Mario Williams and the Buffalo Bills took steps to clarify remarks Williams made about the coaching style and language used by new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
Williams was asked about Pettine's approach after the team's final mini-camp workout on Thursday.
"He usually says kill them or hurt them.. that's what I've always heard. Either way it's not good for the other person."
That immediately brought to mind former Bills coach Gregg Williams and his role in the Saints bounty scandal as New Orleans defensive coordinator that got him suspended for a year.
The Bills and Williams took rapid steps Friday to clarify the remarks.
Mario Williams on Twitter:
"Just to clarify a choice of words I used:
The phrase "kill them" has never been said
by coach Pet or any of my coaches/teammates."
Bills head coach Doug Marrone also issued a statement through the team:
"I have spoken to (Defensive Coordinator) Mike Pettine regarding Mario Williams' comment that he hears Mike say 'kill them or hurt them' in regards to our defense. Mike has assured me that he has never used the word "kill" in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy. He used the word "hurt" as a term that essentially means beating the running back to a spot in a pass rushing drill and not in the physical sense. Mike is aware that the term "hurt" could be taken out of context and he is changing his terminology.
Player safety continues to be a top priority in our organization and we strictly follow the NFL rules and guidelines regarding player safety and firmly believe in the league's policies."
An NFL spokesperson told 2-On-Your-Side that it has no comment, and acknowledged that the Bills and Mario Williams have clarified the situation.