A series against the Pittsburgh Steelers showcases just how Gregg Williams uses Jamal Adams and pressure in crunch time.
The long-time defensive NFL man is an aggressive play-caller. In fact, he’s aggressive in nature no matter the scenario, even in today’s NFL that sees blitzing become less impactful as the years go by.
Williams’s aggressive nature when crunch time arrives may be best exemplified in the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 16 victory. After a horrible Lachlan Edwards punt and with the New York Jets up six points, Williams was sure to set things up the way he wanted it: with plenty of heat to seal the victory.
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Play No. 1
Safe. On the other side of the field with just under two minutes, time really isn’t an issue for the Steelers. At the same time, Williams knows he can’t bring the house on every play.
Making sure he picks his spots to play it vanilla is crucial, as he does here with a straight four-man rush and plenty of cushion in coverage.
A seven-yard gain on the dump-off is one of those plays every defensive coordinator needs to live with. Sure, the offensive is looking for a drive-starter, but that sort of gain won’t happen when Williams decides to clamp it up tighter.
Play No. 2
Again, the Jets go with a four-man rush. And again, it’s a soft zone three-deep look on the backend.
Why Arthur Maulet is playing that soft is a mystery. Considering the Tampa 2 should promote a curl-to-flat on each side that knows it has over-the-top help, this completion to the out was entirely too easy for the quarterback.
Play No. 3
Feeling the pressure just a bit after a Pittsburgh first down, Williams moves to a 3-3-5 look and attempts to crack something inside.
It’s still a four-man rush, but it’s all coming from the interior. Mike backer Neville Hewitt joins the three interior linemen in rushing the quarterback while both edges drop. The field-side edge is critical in covering the crossing pattern while the boundary-side edge sticks with the tight end who engages.