The Buffalo Bills offseason has been a whirlwind to Bills fans. From the hiring of Rex Ryan as head coach it has been one stunning move after another. However, there is one question that nobody in the media here in Buffalo has asked.
Who is going to be the fifth defensive lineman in the Bills 3-4 defense?
With the Bills announcing over the weekend that they resigned defensive lineman Jerry Hughes, we know that the outside linebackers will be Hughes and Mario Williams. That leaves fellow defensive linemen Kyle Williams and Marcel Dareus to cover the nose tackle position and one of the defensive end spots. However, in a 3-4 defense there are five defensive linemen.
There is one name out there that if the Bills were to sign even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will not to face the Bills defense. That person is former Patriot nose tackle Vince Wilfork who would allow Dareus to go after the quarterback which he excels at.
Since Wilfork’s rookie season in 2004, the Patriots have only been in the bottom half in the league in run defense once, which was 2013 where they were third last in the league.
If your 35-years-old you may remember that the Bill in the late 1990s had a massive man at the nose tackle position in their 3-4 defense. That person was Ted Washington who along with Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith and Phil Hansen created an interior that was virtually impossible to run on. Their only weakness was that their outside linebackers stunk, especially after Bryce Paup left the team.
Just imagine what kind of defense the Bills would be with Wilfork in the middle. Hughes, Dareus and both Williams recorded 30 sacks between the four of them.
What you would have folks is a historic defense that people have not seen the likes of since the 1985 Chicago Bears. In 1985 the Bears front seven combined for 56 sacks on their way to winning the Superbowl. Yes, things were much different back then, but that still don’t mean the Bills could make history.
The Bears at the time ran a 46 defense, which meant that eight players were on the line of scrimmage. Those were two defensive tackles, two defensive ends and two linebackers, but that’s because teams ran the ball more than they passed.
Today’s NFL is different as teams pass more than they run thanks to the early 1990s Bills.
However, one thing has remained the same over the years. That is you have to be stout on defense in the middle.
What I’m talking about is that during a passing play you need a man in the middle that can get doubled teamed and still get penetration up the middle. This is a key, because quarterbacks will slide up into the pocket to avoid outside pass rushers. So, when you got a big man in the middle getting penetration a quarterback cannot slide up and will be in the pass rushers path.
If they don’t sign Wilfork it will be a shame as they will pass on a chance to make history