The Bills' signing of DE Mario Williams was historic in league terms — Williams is the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history — but also for the franchise, as it will go down as one of the club's most significant signings.
On the field, Williams brings an edge rusher that the Bills have sorely missed over the years, especially after not getting any production out of first-rounder Aaron Maybin, who is now with the Jets.
Williams joins DTs Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus and DE Chris Kelsay, making Buffalo's group up front one of the league's best.
"The thing about Mario is he has no holes in his game. He's a complete player," Bills D-line coach Giff Smith told PFW in an email. "He's a first-, second- and third-down player. He can set the edge on the defense out of the 4-3. ... He's the most complete player that I saw out there at the defensive end position."
During Williams' visit, he met with Kyle Williams, but even before coming, Mario Williams was intrigued by what the Bills already had up front.
"When we picked Mario up on the plane, he and I had a chance by ourselves, and I asked him what his interest in Buffalo was," Smith said. "He said that in researching it, he thought that we had the best tackles in the NFL. And he felt like with the edge pressure, he wouldn't lose sacks because a guy was able to step up."
Dareus and Kyle Williams led the team in sacks in 2011 and 2010, respectively, each with 5½ sacks. Mario Williams had five sacks in 2011 — in five games. He comes to Buffalo with 53 career sacks in 82 games and is also effective against the run.
"We felt like we were solid inside and we've got some guys outside that can do some stuff. But we thought we needed a dominant force outside," Smith explained. "You do that, and it keeps people from being able to turn the protection or slide it to certain guys or pack it inside."
"I know what we have inside, and the biggest thing for a defensive end is looking to when you get around that edge, the quarterback not stepping up," Williams said in his introductory press conference in Buffalo. "I know that's what we have here, and to me that is one huge sell, is those two guys pushing the pocket. Then hopefully I get the sacks; hopefully that's how it turns out."
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