TOJ New York Jets Film Breakdown – Leonard Williams 2017 Film Review

Joe Blewett with a film room breakdown of New York Jets DE Leonard Williams 2017 season…

Joe Blewett with a film breakdown of New York Jets DE Leonard Williams 2017 season. Don’t miss last week’s edition on inside linebacker Avery Williamson

Im not going to put up a bunch of plays where Leo was keyed,comboed or double (no he was never “triple teamed”. But know that Leo had a lot of attention on him every game.

Bills run play-action. Leo (4 tech) comes off the snap low and fights to cross the face off the LT. Once he crosses his face he keeps him away with his extended outside arm and then rips through as the LT gets his inside arm back on Leo. Gets a hit/pressure here.

Leo (2i) throws his inside shoulder into the OC as he uses his outside arm to lift the OC’s outside arm simultaneously, giving Leo leverage in the A-gap. As the OC tries to make up ground Leo grabs the OC’s outside shoulder to keep him off balance and spins back inside. Nice rep.

Leo (3 tech) attacks the A-gap. As the OG shuffles inside, Leo grabs the Og’s outside shoulder with his outside arm keeping his momentum going inside. Giving Leo enough space to attack the outside with the swim with the hard plant on the inside foot. Nice pass rush rep.

Raiders run inside zone to the strong side. Leo (6i tech on play side) comes off the snap low, gets into the OT’s chest and extends to keep the OT’s hands off of him/not in good position. Giving Leo the easy shed when he sees Lynch coming into the play side b-gap.

One of the problems you will see with Leo’s game. Leo (4i) comes in high off the snap, and fails to anchor vs the combo block. Allowing the offensive line to move him easily out of the play.

Leo (4 tech) comes up high and is late to get his hands into the OT allowing the OT to get into his chest and have good leverage on him. At times you will see he is too patient with offensive lineman allowing them to strike first.

Leo (strong side 2 tech) again ducks his head into the OG. Failing to anchor and watch where the RB is going. Sometimes Leo will flow with the play laterally before confirming with his eyes that that’s where the RB is going.

Good example of what to do vs a combo block. Leo (3 tech) gets low and anchors in vs the initial block. After the RG peels off , Leo then uses the RT’s momentum to shed him and almost get the tackle.

Here is Leo’s go to pass rush move. Leo (strong side 3 tech) takes one hard step inside getting the RG to slide inside, giving Leo more room to operate in the b-gap. The RG punches and Leo uses a double swipe into a rip to get to the QB. Showing power/athleticism and technique.

Dolphins run inside zone. Leo (0 tech) penetrates the backside a gap. The OC is the first part of the combo block, Leo swipes the OC’s left arm and swims him quickly. Not giving the LG better leverage on Leo, Leo has good lateral leverage and makes the tackle.

Leo (weak side 3 tech) doesn’t cleanly land the double swipe, nor the rip after but still has the RG’s hips flipped towards the sideline giving Leo the opportunity to work back inside. Leo takes advantage and pulls off a pretty spin move to get the hit/pressure on Bortles.

Jags run a inside zone-split. Leo (weak side 3 tech) gets a good wide base and anchors down vs the combo block. Leo uses his momentum gained from the RT’s block to rip the RG down to the ground. Leo pauses a little too long to make the tackle but still a good play.

Jags run another inside zone from the gun set. Another example of Leo (strong 3 tech) beating a combo block. Leo gets low/linear with his elbows and knees, attacks the LG’s outside shoulder while penetrating the b-gap quickly giving the LT no leverage to make the block.

Leo (strong side 2i) will sometimes be too patient and wait too long to initiate a pass rush move. Here lets the RG get into his chest, giving himself no chance to get to the QB

Leo beats the Center badly here (pretty bad technique from the center). Leo (1 tech) reacts quickly to the quick punch off the line as he side steps it as he swipe the punch away. Getting instant pressure on Bortles.

Jags run another inside zone-split. Leo (play side 6i) gets low/linear and extends him arms when stacking the RT to not let him get hands on. The RT doesn’t drive his feet at all and Leo sheds him easily.

Saw this a little too much during the first half of Leo’s season. Here the 1 tech just ducks his head/ no attempt at any rush move and is playing too high. No real chance to make an impact on this play.

Browns run a lead inside zone. Leo (play side 4i) ducks his head with no arm extension or penetration allowing the RT to block him inside, which then gives the RG plenty of room to seal him inside (even though he fails).

Leo (1 tech) gets trap blocked here but need to see him get low and blow up the FB instead of getting stood up and have to go around him.

Leo (4i strong side) gets low and extends his arms into the LT’s chest immediately and has enough power to anchor vs the combo. As the RB approaches Leo easily sheds the LT and gets in on the tackle.

Different look from the Jets here as Davis is stood up over the OC with Leo standing up behind him. Davis attacks the RG and Leo gets running room to attack the OC. Leo does a good job bulling/attacking half a body. Once he clears his hips he throws the rip, no sack though.

One of Leo’s strengths on the backside is one of his weaknesses on the play side. Instead of stacking the offensive lineman, Leo likes to work past the lineman and give only his back to block. When the RB cuts back he is in a bad position to make a play on the cutback.

That weakness on the play side is a strength on the backside. Leo (3 tech) quickly cuts off the RG only giving him his side/back to block. Allowing Leo to have lateral leverage to make a play on the RB backside.

Leo (weak side 9 tech) gets room to run which can be scary for a offensive lineman. Leo punches out, gets into the RT chest, drives his legs and flips his hips directed directly at the QB (taking the shortest route to him).

Leo (2i) runs into the LG with his shoulder giving the LG a small portion of his body to block. Hard to see but Leo grabs the LG’s inside arm with his inside arm, then uses his outside arm to punch it away. Making the LG off balance as he slides left, allowing Leo to swim inside.

Leo (4i on strong side) comes in low vs the LG getting underneath his pads which initially drives him back. Leo then bulls the LG backwards with one arm as he works to square his hips up to the QB. Eventually getting the hit on the QB.

Leo (3 tech backside) does a great job splitting the double team as he attacks only half of both of their bodies. Forcing his way through the backside b-gap and making the tackle.

Leo (weak side 3 tech) takes a hard step inside to get the LG to react inside/punch out. Leo lands his double swipe perfectly but just misses the sack.

Leo (6i) controls the extra o-linemans shoulders and peaks to where the RB is heading. When he sees the RB doesn’t have the ball he quickly sheds the block quickly inside to get pressure on the QB.

Leo (again 6i on strong side) controls the LG’s outside arm by grabbing his hand. Also sticks his extended inside arm into the LG as he squares his hips to the QB forcing the RG to become off balance. Leo gets in on the half sack.

Almost identical to the play before. Leo (3 tech) takes a hard first step inside, while anticipating the LG’s punch and he swipes/chops the outside arm as he explodes through the b-gap. Gets the hit on the QB.

Leo (3 tech) comes in hard with his elbows tight and knees aligned. The RG doesn’t have a good stance and tries the hug technique vs Leo which was never going to work. Leo bulls him back forcing the QB to roll right into the sack. Play didnt count because of defensive holding.

Not much here but wanted to put it in to show Leo’s athleticism. Nice play execution as the Jets run a stunt. Wilk crashes down taking up blocks from the OC and LG and Martin crashes down taking up two blocks. Two players for 4 blockers. Leo shows good athleticism.

Leo (3 tech) comes off the snap low and uses a push-pull to get past the LG. McLendon also dominates the OC on this play who gets the tackle as Leo made the RB cut back.

Leo (2i on weak side) again uses the double swipe vs the LG as the Bucs are in slide protection to the right. Drops the extremely overrated (2015 season) Fitzmagic.

Leo (2i on strong side) executes a stunt with Wilk. As he comes off the LG block he comes into two blockers (OC/RG). Leo double swipes the OC and then runs past the RG (terrible awareness). Big hit on Fitz.

Jets execute another TT stunt. Leo (1 tech) is met by the RG who he tries to double swipe but then has to go to his interior spin to get around him. Then met by the OC who he gets around with a swipe. Then chases down Newton to the sideline 1000% effort.

Leo (0 tech) tries to use the rip move to get past the OC but he doesn’t get it off cleanly as he doesn’t clear the OC’s hips. Shows some power to fight through the OC and still get the hit on the QB.

Really good hands show here by Leo. Leo (5 tech) shuffles as he is waiting for the RT’s punch. The RT throws a really quick punch but Leo is still able to double swipe and then rip him. Shows some decent bend to get to the QB.

Leo (weak side 3 tech) bull rushes the LG, as the LG tries to use the hug technique to stop the rush. Leo gets low and moves him back, as the LG is off balance Leo starts to attack the outside half of the body. When the hips are close to being even he rips. Smith gets away.

Leo (weak 3 tech) bulls the LG back but probably isn’t going to get to the QB. Until the OC hits him giving him another rush opportunity outside. Leo beats the LT with the double swipe and gets in on the sack.

Leo (boundary 3 tech) gets into the LG’s chest, extends and watches for the run. When he sees its not a run, he takes what the LG is giving him which is the outside rush. Leo rips him and forces the throw away.

Leo doesn’t get in on this play but wanted to put it up because its pretty cool. Leo (weak side 3 tech) gets underneath the LG’s pads, grabs him and quickly drops all of his weight with that right knee bend. Leo pulling out Jiu-Jitsu moves on the field.

Leo (weak 3 tech) attacks the interior half of the LG’s body. Its a quick/nice move from Leo as he sees the LG is leaning into him so Leo uses the LG’s body against him and simply pulls him more forward to get by.

Really impressive snap from Leo here. Leo (1 tech) positions himself in between both halves of the OC and LG, gets low and is able to pull the OC forward with just his left arm. Leo then drives the LG into the RB. Probably Leo’s best snap of the year.

Leo (strong 3 tech) comes off the snap, waits for the LG’s punch (shitty one) and double swipes it again and gets free. As we can tell by this point in the review the double swipe is by far his favorite move.

This LG is terrible but nonetheless. Leo (3 tech) easily swims him and gets in on the tackle. Take a peek at McLendon (2i) too

Leo (strong 3 tech) sets up the LG outside but the LG is being very passive with his punch. Instead of waiting for the hands to come out, he swipes him at the biceps/shoulders and then rips. Gets inside for the hit on Rivers.

Last play of the review. Leo (3 tech) is hard to contain specifically on the backside of runs (especially zone) because he will quickly penetrate what he the nearest gap to the play side. Does it again here as he “gets skinny”, giving the RT only his back/one shoulder to block.

In conclusion, Williams is a borderline pro-bowl player with the raw talent to become a all-pro type of player but is still raw in some aspects that were highlighted above and will be pointed out again in the “weaknesses” section. Williams is only 23 years old so he still has plenty of time to fix some of the minor flaws in his game. Williams didn’t put up great numbers this year (47 tackles, 2 sacks) but did have 17 QB hits which was 1st among 3-4 defensive ends. There is no doubt that teams turned their attention to Williams this year as he was keyed on a lot, faced many double teams and combo blocks. The lack of a true edge rusher and a good secondary also undoubtedly  affected Williams numbers (less time to get to QB and was opposing teams primary focus on defense).  Williams played all over the defensive line for the Jets (0,1,2i,2,3,4i,4,5,6i,6,7,9) but for the most part he  was the 3 technique on the right side of the defensive line or near the LG. Williams even played standing up and in coverage at times in exotic looks.


  •  Agility for his size.
  • Strength .
  • Array of pass rush moves (Double swipe, swipe, rip, swim, spin, bull,bull/jerk, hump).
  • Good bend around corners.
  • Good at hand fighting.
  • Gives 100% effort
  • When he penetrates hard with his first step, its quick and very difficult for a single blocker to stand him up.
  • 2nd half of the season was getting low,extending arms, getting linear and would stand up every single lineman he took on.
  • Active hands.
  • Great lateral agility.
  • Makes a ton of plays from the backside of runs because he quickly penetrates the line of scrimmage, giving the offensive lineman a small and ineffective area to block.
  • Good at setting offensive lineman up at the line of scrimmage.
  • Good at getting “skinny”.
  • Length.
  • Attitude
  • When he does anchor properly verses combo blocks, he is very effective.
  • Will use the offensive lineman’s momentum against them frequently.
  • Great hair.


  • Fails to fire out of stance at times.
  • Needs to anchor down more consistently verses double teams or combo blocks.
  • Will wait to long to get his hands on offensive lineman.
  • Plays straight up at times
  • Gets sucked into double teams.
  • Would like to see him use more of his power instead of relying on finesse/agility most of the time.
  • Has a variety of pass rush moves but too often relies on the double swipe more where at times offensive lineman knew it was coming.
  • Fails to consistently have counter moves when his original move doesn’t work.
  • Will try to rip the offensive lineman when he has cleared arms or hips sending him too far off horizontally, taking himself out of the play.
  • Susceptible to allowing cutbacks when he is on the frontside of the play.
  • Rushed outside shoulder of offensive lineman too often making it somewhat predictable.
  • Dances at the LOS too often instead of taking the fight to the offensive lineman
  • Bull rushes high at times.
  • Doesn’t have a consistent base.

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