The Buffalo Bills have some new faces this year, and I am taking it upon myself to introduce you to some that you may not be fully aware of. So, pretty much, anyone whose name isn’t Mario Williams. This entry will be telling all of you about Defensive End Mark Anderson.
I mentioned Mark in my previous entries as someone who I thought was going to have a great season with the Bills. Mark played a season with newly acquired powerhouse Mario Williams in Houston in 2010, so I’m hoping that means that the two are going to be more comfortable than usual playing with one another. Mark played his college football at Alabama, where he improved his game greatly. His senior season, he had 7.5 sacks and 40 tackles- including a stammering 18 tackles for loss- in 12 games started for the Crimson Tide.
Anderson was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 5th round in 2006 with the 159th pick of the draft. He didn’t disappoint Bears fans his rookie season, in which the team made it to the Super Bowl for the first time in two decades. He had 12 sacks- a Bears rookie record- while also recording 28 tackles, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery, and finished second in Defensive Rookie of the Year that year while making the PFWA (Professional Football Writer’s Association) All-Rookie team.
2007 Anderson finished with 31 tackles, but his sack total decreased. In fact, it decreased every year thereafter, though his tackles (with the exception of 2008) remained consistently good. However, the Bears let him go in October 2010, and within a day, the Houston Texans picked him up. He finished with 21 tackles and 4 sacks in 11 games with the Texans, and signed with the Patriots in summer of 2011.
It was with the Patriots last season that Anderson re-emerged as a Defensive powerhouse. He was back to rookie form, collecting 29 tackles and 10 sacks in 2011, his highest sack total since his rookie season five years prior. Many had said that Anderson had gotten faster than the two years prior; this year, people are saying the same thing. Anderson also collected 1.5 sacks and five tackles in Super Bowl XLVI, which the Patriots lost to the Giants.
From what I’ve seen, Mark Anderson has a lot of potential for a breakout season with the Bills. With the Defensive line shaped up as it is, I believe Anderson will have more room to work, and demolish opponents one massive hit at a time. I think it’s only a matter of time before Mark Anderson’s name is a household name in and around Buffalo, NY- and the rest of the AFC East.