New York Jets: Gregg Williams and the ramifications on the defense

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Gregg Williams is the new defensive coordinator of the New York Jets. We take an early look on how he might affect the current roster.

The New York Jets have made a big splash by hiring Gregg Williams as the next defensive coordinator. We know that Adam Gase was looking to bring in a head coach for the defense and that is exactly what he did.

We know all about the attitude and swagger that he brings to the table. Jamal Adams will love it. Here is a snippet from Hard Knocks to remind everyone a little bit about this guy:

Clearly he is going to bring a fire and brimstone approach to coaching the Jets defense. As we discussed the other day, he also moves the needle forward for every defense he has worked with in the past.

More from Empire Writes Back

As we begin to sit with Williams as the defensive coach, we start to think about what may or may not change.

Williams runs a base 4-3 defense. For years, the Jets have run a 3-4 defense. The types of players that fit each type of base are different.

Everywhere he has gone, Williams has run the 4-3 base. Will they play that way every rep? Of course not, but the Jets will transition in that direction.

That is just another reason why this offseason will be important to the Jets development. The players they sign on defense likely will be guys that fit that scheme.

The 3-4 is anchored on the line by a nose tackle. He’s a huge guy that can take on two and even three linemen, freeing up others to make plays.

In the 4-3 a lot of the quarterback pressure is generated by the front four. We will talk more about this in a future post but to me, this could phase out a player like Steve McLendon who is more of a traditional nose than a 4-3 tackle.

Two guys who could benefit are Leonard Williams and Darron Lee.

As far as Williams goes, we all know he has been underwhelming for a number six overall pick. The numbers just haven’t been there, especially in the pass rush. A lot of hit has to do with the fact that he has seen a lot of double teams.

In the Gregg Williams 4-3 base, Leonard Williams would see a lot more one on one matchups which should naturally lead to bigger numbers.

Now Darron Lee is an interesting case. He hasn’t been worthy of a first round pick as of yet, but to be fair, he has been improving.

In the 3-4 defense he has had a tough time of it. One of the reasons is that he has to endure a lot of blocking at the second level. That comes from simple math. When the offensive line has only 3 defensive linemen to move, they can get to the second level faster.

That’s not a good scenario for a guy like Lee who is 6-1, 232 pounds. Compare that to a guy like Avery Williams who is the same height but weighs a bit more at 246 pounds.

Lee is a bit undersized and can get taken out of his game by dealing with a lot of blocking. In the 4-3, he will have much more room to roam and make plays. Just the new system itself will give Lee an opportunity to flourish.

Next. Behind the numbers on Adam Gase's time in Miami. dark

The more underrated problem could be the cornerback position.

With any aggressive defense comes a lot of blitzing. If that’s the case, the corners are expected to handle a lot of one on one responsibilities.

Do you trust the Jets cornerbacks one on one? Neither do I.

In the coming days and weeks we will analyze the fit of different players on the current roster defensively. This is just an early taste.

But there is definitely change coming in Florham Park.