FOXBOROUGH — Between former Patriot Mark Anderson and former Houston Texan Mario Williams, Buffalo’s defensive line looks a lot different than it did last season when the Patriots split their season series with their AFC East rival, losing in Week 3, 34-31.
But what’s more, the Bills’ new defensive line provides a bit of a length problem for the Patriots. Anderson, who had 10 sacks for the Patriots last season in their Super Bowl run, is 6-feet-4-inches tall with an enormous wingspan and weighs 255 pounds. Williams’s long arms are legendary. He’s 6-6, 292 pounds and is seen as the Bills’ defensive savior after coming from Houston.
“Yeah, they’re big. It’s a big front, it’s big linebackers, they can all move, they’re athletic and they really count on those front four to get to the quarterback and they do it,” Brady said. “It’s not like you can stand back there and figure everything out all day. They have some guys that can really rush the passer. Bringing in Mario and Mark obviously added a lot to their defense and they think so as well. They’re very good and they have some young guys in the secondary who are playing really well and a good group of linebackers. It’s a good defense.”
One of the Bills’ shorter defensive lineman, Kyle Williams, at 6-1 is the exception. But he still gets praise from Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
“I wouldn’t put Kyle Williams in that category [of taller players], but he’s a very disruptive player,” Belichick said. “But [Alex] Carrington, [Marcell] Dareus, certainly [Mario] Williams and Mark Anderson, the ends. They’re big, athletic, active. Kyle Williams is hard to block whether he’s long or not but they do have some length up there, yes.”
With the way the Buffalo’s defensive line looks, Brady, who stands 6-4, has to concern himself with more the number of bodies looking to slow down the Patriots’ passing game.
“I think it allows you to do some different things coverage wise when you have a front four that can really get to the quarterback,” Brady said. “You don’t have to worry about too many blitzes or too many funky looks. It’s just a matter of, ‘Alright guys, you get the quarterback. The rest of the guys, you handle the passing game.’ And that’s about what it is. When you have guys as talented as they do, that’s probably a good scheme to have to allow those guys to rush and be free and to go make a bunch of plays and really try to force the quarterback into throwing the ball quickly and into really tight coverage. And you see them come up with a lot of balls that are in the air around the intended receiver. They intercept the ball and they have some real playmakers on defense.”