Mario Williams excited to move back to linebacker

PHOENIX -- For the sixth straight season, Mario Williams will be playing under a new defensive coordinator.

With Doug Marrone and Jim Schwartz gone from Buffalo, Williams and the rest of the Bills will switch back to a base 3-4 defense under new coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman.

"Unfortunately, but fortunately, I've experienced similar things like this -- this is going on my 10th year -- just about every year," Williams told Around The NFL on Friday from the Pro Bowl.

Ryan's defense will be similar to the one that Williams and Co. ran in Buffalo in 2013 under Mike Pettine -- Ryan's former coordinator in New York.

"Depending on verbage and such, there could be a learning curve as far as the summer and stuff like that, but I'm all for it and I'm sure the guys are too," Williams said of the switch back to a hybrid 3-4.

Williams collected 14.5 sacks at defensive end and was part of one of the best defensive lines in football this season running Schwartz's 4-3 attack. The four-time Pro Bowler had 13 sacks in 2013 as an outside linebacker.

The 29-year-old said he hasn't spoken to Ryan or any of the coaches yet, but is excited about the prospect of moving back to a linebacker spot.

"I look forward to it," he said. "So hopefully if (Ryan) hears this, this is my call-in: Will Linebacker. So hopefully it works out."

Questions about Williams' versatility as a linebacker, especially in coverage, have ruminated since Ryan's hire. But Williams said he prefers the hybrid attacking system that Ryan runs.

"In general that system gives you a lot more opportunities, a lot more advantages, different matchups, things like that," he said. "I think as far as schematically that hybrid defense, especially when it's coached well, and you got players to implement and plug into the places, I think gives you the best chance."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the Patriots' deflated footballs controversy and tells you whom to trust in Super Bowl XLIX. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content