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Dolphins concerned about Mario Williams

10/15/2013

DAVIE, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins are allowing nearly five quarterback sacks per game. Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams is third in the NFL with eight sacks.

Is there a problem brewing for Sunday's game? It’s certainly possible.

Miami is concerned about Buffalo’s pass-rush, and in particular Williams, a former Pro Bowler, ahead of its first AFC East game of the season.

Buffalo rattling Miami second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill is probably the easiest way for the Bills to pull off an upset on the road. Williams has at least half a sack in four of the past five games, and he should pose a huge challenge for Miami offensive tackles Jonathan Martin and Tyson Clabo.

“It’s his combination of size, speed and strength – he’s got all the tools that you look for in a prototypical defensive end,” Martin said of Williams. “He’s a great player.”

Williams, who signed a $100 million contract in 2012, is making an impact in his second season in Buffalo. New Bills defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is moving Williams around and putting him in positions to be successful. The Dolphins must identify and account for Williams on each passing play.

“He’s got excellent length for one, and he gets off the football very well,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Tuesday. “He’s got a variety of moves. They move in [and] around nicely in a variety of schemes. He’s not always in place.”

The Dolphins have not provided much resistance in pass protection. They are tied for second in the NFL with 24 sacks allowed, despite coming off a bye week and playing one fewer game than most teams. That number certainly doesn't sit well with Miami's offensive line.

“We still think about them. Obviously, that’s a stat you don’t want to have,” Dolphins center Mike Pouncey explained. “We’ve been working on it hard. I’m telling you, countless [hours]. We’ve been watching a bunch of film and trying to figure out what’s the problem.”

Sunday against Williams will be a good test to see if Miami's offense has corrected its mistakes up front.