A year and a day after the Bills signed Mario Williams to the biggest free agent contract in team history, Buffalo signed OLB Manny Lawson to a multi-year deal. Now on the same NFL club, the 2013 season will be a reunion of sorts for Lawson (No. 91 above) and Williams (No. 9). Both were part of a very popular defensive line at N.C. State in 2004 and 2005, and Lawson is convinced being on the same team again will bring out the best in both of them.
"I can tell you there will be a lot of arguing between him and I, but it's not bad arguing," Lawson told Buffalobills.com. "There's going to be a lot of bantering, of who is going to get to some place or who is going to do something first, so it's going to be a lot of competition just for the defense in general."
At N.C. State both Lawson and Williams were lined up at defensive ends and they wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks. The duo registered 39.5 sacks in their last two seasons together for the Wolfpack.
"We competed with each other and we always wanted the best out of each other because we knew we would get the best in return," said Lawson.
Williams was expected to lead by example in 2012, but a wrist injury that required surgery got the pass rusher off to a slow start. By the time he was healthy enough to effectively compete, Mark Anderson was out of the lineup with a knee injury and eventually lost for the season.
It prevented the two former Texans teammates to again work off one another as bookend pass rushers in Buffalo. The addition of Lawson however, provides another player with edge rushing ability something he didn't get to do much of the past two seasons in Cincinnati.
Lawson, who did get the opportunity to meet defensive coordinator Mike Pettine after signing his contract at One Bills Drive Wednesday, believes he'll be helping Anderson and Williams in getting after opposing passers.
"(I) definitely would like to rush the passer more and talking to Mike (Pettine) with the packages he has for us I'll get a chance to," Lawson said.
In Pettine's new defense it's possible Lawson and Williams could line up on opposite sides of the line in pass rushing situations much like they did at N.C. State. It's also possible that they could be lining up next to one another with Williams as a defensive end and Lawson as a stand-up rusher off the edge.
Those possibilities have Lawson excited about what could play out on defense for Buffalo.
"We had fun together in college," he said. "We competed in college and jawed back and forth and it's good to know that's still there. I'm just excited to be here. It's going to be great to play with him again."