Two pass rushers have tried to breach Austin Howard's defenses, and two have failed. First was Charles Johnson of the Carolina Panthers, and now Mario Williams of the Buffalo Bills. To be fair to Johnson, his attempt was during a preseason game and it's not like he played the whole game or anything. But the more impressive feat was Howard holding his own against Williams, limiting him to one tackle, zero sacks, and zero pressures.
I was reviewing the game, and I noticed that there were times, especially in the beginning, where RT Jason Smith assisted Howard, and other players that chipped and provided assistance. But that generally decreased as the game wore on, and Howard became more confident. This was a fantastic start to the beleaguered offensive line.
But now, the thing more effective than Williams' motor is his mouth. Williams has been trash talking the replacement referees, saying that Howard was playing dirty by using his hands to the face, and that it simply was not called. Even if this were true, and I didn't see any of it on a second viewing of the game, it doesn't excuse the $100 million man for zero pressures. The fact is, Williams was straight up BEAT by a UDFA, former practice squad player. He was embarrassed, and he should be embarrassed. But blaming someone else for your inability to produce is not only poor sport, but it's childish. Williams needs to face the fact that Howard handled him.
I don't know about you, but I think Howard's future is bright and I'm excited to watch him for the whole season.
Edit: Buffalo Rumblings did a more detailed analysis of Howard v. Williams, so you can check it out here. As you'll see, Howard was chippy, but did nothing egregiously offensive or deserving of a penalty.