The symbolism was hard to miss.
As Mario Williams sat at his locker inside Ralph Wilson Stadium following the Buffalo Bills' 22-17 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday, 2Pac's "I Ain't Mad At Cha" blasted from a Bose speaker sitting next to him.
If it was Williams' final game with the team – and there is every reason to believe that's the case – it served as the perfect parting shot.
Seated on his stool as he slowly got dressed, the media gathering around Williams' locker stall slowly grew. Ten minutes passed. Then 15. Finally, the 6-foot-6 defensive end turned his 292-pound frame around to face a pack of cameras.
The first question was simple enough: Do you think this was your final game with the Bills?
Williams' answer was similarly simplistic: "I don't know."
From there, Williams touched on a number of topics following the Bills' season finale – a victory that evened the team's record at 8-8 and prevented the Jets from making the postseason.
Here are some of the highlights from Williams' interview, which lasted just under 7 minutes:
• On if he would prefer to play in a new defensive scheme somewhere else: "I think the biggest thing is, as far as the scheme goes, across the board, we've all just got to digest it better and be better at it. I think we all can be happy. Not just myself, but as a defense. Things went backwards as far as, overall, for everybody. You guys look at stats. I mean, you can answer that yourself. I think the biggest thing is us just needing an understanding. I don't know if being a little simpler would make things better? I don't know. But obviously I think it's a defensive effort on our side. Like I said, the stats show that for everybody."
• On anonymous criticism from teammates last week in The Buffalo News, questioning Williams' effort: "Oh man, don't be telling me this anonymous stuff. I don't go by that. If it's anonymous, I think it's probably coming from a different source."
• After being told again it was teammates: "How does that work? We're all grown men, so I don't know about that. Once again, if I said something, I'd tell you."
• On whether Sunday was the kind of defensive effort the Bills needed all season: "I think the calls were definitely different in general. Especially that last play – knew that was a call from the field. That was a call from myself and talking to the DBs about ... the play that was originally called, I mean, we had ran that a few times – more than a few times before. And just getting input from players out there on the field, because we're the ones that have to go out there and execute, and it turned out great."
• On whether the players should have more input on the plays called this season: "No, I'm just saying that for us out there on the field, this whole game, we didn't run things that we have typically have."
• On if it was "simpler" today: "Well, that play at the end was simpler. We basically took it up front, we do what we did, try to put pressure on him, make him blow it up, the guys on the back, they covered how they normally would."
• On whether he can thrive in this defense if he does return: "I think as a whole, like I said, I'm just a piece of the puzzle. I think when we, our understanding of it, guys speaking up and guys saying, 'we should do this, we should do that,' which unfortunatley hasn't happened this year. And if it did, maybe it fell on deaf ears, I don't know. I think if we speak up, we can play to our ability more regardless of the scheme. It can be anything. If guys, say 'nah, let's tweak that, let's tweak this, and actually come out and we do it, then I think anything could happen, you know?"
• On how he reflects on his four seasons in Buffalo if this was his last game with the team: "It's been great. I mean, you know, I think coming in, obviously I came in for a reason, to help put pressure on the quarterback, and then we were able to keep two guys (Marcell Dareus and Jerry Hughes) who were obviously a big piece of the puzzle this offseason. Unfortunately, one of our four obviously went down, being Kyle (Williams), but it's been great."
• On whether enough players have spoken up this year: "I can't say individually, because I'm not with every individual guy saying this or that. Only thing I can say is when you look at from last year to this year, what we did, then maybe we didn't speak up enough, you know?
• On whether that means there hasn't been enough dialogue between players and coaches: "Yeah, I mean, I guess. Either that or as far as fitting into a system, maybe all of us, because it's across the board. You can't say it's one person, obviously it's across the board."
• On the impact the comments from his teammates had on him: "Nothing, because it's anonymous. If we're all grown men, I don't see how everything is anonymous around here. It's the first time I've had something like that. Espeically if it's from the other side of the ball, I mean, that's even worse."
• On being introduced Sunday with the starting defensive line: "Well, because at the end of the day you just never know when our last game could be together. Like I said, there was a lot put on us being together for a reason. So you know, obviously, you just never know. I'm not speaking of myself, I'm just talking about everything."
• On if he felt like he had anything to prove Sunday: "No."