Quincy Williams continues capturing the hearts of Jets fans
On August 31, linebacker Quincy Williams was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars just two years after being selected by Jacksonville in the third round of the draft.
Less than four months later, he has established himself as an important piece on the New York Jets defense.
Williams was given a second opportunity in New York where he would have the chance to play alongside his brother, Quinnen. So far, he’s been a pleasant surprise.
In the 11th episode of One Jets Drive, a documentary series featured on the Jets’ YouTube channel, Williams stole the show.
During his interview, Williams detailed the inspiration for his uppercut celebration, his unorthodox route to the NFL, how he deals with everyday stress off the field, and his goals for the future.
“The feeling when I get to do the move, it’s amazing,” Williams said of his uppercut celebration. “First of all, it’s earned, number one, because it starts with my preparation,” said Williams. “I know the hit (is going to) be massive. In my head, it’s either gonna be ESPN Top Ten or it’s gonna be ESPN Not Top Ten.”
Williams claims to have drawn the inspiration for the move from “Street Fighter”, a popular fighting video game series. Williams uses the game’s “Dragon Punch” finisher as the inspiration for his own personal finishing move after big plays.
While his brother, Quinnen, played for college football powerhouse Alabama, Quincy attended a much smaller school, Murray State, a smaller FCS program. Throughout his early years of high school, Williams struggled with academics, limiting the schools willing to take him in.
“Murray State actually took a chance on me and trusted me,” said Williams. “If I were to tell my younger self something, I would’ve told him to make sure you take school serious.”
Having only been in New Jersey for a little over three months on top of quickly becoming an important piece of an NFL defense over that span, Williams has picked up a hobby to wind down from the stresses of being a professional athlete: Top Golf.
“On the field, it’s about being aggressive, powerful… and then here, it’s just mellow and chill. Most people think video games are some of our escapes, but it’s really not because you’re still in that aggressive mindset, like competitive. Here you just relax,” said Williams.
Finally, Williams sat down and got serious about his career in the NFL. Cut only two years into his four-year rookie contract, he knew he had a lot to prove and recognizes that he still does today.
“At first, when I got cut, I was kind of down on myself, thinking ‘Am I a really good player? Should I be able to play in this league?’ But that’s normal for people, to start second-guessing themselves,” said Williams. “Then I got a call from the Jets, so I switched mindsets instantly, talking about ‘this is my second chance.’ The things that I was doing in the past that got me cut, how can I make them better now? How can I apply what I’ve learned from there and take that as a learning lesson?”
Williams sees his release from Jacksonville as a key turning point in his career.
“When I got to the Jets it was like another opportunity for me and it was a blessing in disguise, really, of me getting cut,” said Williams.
Despite all that he has accomplished over the last few months, Williams’ eyes are set on bigger things.
“Yeah, I made a huge jump from last year to this year now, but now it’s like ‘Can you keep going forward? Can you be consistent?’ So that’s the main thing,” said Williams. “At first, the main goal was to get in the NFL, now the goal is to become a Pro Bowler, then the goal is being in the Super Bowl.”
Williams has quickly become a fan favorite because of his monster hits, fun celebrations, and inspiring underdog story.
For Williams himself, he expects there to be better things ahead, just as he has his whole life.
You can view Williams’ interview and the entirety of the newest episode of One Jets Drive here.