Pink slips at stake in ‘Williams Bowl’ featuring Jets, Jags?
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Quinnen and Quincy Williams might have more than jerseys to exchange after the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars play Sunday.
The brothers and NFL rookies have a significant wager on the outcome — the key to the game, you might say, or the game-winning drive.
“We’ve got a good bet going right now,” Quincy said. “That’s all I’m going to say about that.”
But the Jaguars linebacker was later asked whether his younger brother had seen his new car, a 2019 Corvette Z06, and he offered a not-so-subtle hint regarding the stakes.
“Actually, that’s the bet,” Quincy said. “He wants that Z06.”
So pink slips are on the line Sunday?
“I can’t disclose that information,” he added, laughing. “But, I mean, might be, might not be.”
The Birmingham, Alabama, natives will have more than 60 friends and family members in attendance for the matchup playfully dubbed the “Williams Bowl.” It will mark their first game as opponents. Sure, they’ve played backyard football against each other over the years. But they’ve never actually lined up across the field from one another in a competitive environment.
The closest they got was at Wenonah High School in Birmingham, when Quincy was a running back and Quinnen was a much bigger defensive lineman.
“We got a chance to run head to head with each other,” Quincy recalled. “I mean, he won. I’ll give him that. But this one is going to be different. We’re both playing defense, so now we’re competing with tackles.”
The brothers talk every day, sharing stories about NFL life and building each other up.
But they remain ultra-competitive.
Quinnen bought a car before he even had his driver’s license to keep pace with Quincy, who is 16 months older.
Quincy, a decorated youth swimmer, started playing football in high school following an argument with Quinnen about whether he had more medals than his brother had tackles.
“I said, ‘I’m coming to your sport and we’ll see,’” Quincy said.
Two years later, in 2014, Quincy got a scholarship to lower-division Murray State. Quinnen ended up at powerhouse Alabama in 2016.
Quincy developed into an All-Ohio Valley Conference linebacker. Quinnen waited for his chance with the loaded Tide and then had a breakout season in 2018, winning the prestigious Outland Trophy and becoming a unanimous first-team All-American.
Quincy spent five years at Murray State; Quinnen left school after three seasons.
So they ended up in the same NFL draft class. So far, their rookie years have been up and down.
The Jaguars (3-4) surprised many by choosing Quincy in the third round. He backed into a starting spot in training camp, tore a meniscus in his right knee in training camp and returned just in time for the season opener. He looked solid early, but made mistakes in a 34-27 loss at Carolina earlier this month and was benched.
An injury forced him back into the defensive huddle last week, but he injured a hamstring and might not be healthy enough to play against his brother.
He insists his status won’t detract from the meaningfulness of the matchup.
It wasn’t lost on either brother that the game was coincidentally scheduled during breast cancer awareness month. They lost their mother to breast cancer in 2010.
“Oh, man, we know she’s proud of us,” Quinnen said. “Quincy and I wouldn’t be the people we are today without her instilling everything she did in us while we were growing up, just working hard, going after your dreams and never quitting. Just being a good person. That sticks with us both to this day, and we know she’s with us and she’s proud.”
Their dad and other relatives, including a grandfather, will be at the game.
Their granddad was into classic cars and got them interested at an early age. They grew fond of muscle cars in high school and then sports cars in college, and their need for speed reached new heights this year along with their bank accounts.
Quinnen bought a 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye, an 800-horsepower, street-legal behemoth.
Quincy countered by getting one of the few productions cars faster: the Z06.
“Ain’t nothing beating that,” Quincy said. “If anybody wants to line it up, they know where I’m at.”
The brothers had talked about racing on a drag strip in Atlanta during the offseason.
“We will, eventually,” Quincy said.
That is, of course, if one of them doesn’t lose his ride Sunday.
AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak Jr. contributed from Florham Park, New Jersey.