Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams was not shy about sharing his feelings - mostly negative - about the changes brought forth by Rex Ryan and his defensive scheme throughout the course of the 2015 season. On multiple occasions, Williams openly questioned his role in a defense that, statistically and functionally, was a far cry from the No. 4 overall outfit that they'd become in 2014.
Williams is still questioning the wisdom of changing the defensive scheme last season to this day, with his latest comments coming via ESPN's Josina Anderson (as relayed by Mike Rodak here).
"I'm not saying that the scheme is wrong, I'm just saying that our strengths could be utilized better," Williams told Anderson. "In our meetings defensively, especially in our defensive line room, we said, 'Can we go straight? Can we just go? Can we turn it loose?'"
Williams also apparently told Anderson that he and unnamed teammates made this plea directly to defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.
"[We] said to our defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, 'Do we have to drop on this?'," Williams said. "I'm not the type of person to cause chaos inside of our home. I tried to make it clear that I'm not criticizing anybody. I'm just saying, 'Can we just go forward? Can we mix it up? Can we attack and get after it? We don’t need to disguise.'"
A report surfaced late in the regular season that the Bills are expected to release Williams this offseason, a move which would gain them $12.9 million in salary cap space. Williams speaks like a man braced for that eventuality, and who has a chip on his shoulder because of it.
"I'm prepared for anything, because I know I'm going to prove a point, and that is not even a question in my mind," Williams said. "At the end of the day, if I'm not there, I'll show you that I'm better than what I've been before. Like, that's just a chip on my shoulder regardless of whether I am there or not, because given the opportunity, I'll get back to what I was."