Mario Williams clarifies “Kill ‘em or hurt ‘em” remarks

Bills defensive end Mario Williams clarified some of his comments about Mike Pettine's coaching today. (AP/Bill Wippert)

Bills defensive end Mario Williams clarified some of his comments about Mike Pettine’s coaching today. (AP/Bill Wippert)

With the Buffalo Bills’ offseason addition of Mike Pettine as defensive coordinator, the team expected to add intensity to the defense that was lacking in the 2012 season under Dick Jauron. Pettine’s defenses are known for being aggressive and blitz-heavy, and that style helped the New York Jets rank among the NFL’s top ten defenses each of the last four seasons.

Yesterday, Bills defensive end Mario Williams made some controversial remarks regarding the intensity of Pettine’s offense, saying the defensive mentality installed by the new coordinator was to “Kill ‘em or hurt ‘em“. Today Williams took to Twitter to rephrase his prior statement:

 

 

 

 

The Bills also took action to defend their statements today. Head coach Doug Marrone released a statement to the Associated Press today, according to writer John Wawrow, in which Marrone states that he has addressed the situation with Pettine.

“Mike has assured me that he has never used the word ‘kill’ in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy,” Marrone said in the statement released to The Associated Press.

“He has used the word ‘hurt’ as a term that essentially means beating the running back to a spot in a pass-rushing drill and not in a physical sense,” Marrone said. “Mike is aware that the term ‘hurt’ could be taken out of context, and he is changing his terminology.”

All NFL teams have to be extremely careful with their word choice after seeing the punishments handed down on the New Orleans Saints following their bounty scandal. The “pay-for-injury” system resulted in suspensions for head coach Sean Payton, coordinator Gregg Williams, assistant coach Joe Vitt and the Saints’ general manager Mickey Loomis, plus a $500,000 fine and the forfeiture of two second-round draft picks.

I doubt any significant punishment will come about as a result of Williams’ comments, but it should be a reminder to put the rest of the league. Player safety is the highest priority in the NFL these days.

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Down and Distance Columnist Joe Ray – @jpray_SK





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