Mario Williams slams replacement refs, says he was ‘punched in the face’
Defensive end Mario Williams, the Buffalo Bills’ prized free-agent acquisition, ripped the NFL’s replacement referees after the Bills lost to the Jets Sunday, saying he was “getting punched in the face, literally.”
“It’s not something that’s really going to dictate something, but what are you going to do about it? You’re getting off the ball and getting punched in the face, literally, not an accident, just about every other time,” Williams said, according to The Buffalo News. That’s a penalty. Unless they changed it with the new CBA or something, but last time I checked it was a penalty.”
The 27-year-old Williams was held sack-less and had just one tackle in the Bills’ 48-28 loss to the Jets, during which New York put up more points than it had in any game last season. The Jets also scored four offensive touchdowns, which was three more than it had all preseason.
But Williams, who signed a six-year deal worth potentially $100 million in the offseason, complained that the replacement refs did not call numerous penalties on new Jets right tackle Austin Howard.
“Pass blocking doesn’t include hands to the face,” Williams said. “When someone tells the officials that, and they just walk away, or they dont’ call it, that is disheartening.”
Howard stepped into a starting role for the Jets when the team traded away maligned right tackle Wayne Hunter before its third preseason game.