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Leonard Williams

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In the last six months, the Jets have finished off their third straight season of double-digit losses, their eighth straight season of missing the playoffs, and they've fired their head coach and general manager. No wonder so many believe that things couldn't possibly get any worse.

Of course, that's not the defeatist attitude around One Jets Drive these days. Inside their building, they believe things are about to get much, much better. They have added many talented reinforcements, a high-energy coach, and a GM who seems ready to pull them in the right direction.

Will it all work out for this star-crossed franchise? It's not too early to guess. So here are five bold predictions for what to expect from the Jets this year:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets safety Jamal Adams reacts during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. (Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports)

Each year, football fans anxiously await the new Madden NFL game to hit the shelves. But their player ratings generate even more buzz. 

Well, EA Sports has released their initial rankings for each team, and Jets fans may not like where their team has ended up. 

At the moment, the Jets are a 78 overall with an 73 offense and 80 defense, which is good for the sixth-worst team in the game. The Dolphins, an AFC East rival, are the game's worst team at 72 overall, while the Bills are third-worst at 78 overall. The Super Bowl defending-champion Patriots are an overall 87. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Dec 15, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold (14) reacts after a touchdown by New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire (not pictured) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There's a new general manager (Joe Douglas), a new head coach (Adam Gase), a new star (Le'Veon Bell), and a new attitude (Gregg Williams and many others). All of that has the Jets thinking this is going to be a great season.

But the "old" quarterback -- 22-year-old Sam Darnold -- is still the biggest reason for hope of all.

The Jets may not be ready to say it publicly, but internally they are thinking playoffs. In fact, they're expecting their first playoff berth since 2010. They may not be ready to win the AFC East, but they feel there's no reason why they can't emerge as an AFC contender.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

For the second straight offseason, the Jets went on a huge spending spree, and this time it looks like they spent their money more wisely. They brought in stars and players who can truly make a difference.

At least that's what they believe.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold passes the ball in front of Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Grover Stewart during the first half at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets' offseason has been a wild roller-coaster ride. It started at the bottom when they fired their head coach, peaked during free agency and the draft, then went on a wild spiral downward when they fired their general manager … and then somehow managed to come out of it OK.

In fact, not only do they seem OK now that GM Joe Douglas and his good buddy, head coach Adam Gase, are in charge; they are convinced they are on an uphill climb again. They are loaded with optimism. They feel like they are finally headed in the right direction. They believe a return to the playoffs is near.

Maybe they're right. Or maybe they're fooling themselves. For now, though, there has been an unusual amount of hope and excitement around the Jets as they wrapped up their spring organized team activities and mini-camps. Time will tell if that's warranted or not.

Tags: Chris Herndon, Derrick Jones, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Parry Nickerson, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Aug 9, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Daniel Brown (85) runs against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Junior Joseph (48) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)
Aug 9, 2018; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Chicago Bears tight end Daniel Brown (85) runs against Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Junior Joseph (48) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports (David Kohl)

Jets camp is in full swing, and there's a buzz in the Florham Park air. There's a new head coach, a new GM, and lots of fresh faces on the field.

Which players have the potential to be unheralded X-factors for the Jets this year? Here's five guys who have stood out so far.

Jonotthan Harrison (C)

Harrison is a familiar face after starting nine games over the last two years, but there was some thought that the Jets may pursue an upgrade at center this offseason. Instead, they stuck with Harrison, and the results are paying off.

Tags: Avery Williamson, Chris Herndon, Eric Tomlinson, Jordan Leggett, Leonard Williams, Neal Sterling, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

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With the Jets' rookies taking the field for the first time with the team last week, the progression towards earning an in-season role is underway for Mike Maccagnan's final draft class. Let's review each pick and what we can expect from them during the 2019 season. 

Round 1 - DT Quinnen Williams

While the Jets have plenty of depth on the defensive line, they will be counting on Williams to play a significant role, and the expectation is that he'll be a difference-maker for them.  

Williams was announced as a nose tackle when the Jets selected him and that seems likely to be where he'll start. Speaking to the media last week, linebacker CJ Mosley said that Williams has been lining up over the center and impressing with his motor and disruptiveness. He will probably also get some reps elsewhere along the line, depending on which defensive packages defensive coordinator Gregg Williams opts to employ from game to game.

Tags: Eric Tomlinson, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams
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Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 12, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan reacts on the field before a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

Mike Maccagnan was announced at the Jets general manager in January 2015, after he beat out a handful of candidates, including current Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier. After the disastrous outcome of using a search firm to find their previous general manager (John Idzik), the Jets' decision to hire Maccagnan came largely from the recommendation of the experienced pairing of Charlie Casserly and Ron Wolf.

Early results for Maccagnan were good. Having been hired alongside Todd Bowles, Maccagnan made a couple of splashes and some shrewd moves, putting the team in position to make the postseason until they choked the opportunity away in the season finale in Buffalo.

Tags: Brandon Marshall, Christian Hackenberg, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Matt Forte, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Trumaine Johnson
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Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA;Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA;Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) gets the fans pumped up against the LSU Tigers during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

FLORHAM PARK - The Jets knew all about Jachai Polite's disastrous appearance at the Combine in February. They knew that's the only reason he was still available for them to draft in the third round.

They still knew it was a risk. But they also knew that if it worked out, he could be the dominating pass rusher they've been seeking for several seasons.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Jets first-round pick Quinnen Williams arrived in Florham Park on Friday and the defensive tackle was all smiles as he was about to embark on his NFL career. 

The 6-foot-2, 302-pound Williams felt like a little kid getting to meet his new Jets teammates and offered some colorful quotes at Jets rookie orientation on Friday. 

Here are some of the highlights from his first press conference:

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Sam Darnold
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Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase talks with the media during the 2018 NFL Combine at the Indianapolis Convention Center. (Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports)

Jets head coach Adam Gase spoke to the media for the first time since the conclusion of the NFL Draft as players reported to the facilities in Florham Park, NJ for rookie orientation. 

Gase was asked about expectations and impressions oof the rookies, as well as other stuff regarding the team since the draft, such as the status of Le'Veon Bell. 

Here are the takeaways from Gase:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

NFL.com is already projecting the All-Rookie Teams for the 2019 season, and there's a Jet on the list. But it's not who you'd think.

Quinnen Williams, whom the Jets selected No. 3 overall in the NFL Draft, is not one of the two defensive tackles on the league's predicted All-Rookie defense. Ed Oliver of the Bills, who went at No. 9, and Greg Gaines of the Rams, a fourth-round pick, were the two defensive tackles chosen for the team.

Jachai Polite, the edge rusher the Jets took in the third round, did make the list.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)
Apr 25, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Quinnen Williams (Alabama) is selected as the number three overall pick to the New York Jets in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft in Downtown Nashville. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports (Christopher Hanewinckel)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback draft pick DeAndre Baker (35) runs during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)
May 4, 2019; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants cornerback draft pick DeAndre Baker (35) runs during a drill during rookie minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports (Sarah Stier)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

Sixteen new players were drafted by the Jets and Giants two weeks ago, and both teams are confident they landed an outstanding class. Of course, it's early and they won't know for sure until training camp begins which of their rookies will be able to immediately help them out.

It's not hard to project, though, based on talent and - perhaps most importantly - opportunity. So here's a look at the 16 members of the Giants and Jets Draft Class of 2019, ranked in the order they're expected to make an impact on New York football this year.

Tags: Alec Ogletree, Brandon Shell, Damon Harrison, Eli Manning, Janoris Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 3, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) rushes during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Nov 3, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Jachai Polite (99) rushes during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Jets may have played it safe with their first-round pick Quinnen Williams, but not so much with some of their other selections at the NFL Draft. 

Per Mike Sando of ESPN, talent evaluators around the league raised concerns about the character issues surrounding third-round picks Jachai Polite and Chuma Edoga. 

"If you had question marks, you fell in this draft, unless the Jets took you," one evaluator said. "The Raiders took those guys last year. This year, the Raiders take a bunch of high-football-character guys and the Jets were the ones rolling the dice."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Jets draft Quinnen Williams 00:00:46
New York Jets stay put and take defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the 3rd overall pick.

The Jets didn't find an offer they liked to trade away their No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. So they called Alabama DT Quinnen Williams up to accept his new Jets jersey on the stage in Nashville. 

Williams was the 2018 John Outland Trophy winner for the best interior lineman in college football last season, and for good reason. He tallied 71 tackles, eight sacks, and 19.5 tackles for loss over 15 games as Alabama made their way to the National Championship yet again. The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder has received comparisons to Rams DT Aaron Donald, and the Jets are hoping that will come to fruition. 

So how does Williams fit in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' scheme? GM Mike Maccagnan believes Quinnen Williams could be put anywhere on the Jets' front this season.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

NASHVILLE -- The Jets, for the first time in a long time, are not interested in drafting a quarterback, as GM Mike Maccagnan proudly acknowledged on Tuesday. That puts them in a very powerful position with the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Teams that need quarterbacks can get desperate around the draft. Just ask Maccagnan, who surrendered three second-round picks to move up three spots so he could draft Sam Darnold a year ago. And when there's no consensus on the top quarterbacks - and there really seems to be none this year - prices can really go crazy. That's why Maccagnan said he'd be looking for market value "and then some" for the No. 3 pick.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Quinnen Williams ready for NFL 00:02:24
Ralph Vacchiano talked to Jets target Quinnen Williams ahead of the NFL Draft. He's definitely well versed with Jets players.

There are many unknowns heading into the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday night, but if there is one thing that many can agree on, it's that Alabama DT Quinnen Williams shouldn't make it out of the Top 3. 

Williams is highly regarded as the top interior lineman in this draft, and arguably the best overall defensive player to choose. If the Jets don't trade down, they could have a chance to nab him at No. 3 overall -- granted he makes it passed the Cardinals and 49ers with the first two picks.

While scouts have been drooling over what Williams can do on a football field, there is no need to remind the 21-year-old how he can impact an NFL team next season. Speaking with SNY's Ralph Vacchiano 1-on-1 ahead of the Draft in Nashville, Williams was confident in saying he's the best pass rusher in this year's class. 

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams
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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

With the luxury of picking third in a draft with a number of potential impact defenders, the Jets are certain to have a top prospect fall to them. Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is one such prospect.

Williams had a breakout year in 2018, as he racked up eight sacks and was second in the SEC with 20 tackles for a loss. He's regarded as one of the most disruptive defensive tackle prospects in years. However, the Jets already have Leonard Williams and just re-signed Henry Anderson, so they don't necessarily have an immediate need at the position.

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)
Mar 3, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (DL19) goes through workout drills during the 2019 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (Brian Spurlock)

A week from today, the Jets will have the No. 3 pick heading into Nashville for the 2019 NFL Draft. And GM Mike Maccagnan is expected to take one of the top defensive playmakers in the draft -- if he doesn't trade down of course. 

Players like Josh Allen and Nick Bosa are at the top of the pack among prospects. There is also Quinnen Williams, a defensive tackle out of Alabama, that the Jets could consider at 3. 

Jets DE Leonard Williams has seen Williams in action during his offseason training in California, and admitted the kid is "a freak."

Tags: Avery Williamson, Leonard Williams
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Leonard Williams is already a fan of his new defensive coordinator. 

The Jets hired veteran defensive coordinator Gregg Williams as they revamped their coaching staff this offseason and their defensive tackle is expecting big things. 

"I feel like that kind of energy brings the best out of people," Leonard Williams told nyjets.com. "Same with our offensive line coach (Dowell Loggains) and head coach (Adam Gase) -- he's a great, passionate offensive coach -- so I feel like practice is going to be really competitive and it's going to be able to push our team."

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New uniforms for the Jets 00:01:10
Sam Darnold, Leonard Williams, and Jamal Adams model the new uniforms for the New York Jets, and share their excitement for their new look.

The Jets' new look for 2019 goes beyond the players and coaching staff -- they will have new uniforms, too. 

On Thursday, the Jets unveiled new Nike uniforms, including a new-look helmet and football-shaped logo, that they will wear next season. 

The new uniforms include five different combinations: a green top with white pants, a white top with green pants, all-green, all-white and an all-black alternate uniform that will be worn a maximum three times next season.

Tags: Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold
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 (Robert Deutsch)
(Robert Deutsch)

Free agent DT Ndamukong Suh raised some eyebrows on Monday when he posted a video to his Twitter account of him passing MetLife Stadium. Being a free agent, Suh passing the home of the Jets and Giants would understandably spark some conversation. 

However, he said it was merely an April Fool's joke as he was "in NYC for business meetings."

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO

Tags: Avery Williamson, Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Jan 1, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats linebacker Josh Allen (41) reacts to the crowd during the second half against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the 2019 Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

In an ideal world, Adam Gase would have a Von Miller or a Cameron Wake - two premiere pass rushers who he's seen up close how they can disrupt an offense and change a game. Every team needs a player like that, and it's clear that's something his Jets are missing.

It also seems pretty clear that's the kind of player the Jets will be seeking in the first round of the draft -- if a player like that is even there...

Tags: Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 30, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Dante Fowler (56) pressures San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)
Dec 30, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Dante Fowler (56) pressures San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens (4) during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

The new league year is almost upon us, and the Jets are gearing up for what is expected to be a very busy free agency period for the organization. There are numerous holes to fix on the roster, and that includes finding more pass rushers on the defensive side of the ball.

The Jets were in the middle of the pack last season with 39 team sacks, which was a three-way tie at 16th in the league. Henry Anderson (who they could bring back in free agency) and Jordan Jenkins led the team with seven sacks, while Brandon Copeland and Leonard Williams collected five apiece. 

But being mediocre in pass rushing isn't something new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is about, so changes are sure to come to compliment his aggressive play-calling. Though many believed Williams coming aboard meant the Jets converting from a 3-4 base to a 4-3. However, head coach Adam Gase said the Jets will be sticking with the 3-4, which Williams has experience in as well...

Tags: Brandon Copeland, Jordan Jenkins, Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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Vacc talks Jets "D" 00:01:10
SNY's Ralph Vacchiano shares some insights on who the Jets may be targeting in the NFL Draft to improve their pass rush

INDIANAPOLIS - Mike Maccagnan and Adam Gase set the stage for an aggressive offseason for the Jets when they met the media at the NFL scouting combine last week, in part because they have no choice. They have a depleted roster, tons of cap room, a high draft pick, and a willingness to trade.

So how will they reshape their roster? They didn't exactly lay out a blueprint. But from their press conferences and plenty of info from NFL sources, here are 10 things we learned about the Jets' plans while they were at the combine...

1. The Jets aren't trading for Antonio Brown

Tags: Brandon Shell, Brian Winters, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Kelvin Beachum, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)
Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams (92) reacts after a sack against the Georgia Bulldogs during the first quarter in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports (Jason Getz)

Over the next month or so, we're going to be reviewing some of the top draft prospects at each position to assess some potential candidates that the Jets will show interest in. We continue today with a look at the 2019 interior defensive linemen class.

Jets Needs: Interior Defensive Linemen

Over the past few years, the Jets have gone from being stacked with defensive line talent to a situation where they may now be looking to upgrade again. 2016 Pro Bowler Leonard Williams will play the 2019 season on his fifth-year option, but it remains to be seen if Steve McLendon and Henry Anderson will be re-signed with the Jets already having decided not to pick up Mike Pennel's option. Anderson could be a priority after he was tied for the team lead with seven sacks last season.

Tags: Folorunso Fatukasi, Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon
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Adam Gase talks at NFL Combine 00:01:05
New York Jets head coach Adam Gase talks about the new coaching staff looking to balance their roster out with free agency and the upcoming

Adam Gase addressed the media for the first time on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine since he was introduced as the Jets' new head coach in January.

Gase has now had some time to evaluate the players he is inheriting and was able to expand on his feelings on how he will utilize them and the potential he sees. 

Here are the takeaways from his latest press conference:

Tags: Chris Herndon, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold
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Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)
Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Jets head coach Adam Gase speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports (Trevor Ruszkowski)

Jets head coach Adam Gase confirmed Wednesday at the NFL Combine that the team will indeed be sticking with a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has often run a 4-3 defense.

"That's the beauty part about hiring a guy that's been around for a long time," Gase said. "He's done multiple things over his career. He's been both in the 3-4 and 4-3. The majority of snaps are nickel defense anyways. But sticking with our base being a 3-4 defense, and the reason behind that of trying to keep as many of the players that are currently here that understand that style of defense, is key for us to where now we're not completely starting over. We can keep a lot of the guys we already have."

Tags: Leonard Williams
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Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Aug 26, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets acting ceo Christopher Wold Johnson (left) talks to general manager Mike Maccagnan before a preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

INDIANAPOLIS - The Adam Gase Era began six weeks ago when the new Jets coach took his seat in front of the media and said … well, mostly nothing. He barely gave a hint about his thoughts on the franchise or his plans for the future.

On Wednesday, that could change.

Both Gase and Jets GM Mike Maccagnan are expected to meet the media at the NFL scouting combine and will be quizzed a little more specifically about their plans for the franchise's future. They're likely to give more hints than actual direct answers. But here's a preview anyway of some of the key questions they're likely to be asked, and what they are expected to say:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Le'Veon Bell, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Ralph Vacchiano
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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

For the second straight year, the Jets own the third overall pick in the NFL Draft. And after securing a potential franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold in 2018, the expectation is to bring another immediate impact player aboard.

Quinnen Williams is widely expected to be a top five pick when the first round rolls around on April 25. Ando n Thursday, the former University of Alabama standout put some work in the weight room with a current Jets defensive lineman in Leonard Williams.

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Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive lineman Quinnen Williams before the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game against the Clemson Tigers at Levi's Stadium. (Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive: The Jets need all the help they can get as they try to quickly rebuild in one of the most important offseasons in franchise history. So they sure could use the pick near the top of the second round that they gave to the Indianapolis Colts.

Not that the Jets would do it any differently, of course. Dealing that pick (and two others) put them in position to draft quarterback Sam Darnold, the most important piece in their rebuilding puzzle and the franchise quarterback they've been seeking for 50 years. So there are no regrets, no hindsight and no wishing they still had two selections in the first 34 picks.

The Jets do still have two picks in the first two days, though. The NFL Draft is 2 1/2 months away and they'll have to get through the combine, the Pro Days and interviews before their draft board settles down. But here's an early look at what the Jets might do on Days 1 and 2:

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)
New York Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan looks on prior to an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (Seth Wenig/AP)

To fit Gregg Williams' new 4-3 defensive scheme, the Jets will pick a defensive end, ESPN's Todd McShay predicts.

In his second mock draft, McShay believes the Jets will draft Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary with the No. 3 pick, predicting Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa goes No. 1 to Arizona and Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen goes No. 2 to San Francisco.

"Henry Anderson is a free agent, and Leonard Williams has one year left on his contract, so defensive end is a need for Gang Green," McShay wrote. "Gary has good size (6-foot-5, 283) and athleticism with an explosive closing burst."

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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

It appears as if the Jets want Leonard Williams to be a part of their future, at least for 2019. 

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets do not have any plans to trade the 24-year-old defensive end as he enters his fifth-year option. 

SNY's Ralph Vacchiano also reports a trade is unlikely and that the team is not actively pursuing one.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The NFL's offseason is now underway it's going to be one of the most important in the history of the Jets' franchise. They have a new coach, they have a franchise quarterback, and they have about $100 million in salary cap room to spend on a relatively barren roster.

General Manager Mike Maccagnan can turn things around quickly. Or he could turn the Jets into an even bigger mess.

He's already begun making his plans to reshape the roster for the 2019 season, of course, and beginning Monday he can start to put that plan into action. The big day for the Jets will be the start of NFL free agency on March 13, but there will be plenty of cuts, restructured contracts and other maneuvers in the next few weeks as they get ready.

Tags: Brian Winters, Isaiah Crowell, Jamal Adams, Jermaine Kearse, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa
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Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter: Last week, the Jets officially confirmed they had hired Gregg Williams to be the team's new defensive coordinator. Williams brings with him almost 30 years of NFL experience, but what effect will his system have on the Jets' players?

The first observation to make is that Williams is a fiery motivator who demands accountability from his players. While this was an approach that he took a step too far when he was suspended for a year due to his involvement in the "Bountygate" scandal, his players have said he's the type of coach that makes you want to run through a wall for him.

But he's not afraid to bench a high-profile player if they make a mistake, or not working hard enough in practice.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams
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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The day the Cleveland Browns named Gregg Williams their interim head coach after firing Hue Jackson, their former defensive coordinator made one thing perfectly clear: The Browns were lucky to have him.

"Since I left Buffalo (in 2003), I had 11 letters to interview for head coaching jobs," Williams said. "Four of them, I didn't even have to interview. Just show up and sign the contract."

Tags: Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Nov 11, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams claps for his players during warmups before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)
Nov 11, 2018; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns head coach Gregg Williams claps for his players during warmups before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports (Scott Galvin)

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | ArchiveTodd Bowles came to the Jets with the reputation of being one of the best defensive minds in football. And in his first season, it was easy to see why. After that, it was all a steady roll downhill towards the Jets becoming one of the worst defenses in the league.

That's startling considering how they had invested in their defense. For eight straight years, before they took quarterback Sam Darnold, they had taken a defensive player in the first round of the draft. And they had spent big money on defenders in free agency like corners Trumaine Johnson and Morris Claiborne as well as linebacker Avery Williamson.

Yet they still had no pass rush and they wore down late in games. The Jets' defense was a remarkable group of underachievers.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

Bent, theJetsBlog.com Follow on Twitter

One dilemma facing the Jets over the next few years is how to handle Leonard Williams' contract situation.

The Jets unsurprisingly picked up the fifth-year option on Williams' rookie deal last April, so they'll control his rights next year, with the option to franchise him in 2020. However, this will mean his salary escalates dramatically, to a level some believe is too high based on his production levels.

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Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets now have the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and they could take Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa, but there are still plenty of other NFL prospects who will be on their radar during the 41 bowl games. And not just Top 5 players either, since the possibility exists that the Jets will trade down.

With all that in mind, here are just a few of the players the Jets should, and probably will be watching and scouting during bowl season:

Tags: Bilal Powell, Buster Skrine, Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles looks on before his game against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Jets' 44-38 loss to the Packers last week literally cost them a lot of money, as three players were fined alongside head coach Todd Bowles, SNY's Ralph Vacchiano confirmed.

While speculation about Todd Bowles continuing as Jets head coach for next year swirls entering the last week of the season, he was docked with a $25,000 fine. Bowles' wallet took the hit after he critcized the officials following the loss to Green Bay.  

"I thought we were playing two teams," the Jets head coach told reporters after Sunday's game. "I thought we were playing the Packers and the striped shirts."

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Jets offseason preview 00:01:49
A look at the running back and wide receiver position. Will the Jets fill needs via draft, free agency or trade?

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets have now gone eight straight seasons without a trip to the playoffs, and their misery really runs deeper than that. In the last 12 seasons, spanning three coaches, they've had four winning seasons, and they've won double-digit games only twice.

Everyone knows the Jets haven't been to the Super Bowl in 50 years, but the bigger problem is they haven't even been a threat to get there very often. In the last 32 years they've had double-digit win totals six times and they've had back-to-back winning seasons only five times.

They may be 14-33 over the last three years and 24-39 under Todd Bowles, but the bigger picture is the entire franchise has been stuck in a cycle of mediocrity-at-best that they just can't figure out how to break.

Tags: Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Robby Anderson, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Jets crew gives keys to the game 00:02:04
Willie Colon, Ray Lucas, and Bart Scott give their keys to the game for the Jets to beat the Texans

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

THE GAME 

The Jets (4-9) against the Houston Texans (9-4) at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, Dec. 15, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

THE WEATHER

The Jets and Texans will be just a few degrees away from a snow game … but it doesn't look like they're going to make it. Temperatures should be above 40 at kickoff but will drop through the mid-30s as the game goes on. There is also plenty of rain sprinkled into the forecast throughout the night.

WHAT IT MEANS

They showed a little pride earlier this week against the Bills, but in the process they blew a chance to gain control of their destiny in the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They're only one game behind the Cardinals, Raiders and 49ers in that race, though. So a loss to the Texans here and they're right back in it.

Tags: Houston Texans, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 14, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson (43) and defensive end Leonard Williams (92) celebrate a fumble by the Indianapolis Colts during a NFL game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As the Jets enter the final quarter of their schedule in the 2018-2019 season, the reality that there will be no postseason football for Gang Green has set in. But that does not mean players are packing it in on the whole.

That's certainly not how Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams sees it.

"You can tell guys are tired of it - they want to win, no more losing," Williams told the New York Post on Friday. "I think it shows a lot."

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Penalties hurt Jets in loss 00:01:39
The Jets looked like they were going to beat the Titans at home. Ultimately falling short as penalties riddled the team in the 26-22 loss.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

There are many things that have become trademarks of the Todd Bowles era. One big one is that the Jets simply never learned how to finish games.

And that's exactly what happened to them in Tennessee on Sunday afternoon.

They fought hard and played a gritty game all day, building a 16-point first-half lead and still leading by nine points heading into the fourth quarter. Then they melted down on both sides of the ball and lost their sixth straight game, 26-22 to the Titans.

Tags: Darron Lee, Jordan Jenkins, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold, Tennessee Titans, Ralph Vacchiano
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New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Jets defensive tackle Leonard Williams looks on during his game against the Atlanta Falcons at MetLife Stadium. (Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports)

Defensive end Leonard Williams has yet to sign a long-term extension with the Jets, but he believes the team's decision on whether to keep head coach Todd Bowles or not will influence him one way or another.

"I feel like it will impact my decision when that comes," Williams told the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta. "But the fact that I don't know if there's going to be a coaching change or I don't know if there's going to be a (new) contract ... I don't know what's in the store for the future, so I can't (predict)."

Williams, whose fifth-year extension from his rookie deal was picked up, will earn $14.2 million next season, however beyond that, he doesn't know what the future holds.

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Jets discuss more disappointment 00:01:29
Jamal Adams talks about being "pissed off," and Sam Darnold, Todd Bowles, and Spencer Long explain what went wrong on Sunday for the Jets.

Ralph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

It's not unusual for a rookie quarterback, and it's not an indication of what his long-term future will be, but there's no doubt Sam Darnold has regressed the last three weeks.

And Sunday might have been his worst performance yet, one so bad that maybe it's time he takes a temporary seat on the bench.

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Jamal Adams, Josh McCown, Leonard Williams, Sam Darnold, Ralph Vacchiano
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Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)
Leonard Williams (92) Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Kirby Lee)

This past week, the Cleveland Browns started to part ways with head coach Hue Jackson after not seeing the results they expected this season. And with the Jets 3-5 for the third straight season, speculation that Todd Bowles may be next. 

But DE Leonard Williams doesn't want this debate to gain any traction. Instead, he wants continued patience for Bowles and the rest of the coaching staff. 

"I think just patience is big," he told NJ.com's Matt Stypulkoski. "That's kind of hard to a Jets fan because we haven't won a Super Bowl since '68 and I'm sure they've been patient this far. But I'm saying patient as far as since I've been here. This has been new coaches, new GM and all that type of stuff. Things take time."

Tags: Leonard Williams, Scott Thompson
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