Mario Williams declined to speak on a conference call before the first Bills-Dolphins game this season, when the Bills were 4-2 and the Dolphins were 2-4. But he agreed this week, when a win would officially eliminate the Bills from playoff contention.
Williams declined to take any direct shots at embattled coach Rex Ryan, whom he didn’t see eye-to-eye with in Buffalo, but he had few positive things to say, either.
Asked what he missed most about Western New York, there was silence.
“Hmm. I can’t really say,” Williams said. “I’m gone to Miami. And gone to what we’re doing down here.”
Williams declined the notion that his former cities Buffalo and Houston are no longer a part of him, but he equated them to ex-girlfriends.
“I can’t say that, but you’re asking me this question like during football season. It’s not, you know, a time to sit there and think about something else,” he said. “That’s like [asking me], I mean, ‘How many ex-girlfriends have you had?’ You’re going to tell your girlfriend that? ‘Yeah, I miss this girl, I miss that girl.’ I mean, come on, man.”
Williams’ Dolphins currently have a hold on the final wild-card position and can clinch a playoff spot by winning out. But Williams, who underperformed in Buffalo after signing what was the richest contract in NFL history for a defensive player, has not been much of a factor in Miami, making only 13 tackles this season while accumulating just 1.5 sacks.
“The only thoughts that are going through my mind, as well as everybody else’s, is just trying to win one game,” Williams said.
He attributed his lack of production to injuries.
“I think the biggest thing, starting off the year, I had a concussion, I had this and that, had certain things come up, dealing with things now, just like everybody does,” Williams said. “That’s on me. At this point I’m kind of in a position where I have to push through to get out there and … try to help the other defensive ends.”
Williams said he “couldn’t recall” a rift between himself and Ryan and wouldn’t take shots at the team or coach, though he couldn’t stop mentioning how nice things are in Miami, leaving open the implication that they weren’t as good in Buffalo.
“The players, the coaches, just the camaraderie and everybody being open, just having fun,” he said of what he likes about his new team. “I think the biggest thing is buying into the whole situation, the whole scheme, and having fun with it, just getting after it.
“Here in Miami, the biggest thing is it’s just a great atmosphere,” he added, “from the top to the bottom with our coaching staff all the way down to us players. We just really enjoy coming into work every day, we enjoy being around each other and going out there and practicing and everything that goes with it.”