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Quinnen Williams responds to Troy Aikman’s MNF comment

Quinnen Williams, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers
Quinnen Williams, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Getty Images

After the former quarterback cited Williams calling himself a decoy, the NY Jets’ star defensive tackle had some comments of his own

New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams is setting the record straight.

On the most recent telecast of Monday Night Football, announcer and former NFL quarterback Troy Aikman had an interesting quote from the All-Pro defensive tackle.

While discussing how Williams is still “making an impact on games” without huge sack numbers, Aikman stated that the defensive tackle called himself “the highest-paid decoy in football.”

This is a very revealing quote from one of the best defensive players on the New York Jets and in the NFL. Yet, there was one small problem with the statement.

Quinnen Williams never spoke with Aikman and never gave the quote to the ESPN announcer.

At his media availability on Wednesday, the longtime Jet clarified the situation revolving around his supposed comment.

“I never talked to Troy Aikman; I never said that to Troy Aikman. I don’t know where he got that from. It never came out of my mouth that I was the highest-paid decoy…To hear him say that I said that is kind of upsetting, that he would lie on me like that and say that I said that. It’s kind of weird to me,” said Willaims.

What is even weirder about Aikman’s comments is that he did not acknowledge how dominant Willaims actually has been.

Despite a lack of sacks, Williams has been a force in both areas of defense. In addition to opening up opportunities for the Jets’ edge rushers, the defensive tackle has contributed 31 pressures on 235 pass rush snaps. That number ranks fifth out of all qualified defensive linemen, behind only Dexter Lawrence, Aaron Donald, Jeffrey Simmons, and Chris Jones. Not bad company.

Those numbers also give Williams a 13.2% pressure rate on the season, which is already better than his 12.4% rate from last season. Williams’s pass rush win percentage is also up from last year, currently sitting at 17.2% compared to his 2022 mark of 13.7%.

Willams has also been a force in the run game. According to PFF’s grading system, Willaims has the best run defense grade out of all defensive linemen at 90.1. He also has 19 run stops, which constitute plays that were negative for the offense, and ranks 4th out of all defensive linemen who have played 50% of snaps this season.

Ultimately, Aikman’s comments were extremely unprofessional. It is one thing to lie on a small scale, but the ESPN commentator did so in front of thousands of people watching the game.

As weird as they were, the comments hold no merit, though. Despite his sack numbers, Williams is still one of the most vital defensive players on the Jets, is playing at the level that made him an All-Pro, and is allowing the defense to operate at an elite level.

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