Jets relish Quinnen Williams' hit on Dolphins' Tyreek Hill

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Monday, October 10, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams used a vicious stiff-arm Sunday to run over Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill on a fumble return -- a play that went viral on social media and was celebrated by the Jets after their 40-17 win at MetLife Stadium.

Defensive end John Franklin-Myers said he took umbrage to Hill spurning the Jets in the offseason, saying Hill's comments at the time were "disrespectful" to the Jets. They delighted in seeing him get tossed to the turf by the 303-pound Williams.

"We just played with a chip on our shoulder after that whole, 'Jets, who?' thing," Franklin-Myers said. "I think that rubbed everybody the wrong way."

Franklin-Myers said Hill's remarks were "circling Twitter" in recent days. "That fired me up. I don't get fired up about a lot of stuff and I don't care about people talking, but that's disrespectful and I don't like disrespect. You shouldn't do that no matter who you are."

He was referring to Hill's comments from March, shortly after he was traded by the Kansas City Chiefs. At his introductory news conference in South Florida, Hill was asked if he was close to picking the Jets. Smiling, he replied, "Who? The Jets? Nah, man, I knew I was going to pick Miami no matter what."

The Jets were interested in trading for Hill, who was granted permission by the Chiefs to negotiate a contract with other teams. Essentially, he had his choice of teams. Last week, Hill backtracked from his earlier remarks, saying he was "very close" to picking the Jets, adding that the deciding factor was no state income tax in Florida.

Too late. It already had touched a nerve with the Jets.

"The message is still the message," Franklin-Myers said. "You can laugh and shrug it off, but I didn't like that, and the team didn't like that."

Hill, who began the day with a league-high 477 receiving yards, was held to 47 yards on seven catches. That the Dolphins changed quarterbacks on the second play of the game -- rookie Skylar Thompson replaced injured fill-in starter Teddy Bridgewater -- was undoubtedly a factor.

With 9:13 remaining in the fourth quarter, the 191-pound Hill tried to tackle Williams, who scooped up a loose ball on a strip sack by defensive end Carl Lawson. It didn't go well for Hill, who got tossed aside by the rumbling defensive tackle. The 12-yard return set up the Jets at the Miami 5-yard line. Moments later, running back Breece Hallscored to ice the game at 33-17.

Fellow defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins laughed at his locker as he recalled the play.

"Obviously, you want to see a big man get in the end zone and do a little dance, but a close second is launching another human being into the ground," Rankins said. "That's a very close second."

Rankins said he thought Hill would "try to chop [Williams] low" to make the open-field tackle. "No, he just ran right into Quinnen's arms and Quinnen extended his arm and ..."

Rankins paused for effect, adding, "And Tyreek was gone."

Williams downplayed it, saying he was just trying to make yards to help his team. He couldn't recall the last time he had a chance to run with the ball. He called Hill "an amazing player," saying "his speed is ridiculous."

Told that his stiff-arm made him look like Tennessee Titans running back and former Alabama star Derrick Henry, Williams joked, "It's something Coach Saban taught us as Bama."

The Jets (3-2) snapped a four-game losing streak to the Dolphins (3-2) and a 12-game losing streak to AFC East opponents, going above .500 for the first time since a 1-0 start in 2018. They outscored the Dolphins by 21 points in the fourth quarter, their best fourth-quarter scoring margin in a game since the Monday Night Miracle in 2000 against the Dolphins.

"We got the last laugh," Franklin-Myers said, quickly noting the Jets will face the Dolphins again on the final Sunday of the season.

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