Jets rookie defensive lineman Leonard Williams found out in a hurry there’s a difference between college shape and NFL shape.
The first-round pick said he thinks he can play better, primarily when he gets himself in better condition.
“I don’t feel like I played to my best abilities to be honest,” Williams said, via Brian Costello of the New York Post. “I think part of it is just conditioning. I feel like in college we did a lot of conditioning. It’s kind of like up to myself now to take care of that on my own like after practice.”
While there’s certainly a difference in level, Jets coach Todd Bowles said it might have had as much to do with nerves as anything cardiovascular.
“I thought he got winded because I thought emotionally he was too high,” Bowles said. “You come out and you’ve got spit on the side of your mouth and you’re slobbering and you’re in warm-up in pregame. That is typical to happen to a rookie the first time out. They come out hyperventilating.”
But between not playing a full game in the preseason and a few long drives against them last week, Williams said he was feeling it Sunday.