Buffalo Bills, Mario Williams address "kill them or hurt them" comments

USA TODAY Sports

Doug Marrone and Mario Williams addressed the pass rusher's "kill them or hurt them" comments from Thursday. He attributed the phrase to Mike Pettine, then backtracked a day later.

If every NFL team has (at least) one player whose comments are analyzed to an annoying degree, Mario Williams is that player for the Buffalo Bills.

Williams is in the news again for comments he made about the philosophy of defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. The veteran pass rusher used the words "hurt" and "kill" to describe Pettine's defense, and attributed the terms to his new coach.

You can watch Williams make his offending commentary here (5:55 mark), but here's the quote, as pulled by John Wawrow of the Associated Press:

"He usually says 'Kill them or hurt them," Williams said, Thursday, following the final practice of the team's three-day mandatory minicamp.

Williams then smiled and added: "That's what I always hear, kill them or hurt them. So either way it's not a good thing for the other person."

The comments prompted a quick response from the team and Williams, who both addressed the situation on Friday. Williams took to Twitter to clarify his remarks.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone also addressed the comments, denying that Pettine ever used the exact terminology that Williams used on Thursday. From Wawrow:

"Mike has assured me that he has never used the word 'kill' in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy. He has used the word 'hurt' as a term that essentially means beating the running back to a spot in a pass-rushing drill and not in a physical sense. Mike is aware that the term 'hurt' could be taken out of context, and he is changing his terminology."

Wawrow also pointed out that NFL spokesman Greg Aiello did not return an email seeking comment on the situation.

While not exactly an innocuous story - any time a team and a player feel compelled to clarify and/or deny comments, there's usually a good reason for them to be doing so - it's probably not nearly as big a deal as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is making it out to be in a series of his typical tedious and loaded articles. If you care to stomach them for the sake of a fuller understanding of why we're covering this at all, your links are here, here and here.

If you hadn't heard about this before this morning, now you know. Feel free to discuss below - but if you'd rather ignore this story (or non-story, depending on your perspective) and proceed with living your life, we'd support that decision in full. Training camp starts in 43 days.

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