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Upbeat Mario Williams embraces changes on Bills' 'D'

By Jay Skurski

Mario Williams is unsure of even what position he's playing in the Buffalo Bills' new defensive scheme – and he couldn't sound happier about it.

"It's all over the place," Williams said Thursday, as the Bills finished up their third day of voluntary minicamp. "It's definitely something that puts different matchups out there on the field and puts us in different positions, have guys free and be aggressive."

Williams checked off the attributes of the defense when asked for his first impression.

"Fast. Aggressive. Up tempo," he said. "A lot of fun."

In fact, Williams seemed to be in as good of spirits as any time since he joined the Bills a little more than a year ago.

"Since Day One … pretty much everything has changed. Not just from coaches and all that, but the whole mindset," he said. "This is definitely different. Just the way you see us out here running around, being positive and getting after it. Getting into the playbook has definitely opened our eyes to the possibilities of what is in front of us, especially on my side on the defense, with the capabilities that he’s putting out there for us."

Williams has played in both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes in this career. The difference this year, he says, is the number of different spots Pettine is putting him in.

"But I'm ready for it, man. It's just gonna be exciting," he said. "Us as players are very excited. Every day when we come in it's an upbeat tempo. You have to be. The atmosphere is completely changed."

Williams, 28, said his left wrist, which had a torn ligament last season, is doing "great."

"I'm using it way more. I'm functioning," he said. "I don't even think about it now. And if I bang it up, it goes away in five minutes. Other than (that), it’s fine. I’m working out, practicing, obviously."


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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |