FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Austin Howard would never say it outright, but Rex Ryan can; the Jets' right tackle has gotten the better of defensive end Mario Williams every time the New York Jets have faced the Bills.
“Well, he’s done a phenomenal job against arguably one of the best players in the league at his position in Williams,” Ryan said. “He did it last year, too. Everybody thought he was getting doubled. No, he was getting doubled by his left arm and right arm. He's outstanding; he’s just a big, athletic guy. He matches up well against almost anybody. He’s another young player that’s ascending.”
Mario Williams is fourth in the NFL with 11 sacks this season.
“It’s one of those things where there’s a lot of back and forth,” Howard said. “It’s never easy by any means.”
Linemate Willie Colon said Howard has to feel confident about the way he has played Williams, which will only improve his chances Sunday when the Jets head to Buffalo.
“One thing about Austin is he’s a confidence guy,” Colon said. “When his confidence is high, he plays to that level.”
Ryan even said he thought Howard has gotten under Williams’ skin a bit.
“I think there’s some frustration,” Ryan said. “Mario Williams is a great player and then to be shut out on the score sheet or whatever it was, that’s one way you talk about it. Quite honestly, I think the league knows, [Howard] is a young man that’s a pretty good football player.”
Colon cautions that it’s dangerous to underestimate the Bills.
“They’re a different team at home,” Colon said. “When you watch them away they look average, and when they get home they look like the '85 Bears. I refuse to believe the hype. I just know what they’re capable of, and I know once they get to their hometown when that crowd’s behind them and they’re fired up, they can make it muddy for you.”