While ESPN analyst Damien Woody may have been praising the Buffalo Bills throughout the offseason, even going as far to predict that they would make the NFL Playoffs after signing free agent DE Mario Williams, the retired offensive lineman for the New England Patriots, Detroit Lions and New York Jets now has changed his tune on the biggest signing over the past year.
After watching the Jets destroy the Bills on Sunday, Williams complained that the replacement referees kept ignoring what he felt was illegal jabs to the face by Jets’ offensive lineman Austin Howard, who had just four games of NFL experience, including only one start prior to Sunday.
Woody wasn’t buying it.
“Mario had no effect on the game. None. Zero.” said Woody, who watched the game from the stands at the Meadowlands.
Zero effect may be a bit misleading. Williams did record one tackle in the game.
Still, for the Bills to pay a guy $100 million to record one lone tackle and no sacks, and then complain about replacement refs is not sitting well with Woody, who continued to rip Buffalo’s marquee signing.
“For him to blame replacement officials as the reason he got dominated yesterday, I think that’s pathetic,” Woody said. “There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.
“You’re the big free agent. You’re the $100 million man going up against a guy that was on the practice squad and inserted in the starting role just a couple weeks ago. I saw a lot of times Mario was one-on-one and couldn’t do anything.”
Granted, many of the Bills were quiet during Sunday’s blowout loss at the hands of the Jets, who were shut out with their first team offense and the preseason, but exploded during their season opening win this week. But Woody remained focused on the effort – or lack thereof – by Williams.
“I give all the credit to Austin Howard, but this is opening day,” Woody said. “If there’s any day that you’re going to be riled up, it is opening day. You’re on the road against a divisional opponent. You’re feeling good about your team.
“To not have any production? And then to try to blame it on replacement refs? I mean, come on, man. You’ve got to be kidding me.”
The Bills will host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday.
Unless Williams wants to give Woody plenty to criticize him about on Monday on ESPN, he had better step up his game.
Or at least not blame a bunch of replacement refs who are already the scapegoat for a plethora of jokes and criticism.
Like Woody said. Come on, man.