Mario Williams is a man without a position.
That doesn’t mean he’s lacking a role, however. Williams’ job in Buffalo this season is going to be to get after the quarterback, but new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine says that the goal is to stop offenses from coming up with ways to stop Williams by lining him up over tackles, with his hand on the ground and even over the center on some passing downs. Williams said he’d label himself as a defensive end, but that it is an inexact label and that he’s more concerned with having a smoother second season in Buffalo than with what position he’s listed as playing.
“There were a lot of things going on last year, but it makes you tougher,” said Williams, via the Bills website. “The more adversity you go through the more I feel I can handle it. Last year it was almost like my rookie year all over again in the sense of a new place, big deal and everything that went into coming to Buffalo. It’s like I’m back now and here’s my second year and I’m really excited about going after it and with the group of guys that are leading us I have a lot of faith and a lot of dedication to going out and performing for them.”
Williams still had 10.5 sacks last season, so he was able to find a way to have some success while dealing with a wrist injury in addition to the other issues mentioned above. Being settled and healthy should put him on a path to more success this time around, especially if Pettine’s plan to scheme Williams into different spots leads to the kind of desirable matchups they’re envisioning up in Buffalo.