The Jets' Quinnen Williams on Dec. 12, 2021.

The Jets' Quinnen Williams on Dec. 12, 2021. Credit: AP/Matt Rourke

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jeff Ulbrich felt badly that some comments he made last week regarding Quinnen Williams might have upset him. The Jets defensive coordinator said he never meant to imply that Williams wasn’t in good shape.

Ulbrich sought out Wiilliams to make sure he knew that and reaffirm how he feels about him. He has continually praised the defensive lineman as a game-wrecker.

“Quinnen’s a guy that I have tremendous respect for not only as a football player but as a man,” Ulbrich said Thursday. “For him to have felt any angst or felt any way about that would have bothered me because I have tremendous respect for him. It was never my intent to insult him or say anything bad about him. I love the guy in every way.

“I have no questions regarding anything about his conditioning or otherwise. He’s an absolute game-wrecker . . . I just love having him with us. I hope we have him for a long time.”

The controversy started last week when Ulbrich was asked why Williams doesn’t play more snaps. The Jets utilize a rotation on the defensive line to keep players fresh.

Ulbrich was commending Williams for how hard he plays, and said there are times he wants to put him back in but he sees him “gasping for air.” Many interpreted that as Ulbrich criticizing Williams’ conditioning. After the video hit social media, Ulbrich went to Williams to discuss it.

Williams said Ulbrich’s words “didn’t bother me at all” and he understands social media can take things out of context. He said they had “a great” conversation after it drew attention.

“I just wanted to make sure that there was no gray [area],” Ulbrich said. “I got a lot of respect for him. I got a lot of respect for all the guys in that defensive unit. For any of them to feel like I felt any such way other than complete love, regard and respect would bother me. It did bother me from that standpoint, the thought that he might have taken something the wrong way.

“I just made sure there was no gray concerning that, he knew exactly where I stood and I think he knows where my heart is.”

Vera-Tucker impresses

Offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur praised Alijah Vera-Tucker for being “selfless” and switching from right guard to left tackle last Sunday.

“We felt like it was the best thing to do in that situation,” LaFleur said. “For him to look at us like, ‘I’ll do whatever you guys want, I’ll do whatever it takes for the team.’ I can’t say enough good things about him.

“He’ll play center if he needs to. I’m sure if he starts playing center, he’s going to want some goal-line reps at fullback. He’ll do whatever is asked of him at all times.”

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