Inside The Bills

Bills nicked players rehabbing back in Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2015 – 6:43 pm

The Bills do not intend to play their starters at all Thursday night against the Lions in Detroit. With some of their injured players they took it a step further not having them make the trip at all.

The plan is to allow them to spend more time rehabbing their respective injuries at One Bills Drive rather than traveling back and forth to Detroit.

Among the players who will be working at One Bills Drive are Charles Clay, Marcell Dareus, Boobie Dixon, Marquise Goodwin, Deonte Thompson, Karlos Williams, Mario Williams and Robert Woods.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

What if Mario was a wideout?

Posted by Chris Brown on September 2, 2015 – 2:46 pm

Sports Illustrated recently did a photo shoot with a number of NFL stars around the league with the focus being what position they would play besides their chosen one. DE Mario Williams was the Bills player who participated in the photo shoot.

Williams chose wide receiver as his alternative position.

“I’d be the type of wideout who would go deep and across the middle—that’s where all the physical stuff goes on,” said Williams. “I have the size, speed and ability to separate from a defender. My touchdown dance? I’d put the ball down and get right back to the huddle. Act like you’ve been there before. . . . The coaches have never really said anything about [playing me at receiver], but with Coach Rex, who knows what could happen.”


Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario cleared for practice

Posted by Chris Brown on July 31, 2015 – 10:30 am

DE Mario Williams didn’t spend much time on the Active/Non-Football injury list. He has been cleared for practice. 

Williams is participating in practice today. 

Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 7-17

Posted by Chris Brown on July 17, 2015 – 11:15 am

We’re getting closer and closer to training camp! Here’s your latest round of questions on email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Chris,
I know the Bills need some help at linebacker, would it ever be a possibility that Mario move to outside linebacker and have a backup defensive end play where Mario played? What are your thoughts.

Alex W.

CB: While addressing a perceived deficiency is important for a personnel department, it’s not the best idea to take a premier player and reduce his effectiveness for your defense to satisfy that perceived deficiency.

If you take Mario Williams and move him further away from the ball, you reduce his effectiveness as a pass rusher. Williams is coming off his most productive season. More often than not I expect Buffalo’s defensive staff to keep him up on the line as a true defensive end.

Does that mean that Mario will never line up at OLB in what is expected to be a multiple and hybrid front? No. He’ll probably see some time in a stand up LB role, but I expect it to be at the line of scrimmage.

Having Mario Williams drop might make sense as a decoy on a play or two, but Mario Williams is getting paid a lot of money to go get the QB, so he’s not the answer to address a LB deficiency.


2 – Hi Chris, big fan of fan friday, keep up the good work.

Been a huge Bills fan forever and currently part of the Bills Mafia in Ft. Lauderdale.

From your previous Fan Friday your thinking 5 receivers, so if you lock in Watkins, Harvin, Woods and Easley-I believe is a lock because of his new contract and special teams that’s 4 so does that mean Hogan or Goodwin are battling for final receiver spot or are you not counting Easley as a receiver in this scenario?

Thanks buddy, keep up great work and god job with the Bills Focus pieces.


CB: I indicated that keeping only five receivers was a possibility if they decide it’s more important to keep four tight ends for their offensive scheme. I don’t know if it’ll be absolutely necessary for them to do that knowing they’re keeping a fullback.

If it comes down to just five wideouts it’s probably Hogan and Easley as 4 and 5. If it’s six Goodwin is the guy that probably sticks.  Rex Ryan has an appreciation for Goodwin’s speed and that is likely to trump a fourth tight end when it comes to roster decision time, but Goodwin has to maintain his level of play from the spring in training camp and the preseason when the pads are on and cornerbacks get considerably more physical.

Thanks for the kind words.


3 – Chris,

First and foremost, I really like the way you keep us informed.  Your answers are very specific and detailed, no fluff.  You really know what is going on with all things Bills, and it is appreciated.

I’m intrigued with two undrafted players, Tyson Chandler and A.J Tarpley.  These type of players can be good finds and really round out our depth.  Can you comment on each and your opinions as to where they land–the 53 man roster or the practice squad.

Thanks again Chris for your excellent coverage,  we appreciate it.


CB: I appreciate the sentiments. Tyson Chandler is a player that I think could have a future in this league, just not in 2015. For a man his size I think he’s got pretty good feet. He just needs time to develop and I anticipate him winding up on Buffalo’s practice squad. He’s got some tools that warrant investment.

Tarpley is a guy that has to make his hay on special teams. He’s a heady player who  has to have the camp and preseason of his life to leapfrog young players on the depth chart like Randell Johnson and Jimmy Gaines. Practice squad is probably his best bet.


4 – @ChrisBrownBills

going into training camp, who has the inside track on the 7th starting position for the front 7 on D?


CB: What’s interesting here with this question is most people assume that Buffalo will have a true 3-4 front and in this hybrid scheme I don’t see that being the case. The way they lined up in camp they had four across the front with Mario, Kyle, Dareus and Hughes and at the second level it was Lawson, Brown and Bradham. I think that’s a lock for the front seven no matter how they decide to line up.


5 – Good morning, Chris.

I am hoping for some reassuring insight on the recent history of Wayne Hunter.  Reports say he last played for the Rams in the 2012 season.  Has he been out of football that entire time?  It is disconcerting to think an aging player who has not been on a team in two years might be considered worth signing, even if he was added for training camp numbers.  Is that customary, and no big deal, or does it reflect a desperation about the O-Line that is even worse than expected?

As always, your coverage of the Bills is outstanding, and a necessary staple for fans who love the team.  Keep it up!

Walter Megger

CB: Hunter is an insurance signing. Partly due to Seantrel Henderson’s spring, in which he didn’t make the first impression he had hoped on the new offensive staff. Henderson has time to redeem himself, but the Bills want a vet they feel they can rely on in the event of injury.

You need to look at Hunter as veteran insurance as a possible swing tackle, extra tight end in short yardage situations. Nothing more, nothing less.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

How Mario & Jerry work off each other

Posted by Chris Brown on July 7, 2015 – 12:59 pm

Pro Football Focus has put together a wonderful in depth look at the effectiveness of Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes as a pass rushing tandem. Suffice to say the two work off one another extraordinarily well, not dismissing how much Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams assist in that effort too.

Here’s a look at some of the main points the PFF’s extensive analysis revealed.

1 – Hughes and Williams combined for no less than five QB pressures in all by three games last season.
2 – Both were more effective pass rushers in blitz situations last season with Hughes seeing close to a five percent increase in pass rush effectiveness.
3 – Mario was most effective on pass rushes in which the center slid away from Williams in the protection.
4 – Hughes was most effective on pass rushes in which the center stayed home in the protection.
5 – Hughes was at his best as a pass rusher on first and second down, while Williams was most effective on third down.











Perhaps most encouraging is knowing that Rex Ryan and Dennis Thurman will be blitzing a whole lot more than Jim Schwartz did last season, both Hughes and Williams figure to see their production increase even more when it comes to bringing the heat.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Success of D-line rooted in camaraderie

Posted by Chris Brown on July 6, 2015 – 2:20 pm


Buffalo’s defensive line has been a big reason why the Bills have more sacks than any other team in the league over the last two seasons (111). That production can certainly be attributed to talent, but there’s something else that the players themselves believe helps them excel up front.

In a word, it’s camaraderie. Mario Williams said from the time the unit was first assembled there’s always been a group approach to their play on the field as well as hanging out off the field.

“We’re really good people persons. It’s not hard for us to say, ‘Hey, what are you doing? Let’s go do this, let’s hang out,” said Williams of their off the field time together. “That was day one, it didn’t take three years to do that.”

When asked if he had any individual or team goals heading into the 2015 campaign, Williams said he did not. He insists he and his teammates are only focused on being the best defense they can be each week come this fall.

“It was kind of funny because somebody asked Kyle that at the end of last year (about a sack total), and he was like, ‘You know what, that never even came up.’ We never even mentioned a number or anything like that. We don’t have any goals except to go out and try to be the best we can be out there.”

Many prognosticators believe Buffalo’s defense could wind up number one in the league this season and help catapult the team to the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

4 Bills on CBS Sports’ NFL Top 100

Posted by Chris Brown on June 3, 2015 – 9:56 am

Taking a page from NFL Network’s Top 100 Players, is doing their own list, and four Bills appear in their rankings.

CBS columnist Pete Prisco put together a list that includes four Bills players, three of whom man Buffalo’s vaunted defensive line. Here are the players he listed and their number rank.

  1. Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo Bills: He has developed into a force in the middle of the Buffalo defense. When his weight is in check, he has the ability to dominate inside. It’s too bad he will miss the opener this season for a league-imposed suspension.
  1. Mario Williams, DE, Buffalo Bills: He had 14 1/2 sacks last season for the Bills as a part of one of the league’s best defenses. Williams had a sack in all but four games last season, getting four against the Dolphins in one game. He’s also solid against the run.
  1. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills: McCoy was traded to the Bills in March in a blockbuster deal that will make him the feature back in Rex Ryan’s ground-and-pound attack. McCoy’s numbers dropped some last season for the Eagles, but he is still only 26. The concerning number is his yards-per-rush went down to 4.2 last season from 5.1 the year before.
  1. Kyle Williams, DT, Buffalo Bills: He had 5 1/2 sacks last season and continued to be a good run player for a smallish defensive tackle because he plays with such good leverage.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario on defensive changes & possibilities

Posted by Chris Brown on April 15, 2015 – 4:59 pm

Bills DE Mario Williams used the word ecstatic when asked how he feels about the team’s new defense under Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. So just what is Williams and his defensive teammates finding to be different under the new scheme?

“Well, the biggest thing is last year was pretty much a 4-3,” said Williams. “Obviously with  the scheme with Rex, anything’s possible so I think right now, we’re just doing building blocks but the sky’s the limit so I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of changes and things like as we progress and become re-adapted to a hybrid defense.”

Williams admitted there will be some carry over from the defense they ran in 2013 under former defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, but Ryan and Thurman’s defense will have the ability to morph and change week to week to take advantage of the talent and the matchups on a given Sunday.

“Understanding the defense; I love it.  It gives everybody ample opportunities to do different things and just be able to bring different looks, different angles, and attacks…stuff like that so I’m ecstatic.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 1-30

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2015 – 11:26 am

It’s Super Bowl weekend, but there’s plenty to talk about concerning the Bills. Here are your latest set of questions from email at and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – Hi Chris,

The recent public comments of Brandon Spikes and Doug Whaley regarding his future in Buffalo as a upcoming pending free agent did not provide me with much confidence that he will return. Ultimately money and potential playing time will dictate the outcome and with the return of Alonso and big contracts to be spent elsewhere it doesn’t look particularly promising that he will be back in my opinion.

I think a strong argument can be made for re-signing Spikes. He provides attitude, toughness and leadership to the position and helped to significantly improve the team’s run defense this year. He seemed sincere when he recently commented about enjoying playing in Buffalo and gives the impression that he loves playing the game. Sounds exactly like the kind of player we need to retain.  Just wondering what your thoughts are of whether you think there could be a role for Spikes next year with the return of Alonso and if you think the Bills will submit a serious bid to retain Spikes or instead look for the cheaper option of adding depth players behind the projected starters?


CB: It’s hard to say what Buffalo’s plans are concerning Spikes. Alonso’s return is a factor, but I think at the right price Spikes could return to the fold, possibly on another one-year deal. I do remember during a conference call this past season that Rex Ryan who was coaching the Jets at the time said the following about Spikes.

“(Brandon) Spikes is one of those guys that I like because he’s a tough guy, a mean guy, a tough a**,” said Ryan. “I like guys that are competitors and that’s why I like him so much.”

Whether Ryan’s opinion of Spikes has any influence remains to be seen, but it would appear that Spikes has an admirer in Buffalo’s new head coach.


2 – Hi Chris,

Thanks for all the great coverage you continue to provide.

I was wondering what you think the best approach would be in addressing the quarterback postion.  Also, do you see Mike Glennon as a fit?  I know the Bills were rumored to have liked him coming out of the 2013 draft, and I like much of what I’ve seen from him so far in Tampa.  He should be expendable as the Bucs are expected to take a QB #1 overall.  What’s your take on Glennon’s potential?


CB: Glennon I felt took a bit of a step back in his second season, which was impacted by a new offense and coordinator. He was also in and out of the lineup with veteran Josh McCown earning the starting job out of training camp. Much like EJ Manuel he is limited with his number of starts after getting only six this past season (19 in his career).

His completion percentage is comparable to Manuel’s (under 60) and he struggled when blitzed this past year. There’s no doubting that his arm strength would be an asset in the conditions the Bills play in at home, but his mobility is limited.

Knowing his skill set is dramatically different to that of EJ Manuel (see: mobility), it’s hard to know if that would be viewed as a negative or a positive or irrelevant by the new staff. I don’t know if Glennon is seen as a match, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bills add a young QB in the league or a veteran signal caller either via free agency or a trade.


3 – CB,

What do you think the Bills plan of attack for fixing the O-Line? Richardson stills seems developmental and is poor at pass blocking. Pears should be let go and Urbik is average guard. With Williams injured and unclear if he will come back, how many guards do you expect them to bring in? Free agency or draft? It may hard to find a day 1 starter in draft but they need new guys in there.

CB: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bills draft a guard and add one in free agency. Buffalo has some young guys already in the fold as you mentioned, but both Doug Whaley and Rex Ryan made it clear they’re going to bring in competition at positions where it’s warranted.

Erik Pears is an unrestricted free agent. Kraig Urbik is a capable player. Chris Williams should be back healthy in time for spring workouts.

One big plus is the hiring of Aaron Kromer, who has produced at least one Pro Bowl lineman on the teams he has coached the last six years. He’s a proven teacher and developer of linemen, so hopefully the younger players on the roster will take a big step forward in their development and be bigger contributors (See: Henderson, Kouandjio, Richardson).



4 – Chris,

On a lighter subject, do you think the Bills would consider going back to their Red helmets?  Best years in franchise history were with the Blue uniforms and red helmets.

RC from DC

CB: I would not anticipate that happening. Outside of a throwback type of thing I think you’ll see the white helmets for a long time.



5 – Hello Chris,

I have really enjoyed the information I have received from your Inside the Bills write ups. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Recently, I read and article on, in which Mario Williams was excited about moving to the Linebacker position. To date, that information has not shown up on the website. I have always believe the 4 3 defense was the best scheme, and our personnel matches that scheme. As our defense was one of the top defenses in the league, I am not clear if Rex and company intend to shift to a 3 4 defense. My thoughts are why? Then there is the statement, ” You don’t fix what is broken”.  Can you shed some light on what is going on with the Buffalo Bills defensive scheme for 2015?


CB: I think I will let defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman handle this one. He was asked this week if he’s going to run a 3-4 or a 4-3 front. Here was his answer.

“(I will run) whatever talent dictates,” said Thurman. “We’ll play a 3-4. We’ll play a 4-3. We’ll get in a Forty-Six. We’ll give them an odd front. It’s whatever our guys do best and we’re going to play to their strengths and when you do that, you’re giving your guys a chance to be successful and that’s what it really comes down to…is those guys that are out there on that field, are you giving them the opportunity to go out and succeed? So it doesn’t matter. The scheme will be dictated by the personnel that we have.”

I don’t think there’s any debating that Rex Ryan’s defense are largely a hybrid scheme that can morph and change. So to label it a strict over or under front would be inaccurate. And I think Mario Williams will see a healthy amount of action up on the line of scrimmage.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

4 Bills make PFF all division team

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2015 – 10:01 am

The film reviewers and stat crunchers at Pro Football Focus released their All Diviaion teams for the 2014 season. Four Bills made the squad. Two were expected, two others may have been a bit more under the radar.

Buffalo’s Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus both were named to the defensive line and Corey Graham and Dan Carpenter were the other two Bills honorees. Here’s what they wrote about Buffalo’s players and the seasons they had.

Edge Defenders: Cameron Wake (MIA) and Mario Williams (BUF)
Just another season for Wake who continues to be one of the premier edge pass rushers in the entire league. Williams benefitted by Buffalo switching back to a 4-3 and allowing him to play with his hand on the ground once again. He clearly still has a knack for getting to the quarterback, but his play in run defense was arguably the best of his career.

Defensive Interior – Nose: Marcell Dareus (BUF)
Dareus continues to improve and has become more consistent on a week-to-week basis. His 10 sacks received the most attention, but his work in run defense is where he really flourished.

Cornerbacks: Darrelle Revis (NE), Corey Graham (BUF)
Unsurprisingly, Revis was again one of the best cornerbacks in football in his first year with the Patriots, making the PFF All-Pro team. Graham wasn’t even getting significant playing time in some games over the first half of the season, but he was easily the best in coverage for the Bills’ secondary. Opposing quarterbacks had a 57.0 QB Rating when targeting Graham, fifth-lowest among corners and only behind the likes of All-Pros Vontae Davis, Chris Harris Jr., and Richard Sherman.

Slot Cornerback: Kyle Arrington (NE)
Arrington shared duties in the slot, but was one of the best in the division. He allowed a reception once for every 12.6 snaps in coverage, the second-best rate in the division (Revis).

Kicker: Dan Carpenter (BUF)
Carpenter did not handle kickoff duties this year, but his work on field goals alone was enough to claim the spot. He hit on 34 of 38 field goals, including 6-of-8 from 50 and beyond.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario meets up with Air Force

Posted by Chris Brown on January 22, 2015 – 10:22 am

Three Bills Pro Bowl defensive linemen are already on site in Glendale, Arizona for Sunday’s game. They’re also participating in some community events this week. Mario Williams, who has a great affinity for the armed forces and law enforcement, spent some time with airmen from the US Air Force.

Williams took the time during the Airman for a Day event that was sponsored by USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL. Pro Bowl players got to get up close and personal with an F-16, try an F-16 flight simulator, meet with military working dogs (K-9 bomb/attack dogs) and participate in Skype calls with military members overseas, with their families stateside at Luke AFB.

Mario pic



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Posted in Inside the Bills

More honors for Mario, Dareus

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2015 – 1:34 pm

Bills defensive linemen Mario Williams and Marcell Dareus have racked up some all-star awards this offseason with AFC Pro Bowl nods and 1st team All-Pro honors. The two were both named to another award list Monday.

The Pro Football Writers of America named both Dareus and Williams to their All-NFL team. The two obviously made their All-AFC team, which included line mate Kyle Williams. Here’s the entire PFWA All-NFL team.


QB – Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
RB – Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers; DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
WR – Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers ; Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
TE – Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
C – Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys
G – Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers; Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens
T – Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys; Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns*

DE – Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills
; J.J. Watt, Houston Texans#
DT – Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions*
OLB – Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs; Von Miller, Denver Broncos
MLB – Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers*
CB – Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots; Richard Sherman, Seattle Seahawks#
S –Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks#: Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers

Special Teams
PK – Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
P – Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts
KR – Adam Jones, Cincinnati Bengals
PR – Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles
ST – Matthew Slater, New England Patriots

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCarthy blames himself for GB safety

Posted by Chris Brown on December 14, 2014 – 6:00 pm

The Bills had only one sack of Aaron Rodgers in their big win over the Packers Sunday and it came at the end of the game. Mario Williams stripped Rodgers of the ball in the end zone and the fumble though recovered by Eddie Lacy in the end zone could not be advanced with less than two minutes in the game resulting in a safety for the Bills. After the game Packers head coach Mike McCarthy put the sack and subsequent safety on himself, citing a poor protection call with their backup right tackle in the game.

Packers starting RT Bryan Bulaga left the game with a concussion in the second half and did not return. It left second-year lineman and Akron, NY native JC Tretter to step in at right tackle to block Mario Williams. McCarthy in hindsight felt his play and protection call put Tretter in a bad spot going against one of the best pass rushers in the game.

“Yeah, that last call was my fault,” McCarthy said. “I had another play in mind and I should’ve went with it. The result would’ve been different. In that particular spot, I should’ve helped him on that play so that last fumble is my fault based on the protection call.”

Williams swooped in off the left side and dislodged the ball from Rodgers throwing hand forcing the fumble. The safety sealed the game for the Bills lifting them to 8-6 on the season.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario: It’s not like Manning hasn’t be sacked

Posted by Chris Brown on December 6, 2014 – 12:54 pm

The AFC Defensive Player of the Month has seen plenty of Peyton Manning before. Mario Williams has also been one of the few to sack the Denver quarterback more than a handful of times in his career. That’s why entering Sunday’s game, despite the fact that Manning gets the ball off in an average of 2.18 seconds per drop back he believes there will be opportunities to shake up the Broncos QB.

When playing in the AFC South for Houston at the beginning of his career, Williams faced Manning twice a year while the quarterback was running the Indianapolis offense. Knowing how quick Manning gets the ball out, Williams says the approach has to be straightforward with no hesitation.

“Just bring it on a direct line,” said Williams of rushing Manning. “Don’t waste any time because he’s obviously a very smart quarterback and knows where he wants to go with the ball before the ball is snapped. So we can’t really play around or hesitate. We’ve just got to get after him.”

While Williams admits it’s anything but easy to get Manning on the ground it’s far from impossible.

“It’s tough to get to him because of his timing and things like that. Clearly you can. It’s not like he’s never been sacked,” Williams said. “We’ve just got to have more of those sacks. We have to change it up a little bit because he hasn’t been sacked a lot this year. Our goal is to go out and change that.”

Williams has a favorable matchup as he’ll face right tackle Louis Vasquez – a guard by trade. As Williams sees it the Bills will need more than just a strong defensive effort to neutralize Manning. He believes it will need to be a total team approach to keeping the veteran QB  from taking over the game.

“I think facing somebody like him it’s important to have everybody on point. Everything is key,” he said. “Have the offense being able to keep the ball and don’t make it lopsided time of possession, have special teams win field position and for us to go out and get him off his spot and get after him. Everybody has to be a part of it.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario has raised the bar

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2014 – 11:03 am

It’s not all about his sacks, but the plays made by Mario Williams the last three weeks have been big in every way, shape or form.

Williams has 6.5 sacks in his last three games and leads the team with a dozen this season. Head coach Doug Marrone was taken aback with his dominance on the field Monday night in Detroit.

“Really even if you go back to the game before (the Jets game) he played really well even though we didn’t win the game,” said Marrone. “I’m trying to make sure I know what it is so whatever it is I can use it all the time. If we can keep him going the way he is right now in these last two games, he’s been dominant. He’ll be tested this week. (Browns RT Mitchell) Schwartz will be out there on him. We’ve got to win that matchup. That’ll be a big matchup.

“I’m sure they’ll try to run the ball at Mario so he’s got to be ready for that. But there’s no doubt about it when he plays like that people are going to start saying, ‘What are we going to do?’ We’ve got a lot of good guys playing around him too. You’ve got Jerry (Hughes) playing at a high level. You’ve got our inside guys playing at a high level. For him to come out like that and the more attention they put on him it could open things up for everybody else or vice versa.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario goes into domination mode

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2014 – 1:05 am

He was an undeniable terror on the field. Mario Williams was in full blown domination mode in the first half of Monday night’s game and Breno Giacomini was the victim.

After a penalty against the Bills set the Jets up 1st-and-goal at the Buffalo four-yard line it looked like New York would make it a game. But Mario Williams slipped under the Jets’ right tackle dipping his right shoulder without every breaking stride. And while Michael Vick was rolling out to his left on the play Williams busted tail and caught him from behind to trip him up for a sack and a six-yard loss.

He then corralled Vick on the next play when he tried to step up and scramble up the middle allowing him to gain just a yard on second and goal from the 10. The Jets ultimately settle for a field goal.

Later in the half, Williams split a double team even though the tight end was holding the defensive end and grabbed Vick with one hand and tossed him like a rag doll. By game’s end Williams had three tackles, a pair of sacks to push his team-leading total to 12, and three quarterback hits.

When asked if Mario was playing angry, Marrone said he saw a difference in his defensive end’s play as well.

“I’ll tell you what. I don’t disagree with that,” Marrone said. “He came out and I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I really was, I was like, ‘Holy cow. There he goes.’ Whatever that is that’s what we need to keep getting no doubt about it.”

When asked about their strategy against Vick, Williams said they wanted to keep it simple.

“Just go. That’s about it,” he said. “We didn’t want to sit there and hesitate and think about this and that with him running and stuff likethat.  Just get after it.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Mario’s play earns national recognition

Posted by Chris Brown on November 18, 2014 – 11:04 am

Bills DE Mario Williams is now tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks with 10, which also pulled him even with teammate Marcell Dareus for the team lead this season. His 3.5 sack performance last Thursday night earned him a couple of weekly honors from national outfits.

The first was Peter King’s MMQB column. It had Williams as one of their defensive players of the week and put together a nice comparison between his days in Houston and his time in Buffalo, where he’s been a more productive player. Here’s what King wrote.

Defensive Players of the Week
Mario Williams, defensive end, Buffalo. What a performance in the 22-9 loss to Miami on Thursday. It wasn’t just that Williams had 3.5 sacks (only once in 124 career games has he had more in a game) and exposed rookie right tackle Dallas Thomas in his starting debut. It’s how he did it. He speed-rushed Thomas for 1.5 of the sacks, beat a tight end on another, and bull-rushed Thomas all the way back into Ryan Tannehill for one of the most overpowering sacks you’ll ever see. He had another bull-rush on Thomas, driving him back into Tannehill in the fourth quarter and forcing a hurry that was nearly a Bills interception. But since the great performance came in a loss, Williams wasn’t too excited afterward. “No,” he said, “not at all.” Okay. Let the rest of us recognize it then. Remember when Williams signed that six-year, $96 million deal in March 2012? I thought the Bills overpaid for a guy who’d averaged 8.9 sacks a year in six Houston seasons. Now we’re nearly at the midpoint of the contract, and while the 29-year-old Williams hasn’t been Lawrence Taylor, he’s out-performed my expectations, and he’s a big reason why the Bills have the best defensive front in football right now … and he hasn’t missed a game since the day he signed. His numbers, with an assist from Pro Football Focus on the quarterback hits and significant pressures:
QB Hits/Pressures
Williams averaged .65 sacks per game in Houston. He’s averaging .80 sacks per game in Buffalo.
Williams was also recognized on Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for Week 11.

Edge Rushers: Carlos Dunlap, CIN (+6.6) and Mario Williams, BUF (+6.1)
Big days for both our edge rushers, with each registering plenty of pressure. Dunlap might not have sacked Drew Brees, but he came away with four hits and three hurries. Williams, on the other hand, had a big night on Thursday Night Football, with four sacks, a hit and five hurries.
Honorable Mentions: Everson Griffen, MIN and Trent Murphy, WAS

Posted in Inside the Bills

A tall task for Miami OT Thomas

Posted by Chris Brown on November 13, 2014 – 9:35 am

Thursday night’s game will likely come down to how dominant Buffalo’s defensive line can be against Miami’s reshuffled offensive line, provided things like turnovers don’t overshadow it. The players on Miami’s offensive line facing the most difficult assignments are C Samson Satele, who will match up with one of the most dominant defensive tackles in football right now in Marcell Dareus. Facing an even more imposing task is new starting right tackle Dallas Thomas, who draws Mario Williams as an assignment.

Thomas is making his first NFL start at offensive tackle Thursday night and he’ll be doing it against a pass rusher with at least a half sack in each of his last six games. His head coach Joe Philbin doesn’t have many other choices, and has thrown his full support behind Thomas heading into the game. He’s encouraged by the fact that Thomas played some offensive tackle in junior college.

“One of the things we liked about him, I remember watching the tape when he came out was that he had some versatility,” said Philbin. “I remember watching his junior year film, I believe he was the left tackle his junior year of college. I watched a good bit of that. I liked the way he moved. I liked his skill set out there. Last year, he got some work at both positions.

“Obviously, he’s very limited in game activity. He had some in the preseason. Here this year he’s played most of his snaps at guard. I think he’s coming along and doing well. I thought he hung there and competed well the other day. You figure, hey, you are playing left guard, then the next play you are playing right tackle and you’re on the road against a pretty good defense and some pretty good players. I thought he held his own.”

When asked specifically about the challenge Thomas faces in Mario Williams, Philbin didn’t deny it’s a tall task.

“I think when you play offensive tackle in the National Football League, it seems like every team you play has outstanding players on the edge,” he said. “It’s no different with the Buffalo Bills. They certainly do have that. Mario Williams is one of those guys. He’ll be ready, but it’s going to be a challenge. He’s an excellent player.”

As for Satele’s assignment of Dareus in the middle, Philbin knows that will be a matchup that requires some double team assistance.

“I think he has 10 sacks. For a defensive tackle, that’s awfully high,” said Philbin of Dareus. “That’s a lot of production. He plays the run well. He’s a good football player overall. He’s hard to move because he has size and strength. He’s a good player. We are going to have to keep our eyes open, protect our gaps and not letting him penetrate into the backfield. It’ll be a full-time job blocking him.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Scoring change on sacks for Bills

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2014 – 3:39 pm

There was a scoring change from the Bills win over the Jets a couple of weeks ago. It concerned the Bills league-leading sack total. The total wasn’t affected, but who was awarded the sack was.

With 11:06 remaining in the second quarter against the Jets in Week 8 both Mario Williams and Kyle Williams appeared to be in on a sack together, but upon further review Kyle Williams is being awarded a full sack. That gives him two sacks in that game, while Mario Williams lost the sack he was initially credited with.

For the season Mario Williams now has 6.5 sacks and Kyle Williams now has 3.

Buffalo still leads the league in sacks with 34.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

3 Bills ranking high in Pro Bowl fan voting

Posted by Chris Brown on November 12, 2014 – 2:54 pm

Three Bills players rank high at their respective positions in NFL Pro Bowl fan voting right now. Not surprisingly, they’re all on the defensive side of the ball.

Buffalo’s defense has been stout all season long and the players on that unit are getting recognized for it. Leading all defensive tackles in fan votes is Marcell Dareus, thanks in large part to his 10 sacks in the first nine games.

Also in the top five of fan voting at their positions are DE Mario Williams and CB Leodis McKelvin. Go to for details.

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Posted in Inside the Bills