As with anything worth pursuing in life, NFL players will only be as good as their best effort. That’s essentially what Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator had to say about veteran defensive end Mario Williams, who has been improving of late.
Vance Joseph says Mario Williams has "played harder. Once he played harder he obviously is going to play better."
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) October 24, 2016
There is an added layer of intrigue here. Just a few weeks ago, Miami’s defense was a busted colander that couldn’t contain a head of lettuce.
After the team lost to the Tennessee Titans in Week 5, it was Williams who challenged his team by saying it was “put up or shut up” time, especially for the defense.
“Dolphins DE Mario Williams said ‘it’s either put up or shut up’ and the defense has struggled long enough five games into the season. Williams said the goal is the play looser and play faster.”
Suddenly, during the past two weeks of play, the Dolphins have shut down the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills with stellar defensive efforts and a punishing rushing attack.
This is something that should be happening on a weekly basis. Miami has an extremely talented group of players on the defensive front seven. Unfortunately, playing together as a unit isn’t something that has been accomplished all that often.
Having a veteran like Williams actually put forth his best effort certainly had a lot to do with the turnaround.