Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone certainly knows New England Patriots second-year defensive end Chandler Jones well, and he probably knows him even better than the Bills top DE Mario Williams. Jones was a star under Marrone for the Syracuse Orange, and he looks poised to become a star in the NFL after an encouraging rookie season. With long arms and an even stronger frame, Jones should be an excellent two-way defensive end in his sophomore season in the league, and he could take off as a pass rusher and end up becoming a difference-maker for the Patriots on defense. They really do need Jones to provide an elite pass rush, because there aren’t any consistent sources of pressure on the roster right now. I love Rob Ninkovich, but his forte is finishing plays and playing the run.
During yesterday’s press conference, Marrone was asked about Chandler Jones and delivered, as we expected, high praise for the Patriots DE, “He was outstanding. I had Arthur (Jones), Chandler’s older brother, when I first came there and was fortunate to have Chandler and meet his family. They’re outstanding people and it’s easy to see why the three boys are who they are in the way they grew up. Obviously we were very proud of Chandler at Syracuse and I’m very proud of him now. I’ve seen him get better and better. I’ve seen him really step it up and really be a good professional. He’s one heck of a football player and we’re going to have our hands full with him.”
Marrone was also asked about the Bills own top defensive end in Mario Williams, who established himself as a star in this league while with the Houston Texans. After a disappointing first year in Buffalo that was marred by a wrist injury, Williams will hope to make good on the huge contract the Bills gave to him in the 2012 offseason. Here’s what Marrone had to say about Williams, “I’ve been really impressed with him from just being around him. Obviously he had some soreness in his foot, really being a good pro and really working hard to get back on the field. At the same time, working hard with all the players, so I’m excited where he is now. He’s feeling good and I’m looking forward to getting him on the field. He deserves it because he’s worked extremely hard.”
I’m sure Bills fans are happy to hear Marrone praise Williams’s work ethic, and the fact that Williams seems determined to have a better year means that he should have a big year ahead of him with his elite talent. Marrone confirmed good health for Williams, and he should be able to overcome a top tackle duo and get some pressure on Tom Brady.