Bills lineman now says coach didn't use 'kill'

Published: Saturday, Jun. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013 - 8:47 am

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Mario Williams is backtracking on attributing "kill" as a word Buffalo Bills coordinator Mike Pettine has used in describing defensive philosophy with his players.

In a series of tweets by the defensive end Friday afternoon, Williams clarified that he wasn't quoting Pettine directly.

"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," Williams wrote. "I said it as a figure of speech from my 'perspective' not literally or any actual intention."

Williams' posts came a day after he raised eyebrows in describing Pettine's aggressive approach to defense.

"He usually says, 'Kill them or hurt them,' " Williams said Thursday following the final practice of the team's three-day mandatory minicamp.

Williams then smiled and added: "That's what I always hear: 'Kill them or hurt them.' So either way, it's not a good thing for the other person."

The Bills took exception to Williams' comments.

At about the same time Williams posted his clarification, the Bills issued a statement from coach Doug Marrone denying that Pettine had ever used the word "kill."

"Mike has assured me that he has never used the word 'kill' in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy," Marrone said in the statement.

He added that Pettine has used the word "hurt," but not in a physical context.

"He has 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 a physical sense," Marrone said. "Mike is aware that the term 'hurt' could be taken out of context, and he is changing his terminology."

He added that player safety is the team's "top priority" and said the Bills strictly follow NFL rules and guidelines.

Player safety has become a hot-button issue in the NFL. The league is facing concussion-related lawsuits filed by thousands of former players.

The league also is sensitive to coaches or players using the words "kill" or "hurt" in the aftermath of the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal two years ago.

Giants – Wide receiver Victor Cruz signed his $2.879 million tender with New York.

Had Cruz, 26, not signed before Monday, the Giants' offer could have been reduced to $630,000 for the 2013 season. The Giants could have matched any offers Cruz received from other teams.

Cruz is coming off a Pro Bowl season in which he made 86 catches for 1,092 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

Jets – Kellen Winslow Jr. turned a three-day tryout into another chance at reviving his NFL career.

The former Pro Bowl tight end signed a one-year deal with New York after a solid performance during the team's minicamp this week.

Winslow played in one game last season with New England before asking for his release.

Steelers – Police said a third suspect in the stabbing of offensive lineman Mike Adams has been captured in Florida.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said Jerrell Whitlock, 26, of Pittsburgh was arrested in Gainesville and is being held there.

Adams had surgery for stab wounds, but the 6-foot-7, 345-pound lineman expects to recover by the start of training camp next month.

Titans – Tennessee coach Mike Munchak used the last day of organized team activities to take the team to a sneak preview of the Brad Pitt film "World War Z."

Titans spokesman Robbie Bohren confirmed that Munchak replaced the final session of OTAs with a trip to a movie theater. Bohren said players and coaches boarded buses and saw the movie together.

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