Mario Williams questions Buffalo Bills’ defensive strategy
The Buffalo Bills fell to 3-3 on the season after losing 34-21 to the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Sunday, and their defense remains an issue.
Expected to be one of the stingiest units in the league following the hiring of Rex Ryan to run the scheme, the Bills’ defense has been surprisingly disappointing. Star defensive lineman Mario Williams, who had just one tackle in the loss, feels the team’s personnel — especially on along the line — is being misused.
“I think I probably set a record on dropping today, but that’s part of the scheme for us to go out and be put in a position to win,” Williams said via Syracuse.com. “Whatever’s called you have to go out and do it.”
Though Williams says he is supporting the coaches’ calls, it’s clear he disagrees with the schemes.
“The three guys you said, including myself, a lot is put on our shoulders as far as the amount given out to players on this team as far as income,” Williams said in reference to himself, Kyle Williams, Jerry Hughes, and Marcell Darius. “I would assume, those four guys, a lot is on their shoulders to go after the quarterback or stop the run, be disruptive. Like I say, if the call is three-man this or that, dropping, things like that, that’s the call, so …
“I’m used to knowing what my guy’s doing beside me in a passing situation, being able to cause havoc in different angles as far as getting after the quarterback or setting up the tackle or tight end, whoever is blocking you. Like I said, whatever’s called is called and we have to play it and find a way to accommodate that call.”
Williams has just two sacks through six games compared to 14.5 last season. The Bills as a whole did not put much pressure on Bengals QB Andy Dalton; they had no sacks and only recorded one quarterback hit. Ryan took the blame for the lack of pressure on Dalton, which makes it pretty obvious that his scheme was to put lots of defenders into coverage. That clearly did not work.
The bottom line is exactly what Williams says: when you have players as talented and disruptive as the Bills do, it’s best to let them do what they do best. So far Ryan has not done that, which probably explains why they have underachieved.