If there were any Buffalo Bills fans out there that were worried that the rivalry with the Miami Dolphins was losing its luster... fear not. Rex Ryan is here to add another layer.
Last season, things blew up on the defensive side of the football. The Bills were still a respectable 19th in total defense, but it was a far cry from their top-five level they achieved in 2014. People started pointing fingers, and the highest paid player on that side of the ball criticized Rex Ryan's scheme on more than one occasion.
Mario Williams, who signed with the Miami Dolphins this offseason after the Bills released him just four seasons into a six-year deal, had glaring comments for how the Bills lined up on defense from a week-to-week basis. His comments from December highlight the overall confusion, even on game day.
"My mindset is, if you're an attack defense, you don't let anything else dictate what you do," Williams said. "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 also pointed out that he was dropping into coverage quite a bit, and said he asked the defensive coaches to "turn it loose." Since signing with Miami, the defensive end -- who managed just five sacks last season under Rex Ryan -- said he can't wait to "cut it loose" with the Dolphins.
Ryan hasn't spoken too much about Mario Williams since the two sides parted ways, but he did so -- in a big way -- to Jenny Vrentas of The MMQB during a dual interview with his brother, and Bills assistant head coach Rob Ryan.
"Now look, with some of the comments [he made], do I wish him well? Not really. But, he’s on Miami. If he would have gone somewhere else, maybe. He’s a good kid, but I am used to some mean motherf---ers that play out there. The Terrell Suggs, Jarrett Johnsons of the world. I screwed them, too; I had them drop [into coverage], too. Not one of them bitched. Von Miller [dropped into coverage] in the Super Bowl. Why? Because that’s what’s asked of him; that’s what his job is. Your job is to play. Coaches spend a hell of a lot more time studying tape and everything else. They are trying to put the team in the best position to be successful, not an individual. Terrell Suggs, he has been the defensive Player of the Year in this league. Ed Reed has been. Ray Lewis has been. You can go right down the line. Trevor Pryce had 14 sacks as a defensive tackle. One of the most unselfish guys you’ve ever seen. That’s what it is about. I’ll never forget, I used to have Ray sell out for maybe the 11th guy on defense. Ray Lewis is going to be one of the greatest defensive players in the history of the game, if not the greatest. That’s when you’ve got something special, and that’s what we are trying to build here."
Well, things sure escalated quickly.
The Bills and Dolphins play twice in 2016, in Miami on Sunday, October 23, and then at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo on Saturday, December 24.