Jets defensive lineman Quinnen Williams is off the PUP list and back on the active roster. On Monday he said that he's encouraged by the depth on the D-line and is eager to dive back into the pool, but all in due time.
"When you got a family full of sharks, you're all going to eat," a chatty and excited Williams told reporters on Monday speaking about his teammates.
Williams may now be on the active list, and although he will make the trip to Wisconsin for joint practices with the Packers on Wednesday and Thursday ahead of Saturday's preseason game at Lambeau Field, head coach Robert Saleh made it clear that his third-year, budding quarterback nemesis will not be totally active.
"Maybe get him a couple of reps when we get to Green Bay," Saleh said on Monday. "But we're going to ease him in and just use this week to give him a chance to get his wind back. No game this week."
Williams broke a small bone in his foot this spring, which required surgery. He missed OTAs, minicamp and several weeks of training camp as his teammates began work ahead of the 2021 NFL season, which begins for the Jets at Carolina on Sept. 12.
"I feel good, it's great to be back with my dogs and get a chance to be around a group of great guys, especially in the D-line room, but the defense in general," he said. "There's not really a lot of eagerness. We have a great staff, in the training room, strength and conditioning ... they had a great plan for me and I just followed the plan. I'm just staying Q, starting to go ramp up for next week. I'm excited. I'm ready to be a part of it, I didn't have a chance with OTAs and summer workouts. I'm excited and ready to roll."
Drafted No. 3 overall out of Alabama in the 2019 NFL Draft, Williams had a credible rookie season. But last season when Williams played in 13 games, he totaled 55 tackles, (10 for a loss) and he had 7 sacks, 14 QB hits and 20 pressures. His second pro campaign ended in late December when he sustained a neck injury and a concussion.
In the Jets' new 4-3 defensive scheme installed by Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich, Williams says he sees the potential to release the hounds on the defensive line. Putting Williams together with the indomitable Carl Lawson, who was signed in free agency, has the coaching staff and his teammates excited.
"I'm super excited to have a group of guys in the room with Sheldon [Rankins], Carl, Foley [Folorunso Fatukasi] and all the guys," Williams said. "In the room with Carl coming in, he's an explosive pass rusher with a good mindset. He's a good veteran to be around and I learned a lot on the sideline watching him get off the ball. Everyone does something different. As I said, it's a great room to feed off. Sheldon has a whole bunch of moves, I may not be able to learn his quick-twitch moves, I'm just admiring what the guys do out there."
Williams conceded that his biggest issue last season was his conditioning, and though he said he would know his weight after "getting on the scale later," he praised the Jets' new Athletic Care and Performance Department, led by Dr. Brad DeWeese, for keeping him to a plan.
For his part, Saleh is bullish on his D-line, a group he called his "sack monsters."
"We can come at them in waves," Saleh said. "I'd like to activate eight and I want them all playing. It's a really good interior group, really deep and the amount of push they get is really cool."
Speaking about Williams, Saleh added: "The man is pure mass. Look at him, he's enormous. And to get that mass moving forward without having to read anything, absolute attack up front, it's going to be hard to stop that mass from moving forward. Especially how strong, smart, violent and explosive he is. The amount of knock back he builds in this scheme is going to be awesome. But obviously he's behind. He has a lot of catching up to do. It's not a simple technique, it takes a lot of reps, a lot of trust and so getting him back is exciting."
Williams said that he had an opportunity to speak with Saleh before the 2019 draft when Saleh was with the 49ers and San Francisco was kicking the tires on players before making a selection.
"I've been a Saleh fan going through the draft when we talked about a lot of things," Williams said. "To have an opportunity to have him here is an amazing upgrade for me in my career."
It won't be long before Q is back swimming with those sharks.
See the Top Images from Monday's Practice at 1 Jets Drive