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Mario Williams: 'Kill 'em' comment a figure of speech

It didn't take long for the Buffalo Bills and Mario Williams to backpedal from some inflammatory statements made Thursday.

The Buffalo Bills defensive end is a central cog in new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's frenzied, blitz-happy defense. Asked this week to describe Pettine's overarching philosophy, Williams told the Buffalo News, "He usually says 'Kill 'em or hurt 'em' That's what I always hear."

In this post-bounty scandal world, it didn't take long for the team to realize this mantra wouldn't fly.

Bills coach Doug Marrone released a statement to The Associated Press on Friday in which he addressed Williams' remarks.

"Mike has assured me that he has never used the word 'kill' in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy," said Marrone in the statement. "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. Mike is aware that the term 'hurt' could be taken out of context, and he is changing his terminology."

Williams also took to Twitter on Friday to explain himself:

"Just to clarify a choice of words I used: The phrase 'kill them' has never been said by Coach Pet or any of my coaches/teammates," Williams wrote. "I said it as a figure of speech from my 'perspective' not literally or any actual intention.

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"Coach Pet has led us in an aggressive D since Day One. We've operated in a 'beat them' mode this offseason w/ a goal of mentally hurting the offense (future opponents) by being physical and disruptive at the line of scrimmage & through any pass protection. Pressure, TFL, turnovers & sacks."

The combined effort from Marrone and Williams sure makes it seem like the Bills were told from on high to clean up the issue quickly. Whether Pettine said "Kill em" or not, it's safe to say we won't hear the phrase in public again from the Bills

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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