Well, whether defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich’s comments were an intended shot or a “bush league” fabrication by the media — as head coach Robert Saleh put it — they appeared to motivate the youngster in Week 4.
Williams was the “best player on the field” against the Steelers according to NFL pundit and “Good Morning Football” analyst Peter Schrager, who gave the rising defender some national attention after his “outstanding” performance.
Peter Schrager Praises Jets DT Quinnen Williams After Week 4
The praise came during a GMFB segment called “Taco ‘Bout It” on October 4.
“Quinnen Williams, Week 3, getting into it with his defensive line coach Aaron Whitecotton — they’re going at it face-to-face,” Schrager began, giving some background information. “Then there were some rumors or some whispers that there was issues — there wasn’t — then there was some talk that, ‘hey Quinnen Williams, you’re a top-five pick, you’re a bust.’ A bust? Quinnen Williams was the best player on the field on Sunday and we have to give him his flowers for this.”
Schrager continued: “Williams, outstanding against the Steelers and he’s been outstanding all season long. He’s not only living up to the hype, he might be the best defensive tackle in the AFC this season. This guy, on Sunday — six tackles, two quarterback hits, one sack, and then the play I want you to watch [where Williams runs down Kenny Pickett to stop a first down scramble].”
“The motor doesn’t stop!” Schrager touted, adding that he doesn’t like the narrative that there is any issue between Williams and this coaching staff.
“That’s football! That’s passion! Quinnen Williams is a dawg, he has been playing like it all season long, let’s give him his flowers too,” Schrager concluded, voicing: “Quinnen Williams we see you, you’re not a bust, you’re living up to the hype and then some.”
Quinnen Williams Leads Jets Defense on PFF
Analytically speaking, Schrager is 1,000% correct with everything he’s saying. Outside of cornerback Brandin Echols who has only played nine snaps, Williams leads all Jets defenders on Pro Football Focus with an impressive 84.8 grade in 2022.
That includes a team-leading 11 quarterback pressures — which is tied with defensive end Carl Lawson — and 2.5 sacks. He has also been credited with three QB hits, one batted pass, and five defensive stops with only one missed tackle.
Williams has done his best work as a pass rusher with a win rate of 13.5% and a “PRP” average of 7.9 — PFF describes PRP as “a formula that combines sacks, hits and hurries relative to how many times they rush the passer.” Both of these numbers rank very solidly for the D-tackle position.
His run defense is probably the area that could use some work from an analytical perspective — 3.2% stop rate and a 4.9-yard average depth of tackle — but the Jets have actually been much better against the run in 2022.
The former Alabama game wrecker is playing for a contract extension this year and the expectation given by the coaching staff since training camp has been that Williams is in the best shape of his career. If it all does finally come together for the 24-year-old in the coming weeks, it would be a major help in any potential Jets playoff push.
That might sound crazy after an up-and-down start to the season but Gang Green is currently 2-2 with plenty of winnable games on the schedule. Right now, anything is possible.