football

Williams’ Inevitable Fall Triggers Jets’ Dominoes

By Jeff Moeller/the nyextra.com

Within the hour of Sunday’s shocking Jets’ 31-28loss to the Raiders, the Gregg Williams clock began to tick.

It rang and shook loudly Monday morning. Williams was out.

Williams’ gaffe of allowing a rookie corner alone — not once, but twice — with eight people blitzing– the second time for a 46-yard touchdown on a rookie wide receiver who has been clocked at 23 miles per hour more sent tremors through the league than the Giants’ upset in Seattle.

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He had as many bombs dropped on him as did Pearl Harbor,  fittingly on the same day as the 79th anniversary of the ill-fated moment

Safety and team leader Marcus Maye publicly questioned his coordinator’s call and heda coach Adam Gase couldn’t hide his anger and frustration. Gase and Williams had their share of clashes this season. Yet, Gase handed over the defense to him.

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Sam Darnold, “It is what it is” spoke columns through the locker room.

Williams’ last call was indicative of his time with the Jets — unleash the big play against the odds.

Last season, it was near perfect and was an integral part of the Jets’ 6-2 second-half rival. Rumors began to circulate that Williams would be a candidate for a head coaching position.

The Jets added some reinforcements with rookies safety Ashtyn Davis, corner Bryce Hall, and edge rusher Jabari Zuniga.

Linebacker CJ Mosely was set to direct the defense off an injured year, and safety Jamal Adams was still in play. Linemen Henry Anderson’s emergence and Quinned Williams’ promise gave the Jets legitimate threats up front

Williams transformed free agents Bless Austin and Arthur Maulet last year into starting corners who both  seemed destined for big years this season. Brian Poole developed into the team’s nickel specialist.

The bubble burst when Mosley decided to sit out because of COVID, and Adams was subsequently traded.  

A year truly made a big difference.

Austin and Maulet looked like free agents again, and Davis, Hall, Zuniga, and Poole all found themselves on the injured list.

In October, lineman Steve McLendon and linebacker Avery Williamson were dealt away, and there appeared to be more on the way at the time.

By early last month, Williams’ once top 10 unit resembled more of the Jets’ disastrous units in the mid 70s. 

Williams was left with a handful of veterans and a corral of rookies and free agents.

He didn’t have the kind of complement that was the seventh best in the league last season.

By the beginning of October, it was evident. The Jets’ Mr. Fix It ran out of tools.

Williams’ two-year stay was just below his 2.4 average coordinator stay with a team among his nine stops over 22 years.

He had a strong bond with his players that withered this season. Williams also brought a flare and craftiness with various schemes and blitzes.

His last blitz finished him, but there will be more blitzes among the Jets in the final four weeks.

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