C.J. Mosley is already a big-time believer in Gregg Williams. The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker and the veteran defensive coordinator are on the same page regarding the most important factor for the Jets to thrive on defense.
While strategy will be essential, both agree culture is the foundation that a strong defense needs to be built upon. That's why Mosley, who will be the quarterback of the Jets' defense as the Mike linebacker, was encouraged by the mentality Williams imposed at the start of this offseason.
“Our first three days when the veterans got here for conditioning and all of that, all he talked about was culture,” Mosley said to New York Jets.com. “We didn’t talk about any plays or anything like that. It kind of set the standard about how he wanted the defense to work, how he wanted us to work and how he wanted us to be on the field.”
Mosley effusively praised the aggressive and versatile leadership approach of Williams.
“Tenacity. That’s one of the first things you can think of, the way he carries himself in the classroom speaks volumes to the way he wants his guys to play on the field,” Mosley said to New York Jets.com. “You’ll hear him talking like this and the next moment he’ll bust out screaming. I think it’s just a culture change.”
Part of that culture change has Williams emphasizing to the Jets there's only two paces acceptable during practice: walkthrough or fast.
“He stresses all the time that we’re all human. We all start fast at the beginning of practice, but at the end you get a little tired," Mosley said. "So he’s always saying, ‘Run to the ball, run to the ball, pick up any loose balls and incomplete passes.’ So any little thing to get to that second gear.”
The Browns finished second in the league in takeaways (31) last season under Williams. With a bevy of playmakers anchored by Pro Bowlers Mosley and safety Jamal Adams, the hope is that the Jets can transform into an elite unit with Williams' guidance.
That all starts with establishing a culture and getting the last laugh on those from the outside doubting the Jets.
“He throws his jokes in here and there and he keeps a good balance,” Mosley said to New York Jets.com. “But at the end of the day, it’s all business and we want to win. We can laugh later."