Leonard Williams: Jets are focused on winning Super Bowl, not tanking
The New York Jets are expected to be one of the worst teams in football this season, and there are some who believe ownership wants it that way so the team can have a shot at drafting its quarterback of the future. Leonard Williams says the players in the locker room do not share that mentality.
Williams, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, dismissed any talk of the Jets tanking. In fact, he said they are only thinking about one thing.
“We play football to win,” Williams told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News this week. “We’re not here to say that we want a certain record. We want a championship. It doesn’t matter what outside people think. It doesn’t matter who’s here and who’s not here. We’re just going to work on what we got and work on a championship. Every year if you’re not focused on a championship or a Super Bowl, what are we doing it for? Why are we showing up to OTAs and the offseason program and putting our bodies on the line if we’re not focused on a Super Bowl?”
The Jets have made a concerted effort to rid themselves of veteran players in the past several months. Wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker were sent packing, and Josh McCown is probably the team’s best option at quarterback. You can call that tanking or rebuilding, but Williams believes the Jets are closer to Super Bowl contention than many realize.
“I think it’s definitely realistic,” Williams said. “I know how much talent we have on our team. I think at this level it’s not about who’s the most talented. It’s about who’s the most together as a team and who’s going to play well with each other and have the least amount of mistakes.”
It’s admirable for Williams to take on the role of optimist and leader, but just read what one NFL executive said about the 2017 Jets roster. Fans in New York are in for another long season.