Timothy T. Ludwig-US PRESSWIRE
Williams can come at defenses from many angles
The Bills' switch to a full time 4-3 defense is going to incredibly benefit Mario Williams' pass-rushing game.
Williams, who played the 2011 season at the outside linebacker position before being injured in Week 6, is going to enjoy the move back to the line in 2012.
Before tearing his pectoral muscle against the Oakland Raiders last season, Williams was becoming comfortable at linebacker in the Texans' new 3-4 alignment. In five games he had already recorded five sacks and one forced fumble, putting him on pace for 16 sacks on the year, which would have been a career-high.
Transitioning back to the defensive line has been no problem this preseason for Williams, who has looked like his old self, blazing past outside tackles with a bevy of physical moves.
Per request to the Bills' staff, Williams will be rushing the passer from the left side of the defensive line this season. He described it as a matter of comfort, and defensive coordinator, Dave Wannstedt, wants nothing more than to have his new star producing at the highest level.
Williams played his first five seasons in Houston from the right defensive end position but will return to left end, where he played in college at NC State.
Bulking up to 300 pounds in the offseason, Williams will dominate from the left edge with long arms, big hands and pure athleticism.
The Jets' fourth-year right tackle Austin Howard will be the primary road block against Williams and will certainly have his hands full. Expect many double-team blocks along with veteran right guard Brandon Moore.
If Wannstedt is feeling crafty, he could swap Williams to the right side or even to outside linebacker at any point simply to keep the offensive line guessing.