September 19, 2021

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Leonard Williams quells concerns in return to Jets…

3 min read
Leonard Williams quells concerns in return to Jets...

Leonard Williams returned to practice Tuesday after missing the past several practices with a hip injury suffered in a scrimmage last week.

“I feel great, got back out there today and have got some fresh legs right now,’’ Williams said. “I really didn’t want to miss too much time, but I was trying to do everything the doctors and trainers needed me to do to be on the safe side. We were being on safe side to make sure I’m ready when the season gets here.

“I wanted to get back to practice as soon as possible so I didn’t have any fall off. Today, I definitely felt I didn’t take too many steps back.’’

Williams said he hurt his hip in the intra-squad scrimmage “and it was inflamed after that.’’

“I went to training room on my day off and looked at it and they told me to stay off of it for a little bit,’’ he said.

Asked if there is any worry this is something that may linger, Williams said, “I’m not concerned.’’

Leonard Williams
Leonard WilliamsBill Kostroun/New York Post

Taylor Bertolet, the kicker the Jets signed after Chandler Catanzaro suddenly retired on Sunday, looked strong in his second practice with the team. He was successful on all five of his field-goal attempts — from 43, 40, 44, 32 and 33 yards.

This is the second stint with the Jets for Bertolet, who’s never kicked in an NFL regular-season game. He was the second kicker in camp last year but was beaten out by Jason Myers, who was not re-signed after the season.

“He’s done a great job since he’s been back,’’ special teams coach Brant Boyer said. “I have a lot of confidence in the kid. He
kicks a great ball and has a strong leg. He’s got plenty of leg to kick it out of the back of the end zone.’’

Boyer revealed what went on with the sudden Catanzaro retirement.

“He walked into my office and he sat down and said ‘Hey, I don’t feel like I’ve got it anymore, and I don’t want to put you guys in a tough situation,’ ’’ Boyer said. “In my 12th year [playing,] I was there myself. I flew in to take a physical for the Giants and [realized] I didn’t have it anymore. I knew right where he was at. I totally understand and totally respect him. He is a lifelong friend to me, and I’m sorry to see him go.’’

Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains conceded that the offense took a step back in Tuesday’s practice. Sam Darnold, who’s been having a strong camp, didn’t look sharp, completing just 5-of-12 passes with an interception.

“I think it was a sloppy performance for the whole offense,’’ Loggains said. “We need to clean some things up. It wasn’t our best performance. We had been practicing at a much higher level until [Tuesday].’’

Loggains, though, said he was “fired up’’ about the opening TD drive Darnold engineered in the preseason opener against the Giants.

“When you’re building a culture and building something new, you need to celebrate the small victories,’’ he said. “This offense needed to have some success to see all the hard work they’re putting into this thing pays off a little bit.’’

Jets defensive tackle Steve McClendon said he understands Antonio Brown not wanting to change the helmet he’s been using his whole career.

“Those situations are a player’s preference,” said McLendon, who was teammates with Brown on the Steelers from when both were rookies in 2010 until McClendon signed with the Jets before the 2016 season. “That’s his way. That’s what he feels strongly about, and I’d like to just leave it at that, OK?

“We all — especially older guys that have been playing for awhile — nobody wants to change anything that they feel like has been helping them perform for so long. But with time and research, growth and change has to happen sometime. You’ve got to understand it’s a business. Business is business, and you’ve got to just work your way around it.’’

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