BUFFALO, N.Y (WIVB) – It seemed like it was only a matter of time before Mario Addison became another former Carolina Panther to join the Buffalo Bills.
“For me, it feels like home already. You know people can get lost going to a new team, they don’t know what to expect and start stressing out but I don’t feel that way at all. It’s like everybody I’ve played with is on this new team and I’m on this new team as well so it’s like my second home,” Mario Addison explained.
There’s the obvious ties with head coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane. Addison also reunites with Eric Washington, who is now the Bills defensive line coach and was previously Carolina’s defensive coordinator.
“I love coach Washington mainly because he gave me opportunities when I got to Carolina. He believed in me and he developed me into the player I am now. When I first got there, I was just known for speed and I thought my speed could do everything like defeat everything but that was just the beginning,” Addison said. “There’s much more to me than my speed and it’s like coach Eric Washington unlocked everything. He kept pushing me and pushing me until BAM one year, double digit sacks.”
Addison had 39 sacks in the last four seasons with 9.5 last year.
He’s also played with a number of guys currently on the Bills, one of them being fellow defensive end Jerry Hughes as the two go way back to their early days with the Colts.
“He was going to win the spot no matter what because they had way much more invested in him. At the same time he was still a humble guy. I was looking for somewhere to stay and Jerry offered me his home so I moved in with Jerry. I tried to pay rent, I tried to pay a bill or two and he kept turning me down,” Addison said.
The Colts drafted Hughes 31st overall in 2010 while Addison went undrafted in 2011.
Besides just the ties and connections Addison has to the Bills, he also says this seed was kind of planted in his head back in training camp when Carolina had joint practices with Buffalo last year.
“I liked competing against the O-Line when we were in camp because those guys were going hard, we were going hard, nobody was getting mad at each other, everybody knew we had to work and that’s what made the whole thing fun,” Addison explained. “To be able to compete with those guys everyday I know it will make me a better player and I know I’ll make those guys better.”
Not to mention, he knows the system.
“What really made me choose Buffalo, it was Coach McDermott and all the guys I said but the scheme, I fit the scheme. I can play linebacker and defensive end but to be able to have the leadership of those guys coaching me will make everything much easier.”