As the Jets continue to rebuild their team, one of their defensive leaders from last year said he is extremely happy with the changes they’ve made from a personnel and coaching standpoint.
Inside linebacker Avery Williamson said the Jets added guys who “can make big plays.” He also said the Jets needed “more stability in the building” and a no-nonsense, in-your-face defensive coordinator like Gregg Williams to really shake things up and push players to do more.
“I talked to Gregg, he’s definitely intense, definitely intense,” Williamson told WFAN radio on Friday. “He doesn’t take BS and that’s a good thing. He’s a tough-nosed coach but he’s going to be a hundred-percent honest with you at all times. He’s not a pushover and I feel like that’s what some of the guys on our team need. He’s going to be good for us.”
After the Jets hired Adam Gase to be the head coach, they quickly went to work to secure Williams to lead their defense. Williamson hasn’t met or talked to Gase yet, but he enjoyed his conversation with Williams, an aggressive defensive play-caller.
Personality-wise, it’s definitely a major change from Todd Bowles and former defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers.
“You could just tell the intensity in his voice and you just know when a person is passionate about what he’s doing,” Williamson said. “I could tell that he wants this team to be great. That’s something that all the building wants and fans want. When you have someone that’s serious about his business that seeps over to the team, I feel like."
“I feel like we needed some more stability in the building," Williamson added. "I feel like that’s what this staff is going to bring. I’m excited about it. You got to have that stability, you know. Guys are not going to bend when guys push them. ‘You do it this way or get out,’ pretty much.”
Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan has been busy, trying to grab players that fit his vision and those of the new coaching staff.
The Jets’ huge score was signing running back Le’Veon Bell. But a move that could prove to be as big, if not bigger, was landing inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. The Jets officially announced the signing of Mosley Friday.
Mosely made four Pro Bowls in five years in Baltimore and was the leading tackler on the NFL’s best defense last year. He signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Jets.
“He’s a great player,” said Williamson, the Jets leading tackler last year. “I feel like it’s going to be good. They’re bringing in some guys that can really make big plays and that’s what we needed, and leadership as well. I’m excited to have him on the team and I feel like he’s going to be a great part of the defense.”
The Jets also announced on Friday that they signed former Redskins receiver Jamison Crowder, ex-Bears receiver and special teams player Josh Bellamy and former Falcons cornerback Brian Poole, and that they re-signed defensive end Henry Anderson.
They also brought back a familiar face to do their kicking, as they signed Chandler Catanzaro, who kicked for the Jets in 2017. Catanzaro replaces replace Seattle-bound Pro Bowl kicker Jason Myers.
Catanzaro converted 83.3 percent of his field goals as a Jet two years ago, including a franchise-long 57-yard field goal.
But he struggled last year with the Bucs and was cut in November after missing four of 15 field goal attempts and four extra points in seven games. Catanzaro also played four games for Carolina, where he made all five of his field goal tries and missed just one of eight extra points.
On Thursday night, the Jets announced that they acquired left guard Kelechi Osemele in a trade with the Raiders.
The Jets still need an edge rusher, a starting corner and wide receiver, and to upgrade the offensive line. But the moves thus far have Williamson believing the Jets will take a giant leap next season.
“We definitely have the talent,” he said. “We just have to make sure we’re putting in the work. We’re bringing in the right guys. So we just got to make sure we’re being professionals and getting the job done.