Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams says New York Jets (0-3) are 'not listening' to criticism

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Monday, September 27, 2021

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Despite being 0-3 for the third straight year, a franchise first, New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams said Monday they don't deserve criticism from fans and media.

"We still don't want to hear that s---," Williams said in a strange Zoom call with reporters.

Pressed by a reporter, Williams started laughing for several seconds when asked if the fans have a right to be upset by their 26-0 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Eventually, he turned serious, defending quarterback Zach Wilson and insisting the team won't let critics ruin their season.

"I'm saying that people who have negative stuff to say about Zach and the team, we're not listening to it," said Williams, arguably the best player on the team. "We want to keep getting better every single day, because if you listen to the negative things, you can eventually believe in those negative things and go into a tank about those negative things.

"For me, for this team and for Zach, we're not listening to the negative s--- that is being said."

The Jets are under fire after two straight lopsided losses, contributing to a historically bad start on offense. They have scored only 20 points, tied for fewest in franchise history over the first three games. They also had 20 in 1976, when an aging Joe Namath was the quarterback and Lou Holtz was the coach.

This is supposed to be a rebuilding year under new coach Robert Saleh, but the fan base is losing patience already. The Jets have been outscored in the first half, 46-3, and they have yet to hold a lead. The schedule doesn't get any softer this week, as they face the Tennessee Titans (2-1) at home.

"We're three games in," Saleh said Monday. "It's round one of a 15-round fight. It's not like our faces are broken or anything."

Wilson has been the focal point. The rookie has struggled in three starts, with a league-leading 15 sacks and seven interceptions. The only other player with that many interceptions is fellow rookie Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Saleh defended Wilson, but noted that he must do a better job of delivering the ball on time. Wilson seems tentative at times and tends to hitch. He leads the league with eight sacks when holding the ball for at least 4.5 seconds, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.

"When his footwork is clean and he progresses in the route ... you can see why he was the No. 2 pick and why we think he's going to have an unbelievable future," Saleh said. "He has to be more consistent and trust what he sees."

Wilson probably won't have rookie wide receiver Elijah Moore, who suffered a concussion on Sunday. Jamison Crowder, who has missed three games, remains questionable with a groin injury, meaning Denzel Mims could be active on Sunday. The 2020 second-round pick was a healthy scratch the last two games.