Final Call on Defense was a bad one from Williams, but far from a “Tank” Play
When the New York Jets hired defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to run his aggressive system after parting ways with Todd Bowles and Kacy Rodgers, Jets fans were largely behind the move. Williams had an “alpa” mind set and would impose his will on opposing offenses by sending one blitz after another.
Clips from Williams’ film session on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series that covered Williams and the Browns circulated throughout the web and on the message boards at JetNation.com. Here was a guy who was going to put his stamp on a physical defense.
Now that his all-out blitz in the closing seconds cost the Jets their first win of the season, talk of Williams “tanking” or throwing the game away is already a prevalent narrative, but it’s one that is simply not supported by the facts.
Dan Orlovsky on Twitter: “It’s who he is. It’s always been who he is. Not saying it’s the right call-its not—but it’s always been who the man is. @nyjets fans👇🏼 #NFLGamePass https://t.co/WIBpeEOFZa” / Twitter
First and foremost, no matter how his defense is playing, Williams absolutely is an alpha. He has no interest in being a part of another 0-16 season as he has been previously with the aforementioned Browns. He has a long history of “bringing the house” in hail mary situations and while the call was unorthodox, it’s not as if there isn’t some logic behind it.
Gregg Williams wanted the win in this game and as every pitcher does in a big spot, he went with his best pitch…his front seven. The Jets aren’t going to scare any opponents on either side of the ball. Neither the offense nor the defense is going to keep anyone up at night. But if you had to pick a single group that will give opponents a hard time, it would be the Jets defensive line. Guys like Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, Foley Fatukasi and more recently Henry Anderson have been getting a good amount of push up front. Throw in Jordan Jenkins who has 1.5 sacks and 13 quarterback pressures over the past two weeks and you see what Williams may have been thinking.
(1) Glenn Naughton on Twitter: “You can make the case that this was a bad call, but not that it was a “give up” call. GW sent everyone to get to the QB who would need a ton of time. Front 7 failed, but if somebody gets Carr, we’re talking about how the Jets won because of Gregg Williams alpha mentality. https://t.co/hD8kYAppbw” / Twitter
Would he rather drop back a secondary loaded with rookies and a pair of undrafted free agents (Lamar Jackson and Javelin Guidry) to defend a big pass, or send his best players after a quarterback who was going to need plenty of time to drop back and set up for a bomb? Neither scenario is ideal, but putting your best players in a position to win you the game isn’t a bad idea. And as we saw on replay, Carr did have to do a fair bit of maneuvering to avoid a slew of oncoming defenders. If just one of those players gets a hand on Carr, we’d be praising Williams for being aggressive.
So we can certainly argue whether or not Gregg Williams made a bad call to end the game, but to suggest a coach who will be out of a job in a few weeks is trying to go winless on the season for a second time in his career? That’s a bit of a stretch.