Williams being disruptive for Jets, despite lack of sacks

From FOX Sports - December 7, 2017

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP)Leonard Williams is making his presence felt on opposing quarterbackseven if his sacks total doesnt tell the whole story.

The New York Jets defensive lineman has just two this season, but he has a whopping 26 quarterback hits. That means hes getting passers off their spots, forcing throws and making them downright uncomfortable.

People want to see the sacks, Williams acknowledged Thursday. I wouldnt really call a QB hit a stat or anything. I just think of it as being disruptive. Thats what a defensive player wants to do, is be disruptive in any way possible.

No matter what type of stat it is, if youre being disruptive, thats a good defensive play.

Williams entered this season, his third in the NFL, with a goal of getting a sack per game. Hes way off that pace, of course, but he has gotten consistent pressure the past few games. Also, the sprained wrist that ailed him since the summer is fully healed.

Leo has played well for us, coach Todd Bowles said. Hes been disruptive, even with the double teams. Hes been getting hits on the quarterback and hes been playing across the line of scrimmage.

Williams made his first Pro Bowl last season after getting seven sacks and emerging as one of the leagues top young pass rushers. After a slow start during which he went the first eight games without a sack, Williams is looking like his old self again.

Against Kansas Citys Alex Smith last Sunday, Williams had a half-sack and four quarterback hits.

We think Leonard is definitely improving, defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers said. Hes really coming up. You sit there, and if Im not mistaken, I think he might have had four or five quarterback hits the other day. Hes really getting to the point where we have high expectations for Leo, and hes exceeding them.

Williams might have a good chance to increase his sacks total at Denver on Sunday. The Broncos have given up 39 sacks, tied for third-most in the NFL. Denver is also second-worst in the league with a minus-16 turnover ratiosomething Williams and the Jets hope to capitalize on.

We call it takeaways because if its a takeaway, were forcing it, rather than a turnover where were waiting for them to turn the ball over, Williams said.

So, were definitely going to try to get after the ball. We see that they had a lot of ball security issues, but at the same time, theyve been able to recover a lot of them, so thats on our part to make sure we do recover it when the ball does come out.


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