By Tim Graham
Buffalo Bills fans can look at pass-rusher Mario Williams' production and understand exactly why they made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
They can hear tales about his folksy demeanor and appreciate who he is away from the field.
What we haven't heard much about since Williams shocked the football world and signed with Buffalo are his philosophical musings about turning quarterbacks into smoldering heaps.
In a Q&A article for GQ's September 2012 NFL preview edition, Peter Schager was able to draw out some of Williams' inner thoughts about what happens when a quarterback is in his crosshairs.
On what it's like in the moments before a sack:
"No matter how fast or how slow you get to the quarterback, it all goes to slow motion when you get there. Everything just stops. You don't see anything but the quarterback. You don't hear anything but the quarterback's breath. It's almost like you're a shark. Your eyes get real big and everything's just quiet. You don't hear the fans or anything. It's just one second, but it feels like forever. Everything just comes to a halt. And then when you get him and bring him down, everything opens up again."
On what gets him pumped up most easily before a game:
"Fans get me going. The worst thing to do is talk junk to me before I'm about to go against your quarterback. Whenever I get trash talked by fans at an away game, that's the best motivation. Because I know if I get the opportunity to get to the quarterback, it's going to be even worse now. If there's a fan telling me I'm garbage and my team sucks, you're talking directly to me. And I'm going to take it out directly on your quarterback."
On what it's like to get inside a quarterback's head during a game:
"There will be quarterbacks who'll come up to you after a play and say something like, 'Hey, take it easy,' or 'Slow it down.' And right there, you know you've got him. Then he's checking for you at the line of scrimmage before the snap. He looks over for you. It lets you know you're doing what you should be doing. You're disrupting him. You're in his mind. Then, he gets all antsy. And he has some bad throws and possible turnovers. You're doing your job."
The interview is rooted in eliciting Williams' thoughts on the violence of the game, including bounties, whether players target injuries, the unfairness of offensive players being far more protected than defensive players and the glorification of big hits.