Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator denies ever using the terminology "kill," when talking to his defensive players about an upcoming opponent, according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com. Head coach Doug Marrone released the statement on behalf of Pettine, saying that "Mike has assured me that he has never used the word 'kill' in his terminology regarding our defensive strategy."
The controversy has come up after Bills defensive end Mario Williams commented on Pettine's aggressive defensive scheme, telling the Buffalo News that Pettine "usually says 'kill 'em or hurt 'em.' That's what I always hear."
Williams later backpedaled, saying he was just making a figure of speech and that Pettine never actually said "kill." Marrone's statement also touched on the use of the word "hurt," suggesting that Pettine uses this as a term that means beating a running back to a spot in a pass-rushing drill.
Pettine plans to change the terminology entirely when it comes to addressing his defense, according to Marrone.
It's unclear if the league contacted the Bills and urged them to come out and make these clarifications, but given that Roger Goodell's NFL wants to seem as safe and clean as absolutely possible, it seems likely. Either way, it does seem like there was an awful lot of fuss made over this.
Then again, with something like the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal still in recent memory, it makes sense for the league to be all over statements like this.