Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams was asked what position he’ll be playing this coming season under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
“I don’t know,” said Williams, via BuffaloBills.com. “If I was going to be labeled I’d probably be labeled defensive end because of my size. But I don’t have a position.”
Pettine like’s Williams’ versatility.
“He’s a versatile guy,” said Pettine in an appearance on the John Murphy Show. “I think he could play at the defensive end spot. He could play outside linebacker. He could be up. He could be down. I think there will be times in our third down package where he’s down over a guard, down over a center.”
Pettine wants to confuse opposing offenses by moving Williams around,.
“What I don’t want to do with Mario is line him up in one spot where teams can draw a bead on him,” said Pettine. “He’s always the right defensive end or always the left defensive end. That way they can set formations to help protect. They can chip him with a tight end or a back.”
“That one position really allows us versatility where that spot can play a 4-3 end and a 3-4 outside linebacker,” he said. “That gives us versatility there where we can line up in all our 4-3 fronts and 3-4 fronts and function at a high level. Every position kind of bleeds over into another one, but I think that’s the main one is the outside linebacker-defensive end in our base defense.”
Pettine doesn’t want offenses to be able to key on Williams.
“We want to get the bulls-eye off him and move him around,” Pettine said. “We want to dictate to teams that if they’re going to deal with Mario, they’re going to have to find him first. I think he’s certainly smart enough to handle it and versatile enough to handle it.”