New York Jets

New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams received vast praise from defensive coordinator Kacy Rogers ahead of his sophomore season.

New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers dished out some high praise for second-year defensive lineman Leonard Williams on Wednesday.

Williams was one of the top rookies in the league last season, recording 63 tackles and three sacks. Rodgers believes Williams has plenty of room to grow during his sophomore campaign.

“Leonard, he definitely got worthy of his draft pick, and to me, being a former D-line coach and watching him every day, I think the sky’s the limit for him. I really do,” Rodgers said at his press conference on Wednesday. “I think he kind of went through his growing pains, even though he played really well for us and his ceiling I think is super high.”


The Jets should be poised for another big season on the defensive line, especially because Muhammad Wilkerson will be back in New York despite rampant speculation regarding his future with the Jets. That could inhibit Williams’ development slightly, but the Jets found ways to get Williams, Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson onto the field at the same time last season. The Jets also may use more flexibility to make up for the loss of defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who signed with the crosstown rival Giants in free agency.

Wilkerson, who was slapped with the franchise tag during the offseason, has not shown up to OTAs. Rodgers said he is excited for him to arrive at the team facility in Florham Park, N.J.

The Jets also brought back veteran linebacker Erin Henderson, who played an increasingly important role as the 2015 season forged on. The Jets chose Henderson over Demario Davis this offseason and now he will compete for a starting job alongside David Harris.

“He’s just a guy we have a lot of confidence in, and when we go back through cut-ups in the offseason, and he’s really looked at, he did an admirable job for us,” Rodgers said.

If there’s one thing the Jets defense will be 2016, it’s versatile. The Jets have a ton of interesting pieces, including rookie linebackers Darron Lee and Jordan Jenkins. Rodgers admitted that he doesn’t have the combinations set yet, but he said that’s something the coaches will figure out throughout the summer.

“We just kind of got interchangeable pieces right now and through coupling and trial and error we’ll put guys in different spots and just kind of see how it is,” Rodgers said.

The Jets will be one of the most exciting defenses to watch in 2016 and could be the best unit in the NFL in Rodgers’ second season.

NEXT: Ranking The Jets Veteran Cap Casualties Post Jun. 1

I cover the SEC for @seccountry Founder of @NewYorkJetFuel, Contributor to @nfl_alerts. Handle inspired by Skip Bayless