Mario Williams has doubled down, tripled down, and now quadrupled down on comments indicating a season-long disconnect between the Buffalo Bills’ defensive scheme and their defensive players.
In a lengthy exchange with reporters Wednesday, he wanted to make clear he wasn’t going out of his way to be critical of Rex Ryan or the coaching staff but simply responding to questions. Then, Williams asked reporters if they were seeing the same things he did. Reporters said they agreed, which seemed to satisfy Williams.
However, he then went into great detail to explain what he believes is the major reason the defense that led the NFL with 54 sacks last season now ranks 30th in the league with only 20. Williams pointed out that under Ryan the “Cold Front,” the nickname of the Bills’ four-man defensive line, no longer has the prominent role it held in 2014.
“I can tell you right now, the personnel” on the Bills “is totally different” from what Ryan had in his previous coaching stops, Williams said. “With the Baltimore Ravens,” with whom Ryan served as defensive coordinator, “they had Ray Lewis commanding the ship. The coaches made a statement the other day about the control of the defense, how Ray would change a call completely. The call would come in, he’d see this, and that’s not even what he called. He called something entirely different. You had linebackers of that nature doing that with the Jets, linebackers who were generals on the field.
“You had safeties who head-hunt, Ed Reed in Baltimore and the Landry brothers, Dawan and LaRon, “with the Jets. You’ve got two lock-down corners, and three guys up front that get after it, and then two ’backers. That’s the difference I see.
“The ‘Cold Front’ is four guys. Even though we can be a hybrid, because we’ve done that before in one year clearly two years ago, we were a hybrid. Last year, we were a 4-3. So it’s not like we can’t play it. It’s just about how you play it and the personnel. It’s just different personnel from the last however many years you want to go back to the Ravens and now with us. Because we went two years building the ‘Cold Front,’ and obviously a lot of time and money keeping the two guys we kept this year” Jerry Hughes and Marcell Dareus. “And then, all of a sudden, it just hasn’t been that ‘Cold Front’ out there. And that’s the thing. Our defense, the past two years, has been very, very heavy on that D-line.”