Three on D: Copeland, Hairston, Q. Williams

After each game, we've been highlighting three defensive and three offensive players and looking in detail at their performance. We'll begin today with the defense:

Soaperstar Potential

Quinnen Williams made a bit of a splash this week with his first full sack, although this was a completely blown assignment by the Miami line, leaving him unblocked. Still, that's 1.5 sacks in two games which is a start.

He's contributing against the run, though. Despite missing a few games, Williams has contributed with 11 defensive stops which is as many as the departing Leonard Williams had in 113 more snaps.

Aside from the sack on Sunday, though, Williams was only credited with two tackles and no pressures. He got close to a pressure on this play, though, taking on a double-team with his quickness enabling him to burst past the first blocker with an arm-over move and then get an upfield leverage advantage to get to the quarterback just after the throw was released.


Williams will need to be disruptive against double-teams to improve on his pass rushing production which has been modest so far, despite the 1.5 sacks.

His other two tackles on Sunday saw him get in on a stop for a loss and pull down a runner on a third down draw play to force a punt. He also affected a play or two with penetration, but was also controlled at the point of attack once and driven back by one double-team.

How did he Cope in his new role?

With Blake Cashman done for the year, Brandon Copeland was forced to play as an inside linebacker and he made some positive contributions with eight tackles including a sack and a run stop behind the line.

Copeland had four other run stops at or close to the line of scrimmage, although one didn't count because the Jets accepted a holding penalty. Here was one of them:

In all, he did a decent job against the run, although he was taken out of one play at the second level and missed a couple of tackles in the fourth quarter.

As a pass rusher, Copeland blitzed quite a lot and was rewarded with a fourth quarter sack. Otherwise, he got pressure just once, as he came free on a zero blitz on 3rd-and-long only for Darryl Roberts' penalty to extend the drive.

Copeland held up pretty well in coverage, with the only significant completion he gave up being a 17-yard pass down the middle on 2nd-and-18 where he dropped off a bit too deep.

Finally, on special teams, he contributed one tackle and one missed tackle in kick coverage.

It's valuable to have guys like Copeland, who can play multiple positions, but he'll ultimately be more comfortable once he moves back to outside linebacker. The longer he plays out of position, the more likely it is that teams start to exploit him, as was the case when Roberts moved to free safety last year.

Things are starting to get Hairy

With Trumaine Johnson out, many Jets fans were glad because they expected Nate Hairston to be an upgrade. However, he struggled quite a bit in Miami.

Hairston gave up six catches, only one of which didn't go for a first down or touchdown as he made the tackle underneath.

The touchdown he gave up sums up an issue we pointed out in the Saucy Nuggets. Whenever one of the Jets' corners is in man to man coverage, it's an easy read for the quarterback to just throw it to the outside as soon as he sees the cornerback's numbers because none of the Jets corners get their heads turned in time when playing with inside leverage. While this was a nice catch, it was an easy touchdown:


Of course, the opposite was also true with most of Hairston's other catches surrendered coming on quick slants as he played with outside leverage. Maybe the Jets are planning to set some traps in the games ahead but right now, attacking them should be pretty easy if you just follow those simple rules.

Hairston was only unsuccessfully targeted twice; both on deep balls. On one of these, the Miami sideline felt Hairston had his hands all over the receiver and that potentially could have been flagged.

In addition to his issues in coverage, Hairston had two bad missed tackles in the first quarter and was a little tentative thereafter, as if he'd been told to make sure he didn't miss any more. He was in on one stop near the line against the run, but his other five tackles were all at least 10 yards downfield.

He played a lot less on special teams this week because he was starting, but that was probably beneficial anyway because he hasn't impressed in that role so far, especially when employed as a vice. If Johnson comes back, Hairston might be relegated back to the bench. Maybe we'll see the rookie Blessuan Austin at some point too?

We'll be back with the 3-on-O tomorrow.