Mario Addison comes to the Buffalo Bills by way of the Carolina Panthers. After losing Shaq Lawson to the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo moved quickly to shore up their rotation. How will Addison compare to Lawson? Let’s check the tape.
Wait a minute, the headline clearly says “defensive end.” What gives? If there’s one word I overuse to describe the preference of head coach Sean McDermott when it comes to defensive players it’s “versatility.” We may as well start there, as it’s possibly Mario Addison’s best trait. I also like this play because that’s a pretty nice spin move. It also highlights why defensive tackles often don’t use them. The amount of traffic in the middle means you’re probably gonna bump into someone.
Coming back to versatility, not only did Addison line up at defensive tackle, you’ll see he was on both sides of the line at defensive end. He also lined up at tackle on the left side and received some time as a linebacker.
This is a real subtle move that leads to a sack from the tackle position. Initially Addison is merely eating a block versus the guard, but allows himself to be steered toward the left tackle. This gives his teammate Marquis Haynes (98) enough room to come by clean. You can see the predicament this causes and the ultimate result is that Addison is free to get the sack.
One thing Mario Addison seems to do well is set the initial distance of the block using an outstretched arm. Here he chalks up another sack as the added space means he can come off the block more easily. Frequently tasked with helping set the edge, this is a good skill to have.
This play is all about the hustle—and I suppose showing that they didn’t hesitate to drop Mario Addison into coverage at times. Despite playing a starter’s share, often exceeding the two-thirds we’re used to seeing in Buffalo, Addison never seemed to take a play off. This is likely a big reason for the interest.
It can be difficult to play on both sides of the line, but Mario Addison pulled it off. From the reviewed games, I might even go as far to say that Addison might have been a little better on the left side like we see here. Push and the ability to bend around the corner in particular seemed a bit better on this side. Shaq Lawson rotated behind starters on both sides last season, and Addison could likely do the same, or potentially start on either side.
Back to the right side, where Addison spent most of his time. He’d have to beat out Jerry Hughes to get this gig full time so it’ll be intriguing to see which side Addison lands on. At the moment I’d guess “both” via the former Lawson role. It was often challenging to get a good handle on Mario Addison as it seemed he was being asked to hold back a bit and set the edge on many plays. On the reps where he came in full speed and tried to bend, it almost seemed like he was a different player.
Another thing that stood out is how often he was faced with multiple opponents. There wasn’t always a concerted effort to double team Mario Addison, but it did appear his side of the offensive line generally ended up in his lap.
Buffalo is looking to add some firepower to their defensive end position and Mario Addison might help a bit in that regard. I didn’t find a single “wow” play that really got me excited, but that’s not always necessary. Addison’s consistent play and versatility provides solid value. Addison can pretty much back up half the defense.
Besides that, Mario Addison has tallied at least nine sacks per year for the last four seasons. He may not necessarily be a household name who single-handedly takes over a game, but he’ll definitely take advantage of opportunities when they arise.