With the retirement of Lorenzo Alexander, and the departures of Shaq Lawson and Jordan Phillips it was a guarantee that the Buffalo Bills’ defensive line would look different in 2020. Star Lotulelei’s opt-out didn’t help matters in that regard. One of the new key contributors was Mario Addison who replaced Trent Murphy as the starter opposite Jerry Hughes at defensive end. Let’s see how Addison did in his first year.
The overall play by the defense worked out very well and, arguably, Mario Addison does help to prevent a possible lane up the middle at the end. But first he’s stonewalled. Also, if the runner wasn’t caught from behind, Trent Williams (71) would have led Addison so far away from the edge he wouldn’t have been able to stop a rush to the edge. It should be noted that Trent Williams is a fantastic player; eight Pro Bowls in eight years. It’d be consecutive years too if he hadn’t missed 2019 due to medical reasons and dissatisfaction with Washington.
That last play is a good setup for this one. That’s Trent Williams again and Addison is working against him on this snap. Addison is at risk of overextending forward but maintains grip. He reestablishes his footing, which lifts Williams and drives him back.
Defensive ends need to be able to process quickly and react. Finding no one to block him initially, Addison gets picked up late. He sees it in time, drops the shoulder and still has the presence of mind to get a hand up. This is a touchdown but great effort on his part.
Continuing the theme of the first two plays, sometimes Addison wins some. Sometimes he loses some. This is pretty similar to Play 3, except less successful. Overall, I felt like Addison did better in physical contests on the move than he did on plays that required agility. Said differently, I’m more confident that he drops a well-timed shoulder than he side steps.
This is just fun. It’s not the only time either. When Addison was in coverage it was typically zone. He doesn’t lock down the passing lane but he creates a smaller window. Here it’s enough to be effective. It might not be against better quarterbacks.
This play is a reminder that stats aren’t everything. There’s no way to accurately record this, but Addison cuts off the edge with his positioning. Simultaneously, he knocks his man back and makes sure the lane that is left is small enough to slow the ball carrier down.
Here’s another similar play, but this time the runner tries to bounce it Addison’s way. Mario isn’t the only one who makes the tackle but there’s no doubt he’d have managed fine on his own.
Mario Addison wasn’t a resounding success to be sure. However he wasn’t bad either. I’d love to have a dominant force on the end opposite Hughes but Addison isn’t the worst floor. With a number of team needs I wouldn’t be surprised to see Addison in Buffalo in 2021.
- State of the Bills roster: defensive end
- 2020 All-22 Analysis: Bills DE Trent Murphy
- 2020 All-22 Analysis: Bills DE Mario Addison
- 2020 All-22 Analysis: Bills DE Jerry Hughes
- How much does Mario Addison cost in 2021?
- How much does Jerry Hughes cost in 2021?
- Bills don’t have young talent capable of replacing their starting defensive ends
- Free agents that could help the Bills pass rush
- 2021 NFL Draft prospects to add to the pass rush
- Opinion: What we would do at defensive end this offseason