If you watched the Buffalo Bills take on the Cincinnati Bengals this past weekend, you might have noticed something a bit peculiar—331 pound defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and 292-pounder Mario Williams dropping back into coverage. Most of us just scratched our heads at the sight, but if you’re a Bills fan, your reaction was probably a bit more explicit, and rightfully so.
Williams sounded off about the odd play calls coming from head coach Rex Ryan after the game.
“I think I probably set a record on dropping [back] today,” said Williams. “But that’s part of the scheme for us to go out and be put in a position to win. Whatever’s called, you have to go out and do it.”
Only one problem: the Bills lost 34-21 to the Bengals. So clearly the scheme isn’t putting them in much of a winning position. Dareus resounded Williams comments Tuesday looking back on the loss.
“Hey, like [Mario] said, they pay us a lot of money,” said Dareus, backing up his teammate. “And we want to use our talents the best way we know how. If we’re going to be dropping, we don’t want to get questions about not getting sacks. That’s just how it is.”
They have a point, Rex. Williams signed a $96 million contract back in 2012, and Dareus signed this offseason for $96.5 million. Throw in the $45 million that the Bills gave Jerry Hughes this offseason, and you have a quarter-billion-dollar line which has only managed nine sacks through the first five games of the season.
That’s a lot of money to drop back. 300-pound linemen aren’t exactly known for their Darrelle Revis-esque coverage, so it would probably be better to keep them chasing quarterbacks instead of wide receivers.
“It’s not been a lot of times where there have been all four of us, full tilt, ears pinned back, and we’re going after it,” continued Dareus. “We haven’t had a lot of that this year.”
“Hopefully Rex is going to implement it. There’s nothing we can do.”
Maybe another loss will knock some sense into him. Even Bills Hall of Famer Jim Kelly called out the coach for his odd formations.
“Dropping Mario Williams into coverage a lot?” said Kelly. “Didn’t we pay him a lot of money to hit the quarterback? And if I’m the opposing quarterback, and I see him dropping into coverage, oh, that’s a big plus. I’d definitely have a smile on my face.”
Stop making opposing QBs smile, Rex.