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Archive for the tag “Mario Williams”

Pass Rusher For Hire

(photo courtesy of Scott Terna/Icon Sportswire)

(photo courtesy of Scott Terna/Icon Sportswire)

Mario Williams was supposed to be a monster when he entered the NFL. He had the size, speed and skills that had many believing he could be one of the best ever. He was taken first overall in the 2006 NFL Draft out of North Carolina State by the Houston Texans. And immediately, the expectations were heaped upon him. Honestly, there was no way that he was going to live up to what people expected of him. He did have a few good years in Houston, but ultimately, they did not believe he was worth keeping around and opted to build their defense around defensive lineman JJ Watt (which ended up being an excellent decision). Williams signed a huge deal in Buffalo (six years and $96 million with $31.4 million guaranteed) and the buzz was that he was going to return to the form he had in his second and third years in the NFL. His sack totals grew each of the first three years he was there, climbing from 10 sacks the first year to 14.5 sacks in 2014. But this past season he regressed to five sacks in Rex Ryan’s first year as head coach. The lack of production along with the rumblings of him being unhappy in Buffalo under Ryan will lead to him being officially released very soon. But what are his options and how will he be viewed on the open market.

Williams is a beast of a man lining up at defensive end. Standing at 6’6” and weighing in at 292 pounds, he strikes fear in a lot of offensive linemen. But unfortunately, he does not play like a guy that strikes fear in offensive linemen all the time. He has been known over his career to take some time off on the field and disappear in games like he did this past season. If you are going to sign him, then you have to take a chance that he may disappear again. And with the need for pass rushers in the NFL, someone is going to pay him big money once again. But along with the inconsistency his career has shown, you also have to think about his age. Williams is no spring chicken anymore. He will be entering his 11th season next year (31 years old heading into next season) and there are no guarantees that he can get to the heights that he was at in his first three years in Buffalo. The place where he lands will have to be a 4-3 defense because he is best when he has his hand on the ground rushing off the edge. If he decides to play and show that he still has it, then he could be a steal for a team looking to get any pressure off the edge. Or worst case scenario, he has the potential to be a stain on the salary cap of the team he chooses to sign with. Essentially, an ideal situation would be for him to go to a team that has multiple pass rushers to take some pressure off him with a younger pass rusher to spell him from time to time. But the reality is that he will end up more than likely going to a team that is in desperate need for a pass rush. So with that being said, where are some ideal spots for him?

Williams could be taking his game out West. With defensive end Justin Tuck announcing his retirement, there is a need for Williams in Oakland. Their offense is up and coming, but the defense needs some help. The Raiders would probably prefer to sign a defensive back to help their ailing secondary, but having a pass rush combo of linebacker/defensive end Khalil Mack and Williams would be terribly tough to handle for the rest of the league (provided Williams shows up every week). The team also could pay him an astronomical salary that he would want. That team with the offensive talent they have just needs a defense and they could make some noise and eventually the playoffs. Another team that is up and coming is the Jacksonville Jaguars. They, just like the Raiders, have some budding stars offensively. And just like the Raiders, the Jaguars need defensive help. They play in a division where the Texas (with how bad they were) won the division and the Colts aren’t exactly the most solid-looking team these days. Williams could come in there and lift that defense up if he plays up to his potential. Adding Williams and a cornerback would be huge for Jacksonville in their attempt to get back to relevance. But the last and final team that would fit Williams the best are the Giants. New York missed the playoffs last season and part of that reason was their inability to create a pass rush. With Williams, that problem could be solved. And with the rumblings that the Giants are going to sign back Jason Pierre-Paul, he would take some of the pressure off him to be the main pass rusher for the team. With adding him and maybe some health in the secondary (along with some good pickups there), the Giants could remake their defense to support their offense. And in the NFC East, the Giants have as good a chance as anyone to win that division, especially with the only quarterback currently in the division that has won a title. And of the three teams mentioned, they have the best shot to win the title.

Mario Williams is likely about to sign his last big contract once he is officially released from the Buffalo Bills. And where he signs, there will be pressure on him to perform and win. Time is running out on his career and the next place he signs, he has to be present and not disappear like he did in this past season. It will be interesting to see where he lands and what they give him to come there.

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The 2015 NFL All Ski-Mask Way Defense

(photo courtesy of www.imgarcarde.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.imgarcarde.com)

They say defense win championships. Well, this defense has given a new definition to the term “winning in different ways”. All the guys on the All Ski-Mask way defensive team have earned their way there by either lagging in effort or not living up the expectations the money they made would have them to. The committee has gathered and here is what we came up with. Without further ado, here is the 2015 NFL All Ski-Mask Way defense.

(photo courtesy of Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

(photo courtesy of Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Safety-Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers ($10 million)

“Great numbers at 2 million dollars a year. 79 tackles and half a sack. Then you realize he made 10 million this year and you think again. There’s been degeneration in his play for a while but he’s gone from Eric Weddle to Eric Waddle. He strikes fear in cartoon characters but not receivers running a skinny post past him. He was paid 8 million too much in my opinion. You know what is worse?? Someone else is gonna give son Beaucoup dollars. His robbing spree isn’t done yet.”- Khalid Boyd

(photo courtesy www.zimbio.com)

(photo courtesy http://www.zimbio.com)

Safety-Da’Norris Searcy, Tennessee Titans ($3.625 million)

“He was signed by the Titans this past offseason to be a difference-maker. But unfortunately, the only difference that was made was his bank account and the Titans’ salary cap number. He was rarely noticed on the field and did not have that much of an effect on the Titans’ defense. Once they find him, hopefully he will give them something. But as of right now, there is an APB out there for him.” –Mike Patton

(photo courtesy Scott Threlkeld/The Advocate)

(photo courtesy Scott Threlkeld/The Advocate)

Cornerback-Brandon Browner, New Orleans Saints ($2.4 million)

“The Saints CB as held more receivers that James Bond has women in his movies.  He may have been a member of the Legion of Boom, but Brown has proven why that is in the past tense. At the bargain price of $2.4 million and $7.5  mil guaranteed, he one of the leagues most penalized cover men.”- Kyle Nash

(photo courtesy of www.fansided.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.fansided.com)

Cornerback-Brandon Carr, Dallas Cowboys ($12.7 million)

“Seventy-six tackles on a 4-12 team and getting 12.7 million this year??? You wanna talk about sticking cats up with no gun?? This dude did it. He got burned so much this season, if you look closely next to the star on his helmet, there’s tread marks. If he did any less, he’d be flipping french fries at Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.  This dude is a burger of the plainest proportions. He was beat like a scalded dog, repeatedly. The local Dallas radio team broadcasters uttered his name with such disgust, you’d have though he slapped their mama.”-Khalid Boyd

Cornerback- Byron Maxwell, Philadelphia Eagles ($8.7 million)

“Burnt Maxwell was made toast in one too many games this season. He did have two interceptions (slightly under $4.4 million per interception). But those don’t add up to the amount of SportsCenter highlights of him getting torched this season. I think opponents’ stadiums should have the “Toasty’ sound effect from Mortal Kombat on deck anytime he is on the field.”- Dan Dinkins

(photo courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.bleacherreport.com)

Linebacker-Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles ($6million)

“When people speak of the debacle that was Chip Kelly as a GM in Philadelphia in 2015, many people associate it with a disappointing offense. But said offense also made it difficult to exist as an NFL defensive player having to stay on the field so much, especially if you are one who is overrated. And there is no better indicator of overrated than Brandon Graham’s $6 million 2015 cap hit and $13.5 million guaranteed by the end of 2016.  What miniscule sack numbers he amassed (6.5) and forced fumbles (3) he accrued when you think he got two of those sacks and two of those forced fumbles against an awful Cowboys offense on November 8th. With Graham as a lesser known name, he is the antithesis of an anonymous charitable donor.  He is an anonymous recipient and the burdened donor is the Eagles front office.”-Kyle Nash

(photo courtesy of www.fansided.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.fansided.com)

Linebacker-Brian Orapko, Tennessee Titans ($4.47 million)

“With Brian Orakpo leaving the Redskins, the only starring role he can be associated with is the old Geico car insurance commercials saying their service as “so easy a caveman can do it”.  Hoping for an upgrade bringing in Orakpo, Tennessee instead still had a defense so bad, even an AFC South team can score on it. While the 3rd highest player on the Titan Roster did record 7 sacks, $4,468,750 in 2015 warrants more performance.  With his 2016 salary due to almost double up to $8.25 million, this is the deal that keeps on stealing so bad it sends the Titans cap room situation back into the Stone Age.” – Kyle Nash

(photo courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com)

(photo courtesy of http://www.bleacherreport.com)

Linebacker-Dan Skuta, Jacksonville Jaguars ($4.6 million)

“Skuta was an overachiever when he played for the 49ers in 2014. Well, that all changed once he decided to go play for the Jacksonville Jaguars. At $4.6 million, he was expected to add to this team. He added alright…to the salary cap. Thirty-two tackles and 1.5 sacks just won’t cut it for the amount he was getting paid. And for a team that’s defense was subpar, he did little to help them get better. Such is life when expectations arise and the bank accounts gets a little bigger.” –Mike Patton

(photo courtesy of Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

(photo courtesy of Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports)

Defensive end- Greg Hardy, Dallas Cowboys ($11.3 million)

“HOW BOUT THIS COWBOY! At 1.88 million per sack, I would say this has been a lucrative season for him money-wise. But production-wise, he did more fighting on the sidelines than tackling (only 35 tackles). He was on a one-year deal with Dallas, so there is no telling whether he will return.”-Dan Dinkins

(photo courtesy of Bill Wippert/Associated Press)

(photo courtesy of Bill Wippert/Associated Press)

Defensive End- Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills ($6.175 million)

“Well, Jerry knew that 2014 was the biggest year of his career. He was looking to get a payday and he finally earned one from a team. But this season, he was definitely not earning his keep. He teamed up with Mario Williams to make the most disappointing defensive end duo in the NFL. He may be getting paid, but he surely has gone back to the same guy that disappeared after he was made a 1st round pick in Indianapolis.”-Mike Patton

(photo courtesy of Bob Leverone/Associated Press)

(photo courtesy of Bob Leverone/Associated Press)

Defensive Tackle- Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins ($6.1 million)

“Being a dominant defensive lineman for 5 years got parlayed into a lucrative deal for Suh. So what did he do this season besides look lost and frightened???  58 tackles and 6 sacks. For 6.1 million dollars???  Nah bruh. You went from Suh to Stew. This is robbery but you know what?? Homey is warming up for next year. He’s a massive man and has a cap number next year of over 29 million. He went from N-Dominant to N-Donkey Kong. You have got to be bananas to be paying that bread, and he’s definitely not bananas enough to say no. I was at Dolphin Stadium in October and drinks at the stadium are $17. A couple dozen rounds on you, fella?? You owe me!” –Khalid Boyd

(photo courtesy of Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports)

(photo courtesy of Billy Hurst/USA TODAY Sports)

Defensive Tackle- Nick Fairley, St. Louis Rams ($4.75 million)

“Yes folks. He is still in the NFL. Someone gave Fairley the bright idea of having him sign a one-year deal to prove himself with the St. Louis Rams. Maybe that same person should have let him know the Rams’ defensive line was stacked. Or maybe he just wanted to find somewhere he could get the biggest payday for the least amount of work. Well, whatever the case, he surely got the best tickets anyone could have gotten. He even got to dress in a uniform and walk the sidelines for home and away games. And just to show them he had somewhat a pulse, he gave them a half a sack.”-Mike Patton

(photo courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire)

(photo courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas/US Presswire)

Kenneth Lay Award (Defensive MVP)- Mario Williams, Buffalo Bills ($19.4 million)

“Super Mario decided to play more like Luigi or even the Princess this past year. With only 19 combined tackles and five sacks (that’s one million per tackle or $3.88 million per sack), Williams made what may be his final season in Buffalo a bad one!!!! In a Rex Ryan defense, there is no reason why he should not be producing like one of the best pass rushers in the league. A huge letdown for a former #1 overall pick.”-Dan Dinkins

Enron still lives on with the naming of the Kenneth Lay award and none other than Mario Williams receives the inaugural one. There were many that got it done by making to their big contract and deciding they were done playing. And there were others that decided that somewhere along the life of their contract, they were going to call it quits while still in uniform. The committee has spoken and the All Ski-Mask Way defense has been named.

In you missed the All Ski-Mask Way offense, click here.

The Defensive MVP Is…..

Who’s the Defensive MVP so far in the NFL? Is it San Francisco LB Patrick Willis? Is it Dallas OLB Demarcus Ware? Well, I’m gonna throw another name in the hat: Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. I know a lot of you are collectively saying “Are you serious?”. But if you look at the rise of the Houston Texans defense, then you would understand.

Last year, the Houston Texans were a laughing stock on defense. They couldn’t tackle, make plays or do anything to help their offense. As a result of that, QB Matt Schuab, RB Arian Foster and crew had to outscore teams to win. And as a lot of people know, they didn’t make the playoffs playing that style. As a result of the that, the defensive coordinator was fired and former Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was brought in.

Some were trying to figure out how his 3-4 scheme would work in Houston, a team that has run a 4-3 for its entire existence. Those “some” included me as well. I was wondering how they would use Mario Williams. Well, we see what has been created by one of the best defensive minds in football. Wade has taken basically the same parts from last year, give or take 2 or 3 players, and made them the third best defense in the NFL and that’s huge. Last year they were 30th in total defense.

Another telling stat of the Phillips effect is the pass defense. Last year, CB Kareem Jackson was getting torched. It seemed like he had a big bullseye on his back and teams were attacking him religiously. But he wasn’t the only problem. The pass defense for this team was last in the NFL. Fast forward to this year and the Texans have added corner Jonathan Joseph from Cincinnati and they also added S Danieal Manning from Chicago. This pass defense is now ranked fifth against the pass. That’s a tremendous improvement.

Wade has proven that not only are players important, but coaches are just as important. Now he does have some new challenges ahead of him with the loss of Williams and Manning, but I’m sure Phillips will find a way. Phillips was ridiculed a lot as a head coach, but his defensive mind should never be questioned. Wade Phillips is the Most Valuable Defensive Person in the NFL.

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