ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Even before signing with Buffalo, defensive end Mario Addison was interested in the Bills when they had joint practices when the Panthers last preseason.
“I was like that’s a group I’d love to be a part of. Since we couldn’t really get to know each other because of the pandemic I learned these guys a lot through zoom meetings but when I actually got out here and ran around and have fun with the guys I realized that I did have high expectations for this group but when I actually got out there and ball with them these guys are off the chart,” Addison said on a zoom call with reporters.
Addison spent the last eight seasons with the Panthers and like so many players, now reunites with Sean McDermott in Buffalo which is a plus for Addison who already knows McDermott’s defense.
“It’s family, there’s no selfishness at all you know we need one another to influence each other and push each other and it’s fun. We actually have fun here, it’s about football and it’s about winning but at the same time here they make it fun to come to work. Coach McDermott does a great job letting the guys be themselves and I love that about here. I walk around the younger players call me OG and I’m starting to embrace that role,” Addison said.
Addison joins a defense that looks to finish as a top three unit for the third year in a row. So his expectations for this group were high coming in, but there was one guy who really took him by surprise.
Addison brings more veteran experience to this defensive end room. Over the last four seasons, his lowest sack total was nine and he had a career-high 11 sacks in 2017.
“One thing about this D-Line we got depth. The 1’s are good, the 2’s are good, the 3’s are good and coaches are doing a great job with mixing everybody up with each other. It’s ‘not just the 1’s that’s rolling it’s the 2’s that roll with the 1’s the 1’s rolling with the 2’s and some of the 3’s rolling with the 1’s and 3’s rolling with the 2’s,” Addison explained.
“We’re feeling each other. We don’t have to rely on four pass rushers, everybody is a pass rusher on this D-Line and that’s a great feeling so I’m already feeling at home with the guys I’ve been rolling with.”
And one game, well two actually, Addison has circled on the schedule is when the Bills play the Patriots and he gets to face his former teammate and now New England quarterback Cam Newton: