Sports

Jets’ Quinnen Williams on marriage, Saleh, being a role model

Third-year Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams tackles some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Serby. 

Q: Do you think getting married in the spring will help you as a football player? 

A: Different things like the off-the-field issues, like paying bills and household type things like that definitely helps take the load off me. And then having somebody to talk to, somebody to vent to every single day like about football, about what I’m going through, how I feel and different stuff like that is definitely a plus too. 

Q: Tell me why Maranda is the right girl for you. 

A: I met her in college at ’Bama, and ever since I’ve been with her, man, she’s just been amazing. 

Q: Was it love at first sight? 

A: Not really … it was more friendship at first sight. It definitely turned into love. 

Q: Give me a scouting report on Maranda. 

A: Organized … a neat freak … hard-working. 

Q: You’re not a neat freak? 

A: I am, but she’s like got OCD or something like that. 

Q: What did she think of the ring? 

A: She got a chance to customize her own ring. 

Q: How big is the ring? 

A: It’s nice. It’s a nice size for her. 

Q: How are coach Robert Saleh’s meetings electric? 

A: They’re definitely electric, man, every single time we go into meeting with him we learn something new, either on the field or off the field. 

Q: How would you sum up Coach Saleh? 

A: I think he’s amazing, man. Great defensive mind, great coach in general. His mindset when it comes down to football, a person that you want to be led by and a person that you want to listen to when it comes down to be a great player. Coach [Nick] Saban’s one of the best coaches in college history, and when it comes down to Coach Saleh, man, I definitely see those same qualities, those same characteristics. 

Q: Do you think it’ll be easy for guys like you to recruit free agents to the Jets because Coach Saleh is in place? 

A: I think Coach Saleh is a good tool to recruit. 

Q: Which quarterbacks are you looking forward to sack that you haven’t sacked yet? 

A: Sacks are very hard in the NFL. Guys like Aaron Donald make it look so effortless and easy. I don’t care who I sack, I just want to get ’em. 

Q: What is so great about a sack? 

A: First of all, the more sacks you get, the more money you get, so that’s a good thing (laugh). It’s like a touchdown for the offense. Odell [Beckham Jr.] catches a ball with one hand, it’s super like [celebrated], so when a defensive lineman gets a sack, it’s like that one-hand catch for a touchdown. 

Q: When Jets fans watch you play, what do you want them to say about you? 

A: I just want to be the best I can be, man. Just go out there and go 100 percent and just be a playmaker, man. 

Q: You wrote this once: “So scared to fail, I’m calculating my every step.” 

A: I really want to calculate every move, every step that I take to make sure that it’s the right step, the right thing. I wan’t make the people who’s looking up to me or the people who I’ve set a standard for, set an example for just in the world of the kids and different things like that, see me fail. 

Q: Why is that so important to you? 

A: I had a lot of great people I looked up to, a lot of great mentors, a lot of people who never did the wrong things. They always told me, make sure you do everything you can do right because when you think people are not looking, they’re looking. So I always told myself I gotta calculate every single move that I make. 

Q: It’s important for you to be a role model. 

A: I had some great role models growing up, and it was an amazing opportunity to have those role models, and I feel like I would never be who I am now to this day if I didn’t have those role models. I want the kids behind me or in my neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama, can look up to me and say, “I can be him when I grow up.” 

Q: Another thing you wrote: Quinnen Williams is self-made. 

A: Your business is your body. I can’t wait till a coach tells you to go watch film. I can’t wait to hear a coach tell you to be healthy. I can’t wait for anybody to tell me what to do, I have to have the initiative to do it myself. I gotta have the initiative to like push myself to make sure I get better and to make sure I know that I’m ready to when it comes down to playing football, when it comes down to being a husband, I gotta make sure like I’m ready. I can’t wait till another man or another person pushes me or instills in me to get ready. 

Quinnen Williams
Bill Kostroun/Gist Vile

Q: Thoughts on Zach Wilson? 

A: I think Zach is an amazing player, man. The things I see him do at practice, the throws I’ve seen him make in practice definitely are amazing to see. 

Q: Your observations about Sheldon Rankins? 

A: One of the more quick-twitch guys I ever been around and seen in person. Also a great leader coming from a winning organization and being around great players at the Saints, he brings a lot of wisdom and a lot of knowledge. 

Q: Foley Fatukasi? 

A: I think he’s a very dominant defensive tackle, man. We definitely feed off each other. 

Q: Shaq Lawson? 

A: Got a great-off and different stuff like that, but he brings another weapon to the table. 

Jets' Shaq Lawson looks on during practice in Florham Park, N.J.
Shaq Lawson
Bill Kostroun/Gist Vile

Q: What do you like best about the defensive line? 

A: I just like the fact that we can just get off the ball and be ourselves. 

Q: You’ve done some boxing? 

A: Deontay Wilder got a chance to come to Alabama and speak to us as a team. He was telling me a story on how lines push through pain and push through different stuff. Even if you get knocked down, he’s like saying you gotta keep going, keep going, keep going. 

Q: What does boxing do you for on the field? 

A: It just put me in the mind of like endurance and different stuff like that. And also the connection between my hands and my feet are connected together, so when I take the right step, my hands come along with it. 

Q: What was it like meeting Joe Namath? 

A: Amazing, man. 

Q: What was it like going to the Yankees game in June? 

A: It was amazing! I grew up a huge CC Sabathia fan. Got a chance to see Aaron Judge and different stuff like that. 

Q: What was it about CC Sabathia? 

A: He was big, he was dominant, and he was just like had swag on the field. 

Q: Should we just hand the trophy to Alabama? 

A: (Laugh) Them boys got a great squad and they’re doing everything right, so hopefully they go ahead and win it again. 

Q: How have you been able to deal with the losing after coming from Alabama? 

A: I love the Jets, man. Everything’s not perfect, but I’m happy to be here to help turn things around. 

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