It happened. Finally. It was so shocking I almost didn't believe it was real life. Then rain dripped on me on my way out the door to work and I realized this was, indeed, real life and not a dream. Which made it even more unbelievable that Mario Williams is now officially a Buffalo Bill.
This is big. Not "big" like when the Bills signed Shawne Merriman and all these fans were pumped while I was more concerned with filing my nails because I just knew he would be a non factor (at least for the 2011 season). And not "big" like when the Bills landed Marcell Dareus in last year's draft and he actually turned out to be a force on D. Getting Williams to sign on the dotted line is big in a whole different way. It means the org finally loosened its purse strings and put up some big bucks for some legit talent; which, in turn, means everyone (Chan Gailey, admin at One Bills Drive) is committed to winning. Last season was a good first step, but this season it looks like the Bills might skip the steps and jump right to the top.
My little brother, who is silently attune to everything in the sports world, summed things up in an afternoon text message. The fact that he deviated from his usual one-word responses is proof enough that scooping Williams is a major move (the $100 million multi-year contract he landed was also a good clue).
"Potentially one of the best d lines in the NFL. Upcoming Marcus Stroud, Pro Bowl Kyle Williams and Mario Williams on same side. Will make secondary better and free up linebackers. We could also have the best running attack in the league."
He's right. It might not have seemed like the Bills D was strong last season, but if you can look past the injuries that cost us our top players, the line had talent. With Kyle Williams back in the line up and Dareus no longer a rookie, throw top pass rusher Williams in there and I think some QBs will be spending a lot more time scrambling in the pocket or sitting on their butt this season. Add a healthy pass rush to the tricks Nick Barnett and George Wilson pulled last season and I don't think we'll be seeing "Buffalo Bills" at the bottom of the defensive statistics this year.
I'm pleased. Williams seems genuinely down for Buffalo and its fans. He's also really, really, really nice to look at.
It IS Friday afternoon, so I think it's only fitting to conclude this post with one simple phrase: We so excitedddd, we so exciteddd!