Twice this season, Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams turned to reporters to express his frustration with his role in the defense being installed by Rex Ryan. Combined with his having a down year and the defense looking completely out of sorts as the 2015 season concludes, speculation is starting to ramp up that Williams wants out of Buffalo.
Williams was asked about those reports following the Bills' 35-25 loss to Washington on Sunday, and largely scoffed at them. But he also used the opportunity to throw jabs at the Bills' defensive scheme again.
"At the end of the day, I want to be wherever we can go and win. That’s how I see it," Williams said (via ESPN.com). "And I know we can here. That's 100. I mean, I know that. I know we can win here. Now, me personally, if I don't fit into the scheme, if it's just me, if it's obvious it's just me, then so be it. But if it's continuity across the board as far as how things are unfolding, then that's now my decision, still. But hey, you can blame me for everything. That's fine."
Previously in the season, Williams expressed frustration at the fact that he was routinely asked to drop into coverage for specific play calls, which does not play to his strengths. On Sunday, Williams was harping on a different point: the Bills' routine inability to match opponent substitutions in a timely fashion this season.
"You saw the game, and you're trying to switch personnel as they're coming out of the huddle," Williams said. "I don't know who in the world is calling, saying what personnel they're in or whatever, or how is that confusing. But apparently it is.
"My mindset is, if you're an attack defense, you don't let anything else dictate what you do, Williams continued. "We're gonna put who we're gonna put out there, and then we're gonna execute and make plays with the guys out there. I don't care - I don't need to wait on you to make a decision. And whoever seems to be missing personnel, so that we're actually trying to switch. So we're trying to switch men. It's not like we're trying to switch plays. We're trying to switch men as they're coming out of the huddle.
"That's happened a few times in 10 years with me. A few times. That's 10 years. But like you said, game in, game out, I don't know how in the world that keeps happening."
Williams, who will turn 31 in January, has just four sacks this season, one year after being named a first team All-Pro with 14.5 sacks under previous coordinator Jim Schwartz and his base 4-3 scheme. The cap-strapped Bills can save $12.9 million on the books if they release Williams this offseason, so it's also possible that the two sides could part ways for purely fiscal reasons. Williams scoffed at the notion that he would consider a pay cut on Sunday.
"If this is the turnout of our defense, how does [a pay cut] even sound right?" Williams asked.