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15 Mar 2012
Mario Williams is an ideal solution to the Bills' pass rush woes ... if he can stay healthy.
Posted by: Rivers McCown on 15 Mar 2012
11 comments, Last at
15 Oct 2012, 2:32pm by
Has anyone come up with a convincing explanation why Williams signed with Buffalo, a middling team with an uncertain future in a declining cold-weather city? Not to be too harsh on the Bills, but there's a reason free agents hardly ever sign there. Surely another team was willing to come close to those numbers financially.
The Bills declined immediately after Fitzpatrick broke his ribs against the Redskins. I was bearish on them until the injury was revealed. Fitzpatrick was a top-10 or better QB for the first 7 games. Williams got huge money, top-tier defensive line cohorts, and a solid offense. The Bills still need depth at LT since they probably can't afford Bell, another WR, and a CB. That's a short list for a team coming off 6-10. I posit that they are ascending and the rest of the AFC East is at best standing pat.
Williams makes the Bills biggest weakness maybe their biggest strength. He has the opportunity to thrive in Buffalo.
Didn't help that Jackson also got hurt and they started bleeding WRs. Injuries will kill any team. On the other hand, their defensive success was largely based on forcing turnovers, which is a pretty unsustainable model from year to year...which is probably one reason why they went after Williams. But with the Dolphins in rebuilding mode, the Jets committing themselves full-in to the Sanchize, and New England vulnerable to teams that can actually play defense, the Bills have a shot to return to adequacy if they get some bounces their way.
They are a much better team when Fred Jackson is healthy. If Jackson, Johnson, and Fitzpatrick are all healthy, they can move the ball well.
The defense isn't impressive, and the turnovers "forced" at the beginning of the season were a bit fluky.
I'm no expert on the Bills or Mario Williams, but if you have a defense which is unimpressive, the one type of player who can usually make the biggest impact is an edge pass rusher that opposing offenses have to pay extra attention to.
You mean besides the hundreds of millions of dollars?
Ah... It's a profit deal. Takes the pressure off.
I realize you're saying "if he can stay healthy" because of Williams' past injury history, but isn't that also a given for every free agent? Or even every athlete in every sport in the history of the world?
Why can't the article just stand on the merits and show why Williams will be an ideal fit for Buffalo?
I expect better from Football Outsiders.
While our knowledge of football, whether it be scheme, statistics, or training methods, have easily improved even just compared to 10 years ago, we certainly aren't at the point yet where we can objectively measure how "injury-prone" a player might be, or become. That's not to say it won't happen in the future. In fact, I would bet on it happening.
But right now there's no need for mindless speculation about Williams ability to stay on the field. Just give us the numbers and explain how his play will help the Bills' defense and pass rush.
If I wanted sports radio analysis, I'll listen to sports radio analysis or watch most of the stuff on ESPN.
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Offensive line problems highlight the needs in the NFC North ... except in Chicago, which is kind of unsettling to think about.
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