Leonard Williams catches his first tuna and eats its beating heart

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By , Audacy Sports

Leonard Williams, then a member of the 2015 New York Jets, recorded his first career sack on Sam Bradford, a combined tackle with Muhammad Wilkerson. His first solo sack, ironically enough, came against his current team ten weeks later, as he took down Giants quarterback Eli Manning for a four-yard loss. In neither of those cases, however, did Williams rip out and eat the heart of the opposing quarterback. And by the way: I am very sorry for that visual.

But I don't paint that picture without good reason. As a highly-touted defensive prospect, your first sack is a very important milestone ahead of a successful career, and it should be remembered as such. The same might be said for an aspiring spearfisher's first ever tuna — a big, memorable prize out on the open seas that likely takes a lot of skill to catch (h/t Dan Benton of Giants Wire).

And when such a memorable first is accomplished — unlike recording your first sack — there's a certain gory tradition that I alluded to before.

Wow. That's certainly an interesting snack, though it might just feel right to assert yourself after conquering such a large opponent. Apparently, it's an ancient fishing tradition that says you must do so, unless the other members of Williams' fishing party were just pulling a nasty prank — but that's unlikely. He and his 6-foot-5, 302-pound frame don't exactly make for someone I'd would want to prank, you know?

Williams took up spearfishing during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in the summer of 2020 and said that it gave him peace.

"There’s so much life down there," Williams told NJ Advance Media last December (as transcribed by Benton). "It feels like you’re on a different planet. It’s really peaceful.

"My friends told me that 'I guess spearfishing is how I can have a big year.' But it kind of is that way because it helps drown out the noise, re-center myself and know what I value."

The Giants and Williams agreed to a three-year, $63 million deal after his strong 2020 campaign in which he recorded a career-best 11.5 sacks and 30 quarterback hits, and Joe Judge will be counting on Williams to keep the defensive front strong after a solid team effort last season.

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