Three games have gone by for the Jets, and DE Leonard Williams has yet to record a sack. Working in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' system was supposed to let Williams loose, and finally tap into his true first-round pick potential.
But through those three games, the USC product has only recorded three quarterback hits and has 10 combined tackles (three solo, seven assists). That's not the start Williams wants, but his position coach in Andre Carter has some positive things to say about the veteran lineman heading into the bye week.
"I'm proud of Leo," he told reporters Tuesday. "Leo had come in and we talked about this style of play and how he wanted to continue to get better. He's on the upside. I'm so proud of him and how he's developed his game. Granted, the sacks aren't there. If you look from overall stats, he's affected the quarterback 10 times in the past three games."
Of course, sacks don't tell the entire picture when it comes to disrupting the passer. But after totaling 20 sacks in three seasons at USC, Williams came to the Jets sixth overall with the expectations that those numbers would be replicated. Instead, he's only produced 17 sacks over 67 games thus far.
It also hasn't helped that rookie Quinnen Williams hasn't been healthy this season. He has been out the past two contests, and many believed his pass-rushing abilities would help free up Leo. The Jets will hope the bye week not only brings back Quinnen, but also C.J. Mosley who has been dealing with a groin injury.
It is a small sample size to work with, and there will be a lot of defensive snaps left for Leo this season, but it is a contract year for the big man as well. Williams is in the final year of his rookie deal, as he's currently playing on his fifth-year option. And it doesn't necessarily help that new GM Joe Douglas has no draft connection with him.
So a lot if at stake for Williams if he wishes to stay in the green and white for seasons to come. But Carter isn't worried about those sack totals. He knows they'll come based on what he's seen from Williams so far.
"Overall, when I look at him as far as his effectiveness, as far as affecting the pocket, his overall technique, it's superb," Carter explained. "I know the saying is sacks come in bunches. He'll have a time when he'll have that big game and he'll have that big game where he'll make big plays."