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It’s time Leonard Williams lives up to his big Giants contract


jranieli
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https://nypost.com/2021/10/14/its-time-leonard-williams-lives-up-to-big-giants-contract/?utm

 

No one is, or should be, asking Leonard Williams to be Lawrence Taylor or Michael Strahan.

But it is more than fair for John Mara, for Steve Tisch, for Dave Gettleman and for Joe Judge and Pat Graham to ask Leonard Williams to be Leonard Williams.

Specifically, the Leonard Williams who recorded a career-high 11.5 sacks in 2020.

The Leonard Williams who was rewarded with a three-year, $63 million deal, with $45 million guaranteed.

“It’s not even about the money to me,” Graham said before practice Thursday. “Our best players have to play well, that’s how the league is set up. Your best players have to play well.”

As the late Giants GM George Young was fond of saying — it’s always about the money. Williams is the best player on a defense that has regressed alarmingly from a year ago.

For the Giants to have any shot Sunday against the Rams, the Big Cat can’t give Matthew Stafford nine lives, or even one, and give his team more bang for its bucks. The Giants’ best player on his side of the ball has to play like the best player, and the time is now.

He has grown enough as a player in his prime and as a man to believe that his time will come again.

Giants
Leonard Williams
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“I think every year people have asked me about pressure,” Williams said. “Last year when I was on a contract year they asked me about pressure. The year before that when I got traded they asked me about pressure. Now that I’m on a new contract, they’re still … there’s always gonna be pressure in this league. You never focus on the pressure. You focus on what you can do to help the team, and how you approach work every day.

“We’re focused on winning this week, and eventually my hard work is gonna pay off.”

He is one of the good guys. Joe Judge raves about him in the locker room, and I was surprised that he was not voted a captain by his teammates.


“The coaches are happy with the work I’m putting in,” Williams said. “Sacks and stuff like that come in bunches. I feel like if I just keep working, stuff will eventually come my way.”

So far, just 1.5 sacks have come his way.

“I don’t think there’s any particular reason,” Williams said. “I think it’s just overall, if you just keep hitting the nail, it’ll eventually come your way.”

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Williams is the one who must bring the hammer for a defense that has just eight sacks and was shredded by Dak Prescott & Co. for 515 yards and failed to set the edge in the run game. He has maintained that it’s not always about sacks, and of course it’s not. He has prided himself on being a disruptive force, and he does have 27 tackles in five games — a season after having 57 in 16 games. Offensive coordinators have to account for him. But sacks are sexy. Sacks get you paid.

Giants
Leonard Williams
Corey Sipkin
“I’m not stressing about it,” Williams said. “I’m not gonna try to change my work ethic, change anything about myself, and like play out of the system to chase stats. I think if I just keep playing within the system, they’ll eventually come.”

That will be music to Graham’s ears.

“What I don’t want him to start doing,” Graham said, “is pressing.”

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Not to worry.

“Exactly like I said, I don’t want to like get out of my work ethic and out of my traditional way of playing to press for stats and please the crowd and please the fans,” Williams said. “Obviously getting sacks and stuff like that helps our defense, but me playing within the scheme and not pressing is also gonna help the defense. And as long as I keep playing within the scheme and keep doing my job and keep working hard, the stats will eventually come.”

The defensive performance has been so unacceptable for Graham that he is willing to simplify the scheme so his players can play faster, and moving Williams to create a mismatch should be on the table as well. Williams could certainly use a partner in crime to take the heat off him, specifically the emergence of rookie OLB Azeez Ojulari (three sacks in the first three games). The last thing the Big Cat wants is to be labeled as is a one-hit wonder.

“It’s definitely not lack of effort, I know that,” Graham said. “He’s playing hard. He’s worked hard in practice, and sometimes you just hope it comes in bunches at some point. But I know it’s not from a lack of effort, and the skill set’s still there.”

On a 29th-ranked defense filled with Giants who need to look in the mirror, Graham will look first.

“I would say it starts with me helping him find better places to put him at, improving that, and then hopefully it starts to click at some point,” Graham said. “Whether it’s taking advantage of technique or hitting something a little bit quicker. That’s what we’re working on today, and that’s what we’re working on this week. Obviously we gotta do a better job.”

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1 hour ago, CrazedDogs said:

eh, Williams and his 1.5 sacks are the least of my worries. Sacks come in bunches, he'll get his.

And he's an interior DL too, so it isn't realistic to expect 10+ sacks. 

The problem is he's one of the highest paid IDL (he's making more than Jones and Buckner) and they frequently get 10+ sacks. Hargrave has six sacks as a DT, Williams with the Jets has 4, Donald has 3.5. Chris Jones has more sacks than him and he's Ben nursing an injury and missed games.

Simply put he's one of the reasons the pass rush is garbage and shouldn't be making anything like he is this year for his play. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BlueInCanada said:

To me it tells the story of: we should of made more of an effort to keep Tomlinson.

 

So... you're saying we should have given 11 million to Tomlinson to do the same job as Williams, and then another 6 million to Hassan Reddick and gotten eight sacks thrown in to boot... instead of giving Williams 21 million this season? 

Clearly, you don't trust the process. 

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27 minutes ago, Sephiroth said:

So... you're saying we should have given 11 million to Tomlinson to do the same job as Williams, and then another 6 million to Hassan Reddick and gotten eight sacks thrown in to boot... instead of giving Williams 21 million this season? 

Clearly, you don't trust the process. 

I don't trust the results.

But I love the process. 

 

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2 hours ago, BlueInCanada said:

To me it tells the story of: we should of made more of an effort to keep Tomlinson.

 

Please elaborate.  How does keeping Tomlinson help Leonard Williams and the pass rush.

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1 hour ago, Tempest said:

Please elaborate.  How does keeping Tomlinson help Leonard Williams and the pass rush.

He was eating the double teams that Leonard is currently facing.

Him and Lawrence typically drew the IOL in leaving Williams alone on the outside. 

Without Tomlinson they are leaving Lawrence/Johnson/Shelton one on one and going after Williams.

Unless something drastic has changed scheme wise then the only real change this year on the Dline was losing Tomlinson and getting a better edge rusher in Ojulari. 

 

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3 minutes ago, BlueInCanada said:

He was eating the double teams that Leonard is currently facing.

Him and Lawrence typically drew the IOL in leaving Williams alone on the outside. 

Without Tomlinson they are leaving Lawrence/Johnson/Shelton one on one and going after Williams.

Unless something drastic has changed scheme wise then the only real change this year on the Dline was losing Tomlinson and getting a better edge rusher in Ojulari. 

 


 

In Leonard’s defense, nobody on defense looks like they did last year.   

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12 hours ago, CrazedDogs said:

eh, Williams and his 1.5 sacks are the least of my worries. Sacks come in bunches, he'll get his.

And he's an interior DL too, so it isn't realistic to expect 10+ sacks. 

 

11 hours ago, Sephiroth said:

"What's wrong with Leonard Williams?"

Nothing.  He looks like Leonard Williams. 

This... he needs outside help.  He is not Warren Sapp in there either.  Strahan needed Tuck... and LT needed Leonard Marshall... :laugh:

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15 hours ago, CrazedDogs said:

Since Tomlinson generally comes off the field on third down and other passing situations, his departure probably isn't much of a factor in Williams' reduced sack numbers.

 

This would be accurate.  Lawrence is usually out there with Williams, not Tomlinson.  I'm less concerned with Williams than our edge rushers.  They simply have been getting run over and failing to set the edge never mind getting pressure on the QB.  Now they have been improving but they are far from acceptable so far this season.

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6 hours ago, Pdouble said:

I don’t know why anyone had faith Lorenzo Carter was going to impress this year.  
 

id rather give Roche and Ximines all his snaps.  At least Ximines is under contract next season. 

I wish when the drafted Carter they would focus on developing him for pass coverage because we have this blind zone in the middle of the field every team in the NFL throws to for a first down.   You could throw it to the punter in the middle of the field for a twenty yard conversion on third down.

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  • 4 weeks later...

He's stepped up, along with the rest of the defense.

I still don't think he's worth top 5 DL money, but it is what it is.

Also I'll give credit for Williams on that bull rush, however what the fuck were the guard and center doing during that play? Just standing there chopping grass lol

Got to take advantage of those Oline fucks ups like that and Williams did.

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