The New York Jets knew they were going into the 2015 season without Sheldon Richardson for the first four games of the season due to suspension. What they didn't know was the trouble Richardson got himself into earlier this month after allegedly street racing and resisting arrest.
The Jets were unaware Richardson's July 14 arrest before the news broke on Thursday, but that was after the team's first day of practice. During that practice, the team's No. 1 draft pick practiced with the first team, while Richardson worked with the second. This isn't a one time thing, either. Head coach Todd Bowles said Williams will continue to get reps with the first team.
"He'll get a bunch of snaps at it," Bowles said, via ESPN. "I mean we have [Leger] Douzable, [Stephen] Bowen and we have [Kevin] Vickerson. We have a bunch of guys that will get reps. But Leonard, we'll take a long look at him."
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Of course, going from dominating in college to stepping in with the first team in training camp is no easy task. And Williams knows it will take time.
"[The] biggest challenge is getting adjusted to the speed, learning the communication and just bonding with my teammates," Williams said. "Now that I am out there with the ones, I just got to learn to communicate with everybody."
Getting a chance to draft the consensus top-defensive prospect in the draft is going to pay major dividends for the Jets. Not only does New York have to lock up Muhammad Wilkerson with a long-term deal, but it has to deal with the latest issues regarding Richardson. Williams will be in New York for years to come, but the same can't be said for the team's other two star defensive lineman.