NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rex Ryan disagrees with Bills defensive end Mario Williams’ claim that right tackle Austin Howard illegally used hands to the face to block him Sunday.

Williams, who inked a six-year deal with Buffalo this offseason worth nearly $100 million, was held without a sack in his Bills debut.

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“I’ll say this — Mario Williams is a great football player,” Ryan said on Monday, a day after the Jets’ convincing 48-28 win. “There’s no question he’s a tremendous player, but I disagree with him on this.”

Howard said he faced Williams in one-on-one protection for about half the snaps.

“I’m not really going to step into that too much,” said Howard. “All I know was that there were no flags thrown. Didn’t hear too much during the game, either.”

Howard insisted he couldn’t have purposely and repeatedly placed his hands to Williams’ face due to the fast pace of the NFL.

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“Me and him had really good battles last night and if he feels that way, I don’t know what to say about that,” said Howard.

Ryan had some idea. The Jets head coach had no lack of praise for his starting offensive lineman.

“I thought Austin Howard had a great game,” he said. “There’s no two ways about it. He had an outstanding game.”

What do you think, was Howard playing dirty? Be heard in the comments below…

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