The New York Jets might be spiraling right now but defensive end Leonard Williams is only going up, or so he would like to think. The defensive end has it in mind to follow in the footsteps of Michael Strahan.
It isn't enough for Williams to win big. He is looking for a future spot in the Pro Ball Football Hall of fame. Those are some big dreams for a 23-year-old and they will probably position him to boost the New York Jets odds this season by delivering a sensational performance or two.
Williams, it should be noted, isn't just dreaming about the Hall of Fame. He is also taking steps to achieve that dream, not only through the effort he injects into his performance but also the people he associates with.
It is Williams' intention to get into the minds of great players and to find out what exactly makes them tick, which is why he has grown so attached to Michael Strahan. Williams' opportunity to learn about his hero came a few days back when he engaged with Strahan in conversation after a Jets practice.
Williams is never more excited than when he is talking about Hall of Famers. He is in awe of their achievements and their mindsets and the fact that they seem to think differently from the average individual.
Williams has learned to think about winning above all else, not to mention bettering himself, the result of his interactions with superior players. Strahan was happy to give the young and enthusiastic athlete a few pointers about the journey to greatness.
He encouraged him to never grow complacent. No matter how many wins he accrued and how powerful he grew as a player on the field, there was always more room for further growth.
The New York Jets have been starving for talent like Williams. And it is a little unfortunate for Williams that his team has been predicted to crash and burn this season. Not even Leonard Williams can save the Jets from an abysmal few months in the future.
But the downward trend of the Jets is unlikely to debilitate Williams' growth. Selected sixth overall out of South California in 2015, Defensive Line Coach Robert Nunn not only praised Williams as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL but he suggested that there was no real ceiling for the athlete's potential.
Williams seems to grow with each passing day. He is enthusiastic about learning and progressing. He is also happy that there are so many expectations on his shoulders because that gives him something to work toward.
Leonard Williams is quiet so it is easy to overlook him; though, he has been working to bring more of an edge to his personality on the field. His teammates have encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone and worry less about the way people perceive him.
For now, Williams is a lifeline for New York Jets fans that have been looking for any reason to be optimistic. They have started looking to him as the face of the franchise and that will only spur Leonard Williams to deliver.