB Nate Hariston — who was eventually benched — not erased the play with a holding penalty.The sack was the first of Shepherd’s career. Playing in 16 games as a rookie last season, he recorded 15 tackles in five starts. Overall, he did little to show why former general manager Mike Maccagnan invested a third-round pick on a Division II product.

Shepherd flashed the potential that impressed NFL scouts on Sunday, though. He finished the game with a Pro Football Focus grade of 82.0, coming off a decent 68.7 grade in the Jets’ 26-18 loss to Miami in Week 9.Since returning from his suspension, Shepherd has provided a much-needed boost for a Jets team that had been previously reeling.“It’s good to have him back,” Adam Gase said following Sunday’s game. “His energy level, he’s so happy to be playing football again. That stuff’s contagious.”

It would have been easy for the Jets to dismiss Shepherd after he was suspended for two separate violations of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He didn’t perform well as a rookie and New York’s new regime had no attachment to the Maccagnan holdover.Instead, Gase and Joe Douglas stuck with the 26-year-old. The sample size has been small, but so far the decision has paid off.“I feel like I used eight of my nine lives,” Shepherd told NFL Network following his suspension. “I kind of have to treat it like I have a peanut allergy — if I get one more, it’s going to be over for me. That’s just my reality and I accept that.”

A third violation of the NFL’s PED policy would equal a minimum of a two-year ban for Shepherd.

Shepherd’s two failed tests came on June 27 and July 25 while he was recovering from shoulder and groin injuries. The shoulder injury could eventually require surgery. He underwent an MRI on his groin that revealed he needed sports hernia surgery. In response to a change in posture, Shepherd had multiple herniated discs in his back.Rehabilitating and coming back from suspension, the Leonard Williams trade allowed Shepherd the opportunity to prove that he was still worthy of a roster spot. With his NFL future in limbo, he rose to the occasion on Sunday.

He’s become an asset for the league’s No. 1 rushing defense and the Jets third-round pick from a year ago is finally coming around. It took some patience, but the investment in Shepherd may turn out to be worth it if he continues to play like he did Sunday.

>    https://jetswire.usatoday.com/2019/11/12/nathan-shepherd-jets-pateince-giants-suspension/

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The New York Jets’ defense has had its fair share of injuries, but there is one preventable coaching issue that’s holding back Quinnen Williams.

The New York Jets’ defense has had a rough year, to say the least.

Just about everything that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong for them in 2019. The cornerbacks have been brutal, and they’ve heavily struggled to get to the quarterback.Their strong suit was linebacker depth, and, well, almost every linebacker who stepped foot on the Jets’ field this season has gotten injured. Not to mention the injuries everywhere else on the roster.Some of this can be blamed on poor management, and some of it can just be blamed solely on bad luck.Injuries have killed them all over the field. However, the one spot the Jets are healthy in is the defensive line.Despite his players being at full health since Week 5, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has failed to get his young players the reps they should be getting.

The one-man being flawed the most by this is Quinnen Williams.

Coming out of Alabama, Williams was a monster. A sure-fire talent that would dominate in the NFL. The Jets rightfully bought into the hype and took him third overall, passing on edge rushers and potentially more draft capital while doing so.The Jets had every opportunity to trade out of that third slot in the 2019 draft for more picks to further build their roster, but they passed on that opportunity to take Williams. This sent a message: the Jets thought Williams was a baller.Williams has been quiet so far in his rookie season, only having 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. It’s been a huge disappointment to watch him struggle to make plays considering his pre-draft hype and the spot he was drafted. He was supposed to make an impact early on, and he hasn’t done so yet.One major surprising factor that is potentially hurting his rookie season has been his playing time. Williams has only seen the field for at least 70% of snaps once this season. Once. That’s a pretty crazy stat for a player you took over acquiring some serious draft capital.

The coaching staff has shown they like to follow a“best players play” mentality. That is reasonable, and effective at times, but only to a certain extent. Did benching Trumaine Johnson despite his massive contract make sense? Absolutely.But, take 2018 for example. Teddy Bridgewater would have likely been a better option at quarterback than Sam Darnold to start the season? Probably. But would it have made sense to play him over Darnold? Not at all.The Jets’ situation with Williams is fairly similar. Sure, he’s struggled to hit his stride so far, but he shouldn’t be losing snaps seven games into his career. He’s 21 years old, showed ridiculous potential in college, and was the third overall pick for a reason. He should be getting his snaps no matter what.

If the Jets are a contending team trying to make a playoff push, perhaps this story is different. If you’re in a tight race for a playoff spot, obviously you make decisions differently. The fact of the matter is, the Jets are a 2-7 team that is arguably a bottom three organization in the NFL. What reason do they have to not play young talent?The argument can be made that Quinnen Williams hasn’t fit into Gregg Williams’ scheme. Gregg was the defensive coordinator for months prior to drafting Williams. If there was a scheme issue, it should have been pointed out long before drafting him. And if it wasn’t, that’s a serious problem. Quinnen Williams can fit somewhere in the defense and should be on the field as much as possible.

>      https://thejetpress.com/2019/11/14/new-york-jets-unexpected-issue-hurting-quinnen-williams-season/

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32 minutes ago, kelly said:

The New York Jets’ defense has had its fair share of injuries, but there is one preventable coaching issue that’s holding back Quinnen Williams.

The New York Jets’ defense has had a rough year, to say the least.

Just about everything that could’ve gone wrong has gone wrong for them in 2019. The cornerbacks have been brutal, and they’ve heavily struggled to get to the quarterback.Their strong suit was linebacker depth, and, well, almost every linebacker who stepped foot on the Jets’ field this season has gotten injured. Not to mention the injuries everywhere else on the roster.Some of this can be blamed on poor management, and some of it can just be blamed solely on bad luck.Injuries have killed them all over the field. However, the one spot the Jets are healthy in is the defensive line.Despite his players being at full health since Week 5, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has failed to get his young players the reps they should be getting.

The one-man being flawed the most by this is Quinnen Williams.

Coming out of Alabama, Williams was a monster. A sure-fire talent that would dominate in the NFL. The Jets rightfully bought into the hype and took him third overall, passing on edge rushers and potentially more draft capital while doing so.The Jets had every opportunity to trade out of that third slot in the 2019 draft for more picks to further build their roster, but they passed on that opportunity to take Williams. This sent a message: the Jets thought Williams was a baller.Williams has been quiet so far in his rookie season, only having 1.5 sacks and two tackles for loss. It’s been a huge disappointment to watch him struggle to make plays considering his pre-draft hype and the spot he was drafted. He was supposed to make an impact early on, and he hasn’t done so yet.One major surprising factor that is potentially hurting his rookie season has been his playing time. Williams has only seen the field for at least 70% of snaps once this season. Once. That’s a pretty crazy stat for a player you took over acquiring some serious draft capital.

The coaching staff has shown they like to follow a“best players play” mentality. That is reasonable, and effective at times, but only to a certain extent. Did benching Trumaine Johnson despite his massive contract make sense? Absolutely.But, take 2018 for example. Teddy Bridgewater would have likely been a better option at quarterback than Sam Darnold to start the season? Probably. But would it have made sense to play him over Darnold? Not at all.The Jets’ situation with Williams is fairly similar. Sure, he’s struggled to hit his stride so far, but he shouldn’t be losing snaps seven games into his career. He’s 21 years old, showed ridiculous potential in college, and was the third overall pick for a reason. He should be getting his snaps no matter what.

If the Jets are a contending team trying to make a playoff push, perhaps this story is different. If you’re in a tight race for a playoff spot, obviously you make decisions differently. The fact of the matter is, the Jets are a 2-7 team that is arguably a bottom three organization in the NFL. What reason do they have to not play young talent?The argument can be made that Quinnen Williams hasn’t fit into Gregg Williams’ scheme. Gregg was the defensive coordinator for months prior to drafting Williams. If there was a scheme issue, it should have been pointed out long before drafting him. And if it wasn’t, that’s a serious problem. Quinnen Williams can fit somewhere in the defense and should be on the field as much as possible.

>      https://thejetpress.com/2019/11/14/new-york-jets-unexpected-issue-hurting-quinnen-williams-season/

If someone offers anywhere near a late 1st, I’m starting the car..

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