Quinnen Williams is back in the saddle on the Jets' D-line, getting more reps as he hopes to make it all the way back from his offseason foot injury to full-go for the season.
And one way "Q" kept up with things on the field while he rehabbed was to watch video. And that doesn't always mean the all-22 end zone view of the opponent, looking for tells from the offensive linemen that would be lining up in front of him.
Sometimes Williams looked at video of defensive linemen. Such as Sheldon Rankins, the big interior player, formerly of New Orleans, whom Williams finally got to line up alongside this week during the joint practices with Philadelphia.
"Sheldon, I watched a lot of his Saints games, and I'm pretty sure he's watched a lot of my games from the Jets," Williams told Ethan Greenberg during a Two Minute Drill interview for newyorkjets.com. "When I lined up next to him, man, I know I got a dog next to me, I know I got somebody I can rely on, somebody I respect."
The same goes for all the DT types he's lined up with this year or in his first two years after the Jets made him their first-round pick in the 2019 draft.
"No matter who it is, Foley [Fatukasi], Sheldon, Tanzel Smart lining up next to me, anybody in that room that lines up on that defensive front, they all have respect and we all work together. For me to know my brother next to me is a dog, I know I got someone next to me that's going to be good."
Williams and the Jets D-line needed all that woofing and chemistry the past two days vs. the Eagles. It's been tough August sledding for the unit since after being hit with the losses of Carl Lawson to IR and, Wednesday, Vinny Curry being placed on Reserve/Non-Football Injury. It was also a slog at times during the joint practices because Q felt the Eagles have a quality offensive line.
"The first day we kind of struggled a little bit, but today I actually felt like we came out and got after it a lot," he said. "As a defensive line, we were strong and physical today. Also, you had guys on the back end finishing tackles and thudding off the runner and having that mindset that we're not going to let anybody score on us or just walk into our end zone. Everybody felt like we had that mindset today and came out and executed and were very physical against Philly."
Head coach Robert Saleh, defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich and D-line coach Aaron Whitecotton were energized to get big No. 95 back in the rotation.
"He looked exactly like we thought," Saleh said of Q's ramping up that began late last week. "He was a little rusty, but he's a big, powerful man, and he's excited to continue to work through it. And I know Aaron is really happy that he's around, and now we've just got to hone in on our technique and hone in on the small details that are going to make him special."
"I feel great, man. I feel great physically, mentally," Williams said. "Of course, this is a professional game. I haven't played a down since December, so I've got to get back into the feeling of everything. But we have a great staff, great coaching staff, and I'm a great player. I've just got to keep chopping wood, keep going forward and getting better every single day."
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