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Players, coaches praise new Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams: ‘He says what guys need to hear’

Gregg Williams

Anyone who watched last year’s edition of HBO’s Hard Knocks with the Cleveland Browns understands that Gregg Williams is never afraid to be blunt. He repeatedly mixed it up with former Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who was later fired (along with Hue Jackson) when Williams was named as the interim head coach in Cleveland.

Now the defensive coordinator for the New York Jets, Williams is already garnering respect for his willingness to speak his mind. Jets players and coaches spoke to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano about Williams’ hard-nosed approach:

“I think it’s great, the fact that sensitivity is out the window,” said Jets coach Adam Gase. “He’s not afraid to say anything to anyone. I think guys are hardened to it, and that’s a good thing. We all get criticized in this business, we all get picked apart, and you have to have thick skin. And by doing that at least it’s holding guys accountable. There are no sacred cows.”

“He says what guys need to hear,” added linebacker Jordan Jenkins. “He’s not going to sugarcoat it. He’s not going to baby you. He’s not going to belittle you. He’s going to treat you like a man, and you have to respond like a man. And that’s it.”

Williams will certainly be hoping that a change in organizations will bring him more success. Although he helped steer the Browns to a respectable 7-8-1 record in 2018, Cleveland’s defensive unit ranked 30th in total defense.

The Jets ranked 25th in total defense last season, but they signed C.J. Mosley to join playmakers like Jamal Adams, Leonard Williams, and this year’s first-round pick in Quinnen Williams.