The Buffalo Bills would like the concerned fans out there that the team does not use nor condone "kill 'em or hurt 'em" as part of the defensive philosophy. The team denied use of the term in a statement to the Associated Press on Friday.
Defensive end Mario Williams raised some eyebrows on Thursday when he shared what he understood to be defensive coordinator Mike Pettine's philosophy:
"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 NFL is understandably sensitive about associating long-term injury with the daily grind of football. Former New Orleans Saints defense coordinator Gregg Williams sat out last year for a leading role in the bounty scandal that rocked his former team and Williams' famous "kill the head" exhortation forever changed one of coaching's favorite euphemisms.
The Bills hired Pettine in January to revive a defense which scarcely threatened anyone last year (though the team's training staff probably got a little fatigued from treating all the injuries) after he spent the last four seasons in the same position for the Jets.
Bison are a majestic, peaceful animal, content to graze upon the prairie's bounty. But, these are also large, powerful animals and can be dangerous when provoked. (I am imagining Bill Belichick being charged by one after getting too close with his camera during a family vacation as a child).
Perhaps that would be a better approach for the locker room bulletin board -- Dangerous when provoked.