Having Avery Williamson step in as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ newest signal caller is undoubtedly a little uncomfortable. But he has at least one thing going for him. He’s played the Buffalo Bills this season, making the transition to being the man wearing the green dot a little easier to handle. Speaking with reporters Friday, Williamson discussed playing the Bills for a second time.
“Definitely,” he said when asked if seeing them already makes game planning easier. “I know that they have got some tendencies. Definitely going to gameplan for them pretty well. The second game with the Jets was a close game. So definitely going to use what I learned from that week and transfer some of it over to now.”
Williamson’s Jets actually played the Bills twice this season. He missed the season opener against Buffalo but suited up for the rematch in Week 7. As Williamson said, the game was a close one. New York led late in the third quarter before Buffalo kicked several field goals to go on to win 18-10. Williamson played nearly every single snap and tied for the team lead with 13 tackles.
Pittsburgh doesn’t have many options for their new signal caller. That role went from Devin Bush to Robert Spillane and now to Williamson knowing Vince Williams is unlikely to play this weekend after being placed on the Reserve/COVID list. But wearing the green dot isn’t new for Williamson. He actually wore it after Spillane was injured in the second half of Monday’s loss to Washington.
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While the Steelers’ defense certainly felt unsettled the rest of that game, Williamson has another week of practice and is going into the game knowing he’s “the guy” in the middle. In trading for him, Mike Tomlin was quick to point out his time in Tennessee, playing in defenses similarly structured to what Pittsburgh does. There, he was coached by Ray Horton and Dick LeBeau, two former coaches on the Steelers’ staff.
Williamson credited the current coaching staff for getting him comfortable with their system.
“Thankfully they don’t have a playbook that’s too crazy. So it helped out a lot. And the coaches definitely helped me as much as possible. I feel a whole lot more comfortable.”
Williamson will use his experience with his old team to help surpass what he did with New York. A win Sunday night over the Bills would give him more wins as a member of the Steelers (5) than he had in his two active years with the Jets (4).