Much of the main target since Robert Saleh was employed because the Jets’ new head coach has been what his arrival can imply for quarterback Sam Darnold. But it’s one other Jet who was additionally chosen No. 3 general who could profit much more from Saleh’s teaching.
Defensive deal with Quinnen Williams had a breakout season in 2020 with seven sacks and 14 quarterback hits. But Saleh believes he can get much more out of Williams. Saleh studied Williams within the 2019 draft when the 49ers chosen Nick Bosa No. 2 general, one decide forward of the place Williams.
“I absolutely love Quinnen,” Saleh mentioned this week. “Really excited to get the seat belt off of his harness and let him go. In this scheme, to get him going vertical, to get all that mass moving in the direction that he needs to go, I’m really excited about the potential that he’s going to have. Loved him coming out. Obviously, we took Bosa. He was right there as part of the discussion, I can assure you of that. With regards to that young man — his mindset, his athleticism, his power, his love for football — really, really excited to see him in our system, especially up front with the way we design with that attack style up front.”
The 49ers protection, led by Saleh, featured a robust line of defense. The group invested first-round picks usually on the position, exhibiting how a lot they valued defensive linemen. San Francisco has chosen 5 defensive linemen within the first spherical since 2015. Saleh arrived in 2017 and he had success with linemen reminiscent of DeForest Buckner, Bosa and Arik Armstead. Last season, Kerry Hyder had 8.5 sacks in Saleh’s system.
When Saleh installs his protection together with new defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, Williams will certainly be a focus for him. The Jets roster doesn’t have a lot expertise on it, however Williams is one participant Saleh can build round. The 23-year-old made an enormous leap in his second season earlier than a neck damage ended it prematurely. Williams isn’t just a pressure in his personal proper, he’ll draw consideration from opposing offenses that can unlock others.
“That kid is special,” Saleh mentioned on “The Michael Kay Show.” “He’s a game-wrecker. He’s somebody you have to game plan against to keep him at bay. Obviously, that gives the other 10 guys an opportunity to excel just because of the focus that he’s going to garner.”
Speaking the day after the season ended and earlier than Saleh was employed, Williams mentioned he is aware of he can enhance getting into next season.
“I don’t think there is a ceiling. I think I have a lot of leeway to grow into,” Williams mentioned. “I’ve got a lot of things to hit. I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface yet because all the things I did this year may be good, but I know a lot of things I can think about off the top of my head that I did wrong. I left a lot of plays out there, a lot of missed tackles that I’m supposed to have, a lot of flags I got that could have been sacks, things like that I wish I could get back. Going into the next season I have an even bigger chip on my shoulder to clean up those things so I could become a better player, an even more dominant player.”
Williams targeting enhancing his diet final offseason and getting in higher form. This year, he mentioned he desires to get stronger.
“I feel like all the best interior pass rushers in the NFL are known for their strength,” Williams mentioned. “Like Aaron Donald, Chris Jones, Fletcher Cox are known for their strength. I feel like I have to get on their level strength-wise so I can be inside that caliber of level of play.”
His new coach would possibly assist him get there, too.