The Buffalo Bills' once-vaunted pass rush was unable to corral Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton even once during the Bengals' 34-21 win over the Bills on Sunday, and if Mario Williams' post-game commentary is any indication, frustration over the matter is starting to reach a fever pitch.
Rex Ryan took some heat off of his very richly-paid defensive line by telling reporters that dialing up three-man pressures in certain situations did not do the pass rush any favors, and Williams was only too eager to buy into that line of thinking. Here are the most notable of his post-game comments, as relayed by Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News:
"When we've got four guys rushing, we can do some different things. Some of the calls that we had, we just didn't have four guys out there rushing in certain situations, things like that. You know, you're just playing the call.
"We don't make the calls as players. We've got to execute whatever's called. If it's three guys going, it's three guys going, and we've got to figure out an opportunity, a different way to get there faster."
"As far as the amount that's given out to the players on this team, as far as income, I would assume those four guys, a lot is on their shoulders to get after the quarterback or stop the run, be disruptive."
"I'm used to knowing what my guy's doing beside me in a passing situation and things like that. And being able to cause havoc from different angles as far as getting after the quarterback or setting up the tackle or the tight end or whoever's blocking you."
For the record: your author quickly ran back through the game telecast, available via NFL GamePass, and saw Williams dropping into coverage four times out of Dalton's 33 passing attempts. (He was not on the field for three of those attempts.) That is, in fact, an abnormally high number for one game, especially for a 300-pound man - and Williams wasn't the only Bills defensive lineman to be asked to cover for multiple snaps, either.
Williams, Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, and Jerry Hughes are quite easily the highest-paid defensive line in the NFL. They earned their respective, monstrous salaries over the past two seasons (2013-14), when the quartet combined for 80.5 sacks in 32 games as a group. Through the first six games of the 2015 season, however, the four pass rushers have combined for just five sacks. Buffalo's defense has still managed to play well in spurts, but they've also had some very poor stretches, including during yesterday's loss.