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Marcus Williams Is Playing the Hot Corner

Posted Aug 16, 2015

2nd-Year CB Has Been One of the Best Jets at Getting His Hands on Passes in Practices and at Detroit

When the Jets brought in "The Big Three" of Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Buster Skrine at cornerback this offseason, a lesser player might have rolled up his tent. But CB Marcus Williams has been on a roll of a different kind.

"I just said right from the jump that there's going to be a lot of competition but it's going to be fun," Williams told me this weekend after training camp resumed at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "These guys, when they came here, from Buster to Revis to Cro, they've just been helping out with open arms, helping out the young guys, teaching us, showing us their way, their approach.

"We've just been following their lead."

Williams showed exactly what that meant with four seconds left in the second quarter of Thursday's preseason opener at Detroit when, with his father and cousin in the stands after having come to the game from their Minnesota home, he skied in the end zone and came down with an interception that turned the Lions away with no points before the half.

"It was our first game, the first time you get to go up against another team, so that's always a fun thing," Williams said. "You want to show the new coaches how you play, and it's about how you play not only at practice but when the lights come on as well."

Then on Saturday, the second-year corner struck again, jumping the route on a Bryce Petty quick out intended for DeVier Posey and taking it the other way in team drills.

Those haven't been the only breakups for No. 20. As one veteran reporter summed up, "If someone was keeping stats for PDs in camp, Marcus Williams and Buster Skrine would be neck and neck for the lead."


"You never know," Williams said about whether he's found that picks come to him in bunches over his career. "I mean, you want that to happen, definitely, but you've just got to take it a play at a time. You know you're not always going to get the pick but make sure you're in the right position to make a play, no matter if it's a PBU or, if they catch it, make sure you're right there to make the tackle."

After the players get a day off Monday, they'll return for more camp work this week, then get their next shot at a team in different-colored jerseys when Atlanta comes to MetLife Stadium on Friday night. The Jets have never intercepted Falcons QB Matt Ryan in two regular-season meetings. Maybe Williams will be in the right place at the right time again and continue his quest for a spot in the Jets' 2015 defensive backfield.


Devin's Progress

One of the Marcus Williams deflections that didn't count figured in the superb downfield catch that second-round WR Devin Smith made on July 31. It also resulted in broken ribs and a partially punctured lung when he was kneed in the back by a defender on the play. He's been sidelined ever since.

Devin came out after today's practice for his first chat with reporters since that play with words of optimism that he'll be back soon. Asked if he might be ready for the Sept. 13 opener against Cleveland, he said, "I'm not sure. It's up to the doctors and trainers and what they want me to do." But he's finally sleeping on a regular bed now, his lung is fine, and he's also doing bike work "keeping his legs together."



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