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Kyle Williams may just be one of the happiest men on the planet.
After finally succumbing to a lingering foot injury after Buffalo's Week 9 loss to the New York Jets, Williams watched the Bills unravel during the second half of the 2011 season. From a possible playoff berth to yet another top-10 selection in the NFL Draft in the blink of an eye, the ultra-competitive defensive tackle had to see his team slide into irrelevance once again.
Oh, what a difference six months can make.
Enter Mario Williams. Enter Mark Anderson. Enter defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt's 4-3 defense.
Suddenly, the game has changed entirely. Williams never complained about it, and he performed far above his head while he was there, but the 6'1", 303-pound DT was always far undersized for the 3-4 nose tackle he had been playing under former defensive coordinator George Edwards. Consider that prototypical nose tackles Vince Wilfork, Haloti Ngata and Sione Pouha are on average several inches and 20 pounds larger than Williams.
Now, with Buffalo transitioning to his natural 4-3, and standout second-year man Marcel Dareus next to him, Williams is ready for the best season of his career. Both he and Dareus excel at forcing pressure from the tackle position—and both were even able to do so at nose tackle—so now at their natural positions, flanked by Anderson and Mario Williams, they're primed to wreak havoc.
What's more, is that Kyle Williams is hungry.
When asked by WGR550's Joe Buscaglia about whether or not Buffalo has playoff expectations, the LSU grad minced no words:
"Those should always be expectations. Those should always be what you're striving and working for," he said Thursday. "Because if you're not, you don't need to be here. We don't want you on the team. If you're here just to hang around and collect a check, go away. We want to go to the playoffs, that's what we're here for."
As happy as Bills fans must be to hear that kind of talk, the same assuredly cannot be said for interior lineman in the AFC East.