Alabama in the Pros

Rookie DL Quinnen Williams showing out at Jets training camp

Randy Sartin - USA TODAY Sports

Adam Gase is an offensive mind; however, one would not know it after seeing his facial expressions on Thursday in terms of the New York Jets on defense. 

Tom Brady and other quarterbacks in the AFC East better have their heads on a swivel. 

Of the players who showed out for the Jets in training camp, rookie defensive lineman Quinnen Williams was one Gase could not bottle up his excitement.

According to Ethan Greenberg, the team’s reporter, Williams made two “eye-popping “stops in the backfield on rushing plays. 

RELATED: Former Tide star Levi Wallace grabs No. 2 CB spot for Bills in training camp

He stuffed an outside run on the first play and then blew up an inside run on the ensuing play, drilling the running back in the backfield as he got the handoff.

The former University of Alabama standout and No. 3 overall pick of this year’s draft is working on the second-team defense; nevertheless, Gase sees the size, strength, speed and instincts of a future superstar.  

He showed up,” Gase said to Greenberg on Williams. 

“He was showing up in the backfield where you could see who made the play, which is great to see. He looks like he’s moving well, he’s understanding what we’re doing and he’s playing faster.” 

A native of Birmingham, Ala., Williams needed one season as a starter for the Crimson Tide to prove he’s ready for the next level. He tallied 71 tackles in 2018 – including a team-high 19.5 stops for loss with eight sacks.

The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder totaled 12 quarterback hurries and helped the program win a Southeastern Conference title. Williams was one of two unanimous All-Americans, and was the recipient of the Outland Trophy (nation’s best interior lineman).

He mentioned to reporters that he’s learned all about being a dominant lineman from watching YouTube videos. 

“Him practicing like that, it’s great for us to see,” Gase continued on Williams. “You don’t have to wait for preseason games to see there’s a lot of things he can do and do well. Once we get going in the preseason and he starts seeing some different run-game schemes from other teams that maybe we don’t do, the more he sees, the better. That’s the experience a rookie needs. He needs as many looks as possible.” 

He is putting himself in position to be the starting nose tackle thus far, but hopefully Williams continues to build upon early success.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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