Veteran defensive lineman Quinnen Williams arrived at Jets camp in tremendous shape, has been producing consistent quarterback pressure and received compliments from the coaches.
"He's in the best shape of his life," head coach Robert Saleh said about Williams. "I don't want to speak for him. I have only known him for a couple of years now, but I mean, the guy's out there, he does not sweat."
Williams appreciates the praise but said that he has heard enough. To help the team, he believes he needs to keep progressing.
"Thank you coach Saleh, first and foremost," Williams said. "But I feel like I have a lot of growing to do. Especially when I want to get to where I want to be. I feel like I am starting off in a great body frame and great endurance-wise, but I'm not where I want to be just yet."
Williams, the Jets' No. 3 pick in 2019, played his most productive ball for the Green & White last season. He tied DL John Franklin-Myers for the team lead with six sacks and earned selection to the Pro Bowl.
He spent OTAs with Saleh and defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton and got noticeably quicker and fresher.
"I got a chance to pick Coach Saleh's brain through the offseason," Williams said. "Pick my D-Line coach Aaron Whitecotton's brain all offseason and just learn different stuff I can get better and really home in."
Saleh added: "He's got a great explosive movement. He's got that big babyface smile that we all love. …It's good to see him back from vacation. He feels good. He looks good."
But even after a career-best season and offseason, he still has plans to get better.
First, by going up against a Pro Bowl player and former member of NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, left guard Laken Tomlinson, every day in practice. Iron sharpens iron or so the saying goes.
"Going against a guy like Laken every single day," Williams said. "A guy who was a Pro Bowler and who has been in San Francisco scheme and the locker room, who has been to the Super Bowl been a good player through years and years and getting a chance to learn from him and his leadership and different stuff like that has helped me out through this whole training camp and become the player that I know I can be, and I want to be."
See the Green & White on the field with the Giants during joint practice.
William ran into one roadblock during camp, missing time with an ankle injury. He sustained a fracture in his foot that required surgery May 2021 and has missed eight games in his three seasons. For this D-Line to be great, he knows he must have improved stamina.
"I am not where I feel like this team needs me to be when it comes down to conditioning," Williams said. "When it comes down to playing 100 percent of the snaps, when it comes down to playing every single play with my heart. So, I am just growing every single day and trying to get better every single day."
Williams agrees that his fourth camp has been his best. He has made life challenging for the Jets quarterbacks and the Falcons and Giants during joint practices. But he thinks he is only scratching the surface.
"I definitely think this training camp has been my better year, man," Williams said. "Especially being in the NFL, because I got a chance to go through the offseason, especially inside this scheme. … But I feel like over the course of these weeks we can do better, and we can get better at it just being consistent and just homing in on details so we can just roll out of bed and get into three-point stands and do our job."