PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Remember Kyle Williams?
The Bills defensive tackle was on an island in Buffalo not long ago. Williams was a stud on an otherwise thin defense. When Bills general manager Buddy Nix arrived three years ago, Williams was the only Pro Bowl-caliber defensive player to build around.
Fast forward to this season and Williams suddenly has become the forgotten Bill. Williams missed nearly the entire 2011 season with a foot injury, and Buffalo has beefed up its defense so much that you may not mention Williams' name until fourth on its defensive line.
"Nah, that doesn’t bother me; I don’t care," Williams told the AFC East blog. "I hope people talk all about them so teams can go [double-team] them."
Williams doesn't have the $100 million contract that free-agent defensive end Mario Williams has. Kyle Williams wasn't the third overall pick in the NFL draft like fellow defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. Kyle Williams also didn't garner 10 sacks last year for the New England Patriots like new teammate Mark Anderson.
The Bills have made it a point of emphasis to build the roster from the inside out. It starts with the defensive and offensive lines, and that's where a lot of their high draft picks and free-agent dollars have gone.
"[GM] Buddy [Nix] and I both believe the game, a major part but not the whole part, is won in the trenches," Buffalo coach Chan Gailey said. "It is won on both sides of the line and who can control that part of the game. It's hard to find those guys. So when you get the opportunity to get them, you take that opportunity."
This is a boon for Kyle Williams, who says he expects Mario Williams, Dareus and Anderson will all help simultaneously take each other's game to the next level. If healthy, Buffalo could have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the NFL.
Kyle Williams said he is feeling good after foot surgery. He missed 11 games last season, while the Bills struggled defensively and finished last in the AFC East at 6-10.
"I’ve never been a guy who needed to be reminded of what I was blessed with -- to be able to play football for a living in Buffalo," Williams said. "So it was hard, especially when the team was going through a tough time. I know I could’ve provided some leadership and some play that would’ve helped on and off the field. So it was tough, but I’m excited to come back this year."
Kyle Williams isn't the most recognizable name on Buffalo’s defensive line anymore. But if he becomes the dominant defensive tackle that he was two years ago, Kyle Williams won't be the forgotten Bill for long.