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The one Thing That Might be Holding Quinnen Williams Back and There’s Nothing he can do About it

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When the Jets took defensive lineman Quinnen Williams with the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, there were lofty expectations from both fans and media in terms of what should be expected from the Alabama product.  After all, the Jets passed on a couple of edge rushers to snag Williams after years of not being able to get to the quarterback.

How has that worked out so far?  After picking up just 2.5 sacks in 13 games as a rookie, Williams has 2 sacks in four games in year two.  Why isn’t Williams producing more?  The answer could be a very simple one and one that he has no control over; playing time.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams rotates his defensive linemen so heavily that Williams has played 70% the Jets’ defensive snaps just twice through his first 17 games as a pro.  According to pro football focus, Williams currently ranks 28th in the NFL in total snaps among interior linemen.

Williams’ snap counts have varied heavily this year, from just 57% in week 1, to a season best 71% last week.  Against the Colts in week 3, Williams played 58% of the snaps and spent some of those dropping back in zone coverage in passing situations against the Colts tight ends.  That didn’t work out so well.

So while those who are putting up big numbers are seeing the field significantly more than Williams, the second-year player will have to continue trying to impact the game with a surprisingly low number of opportunities.  And while the sacks aren’t exactly piling up at this point, we’re still seeing instances on film in which Williams is forcing errant throws or plays with opposing linemen having to keep their QB upright.

Williams can watch film to prepare, he can pick up the nuances from Steve McLendon, he can drop fat and add muscle, he can give high effort on every play, but the one thing he can’t do is decide how many snaps he plays.  That’s up to the coaching staff, and as this team continues to fail to get to the quarterback, one has to wonder exactly what they’re waiting for.  At this point, start taking reps from the ineffective Henry Anderson and give the young cornerstone a chance to grow, learn and produce.

This Article Was Written By Glenn Naughton

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Glenn was Born in the Bronx, New York and has followed the Jets religiously despite being stationed in several different countries and time zones around the world. He now resides in England and has been a JetNation member since 2005. Glenn will bleed green with the rest of us through the highs and lows.