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View Full Version : Making the Leap, No. 25: Texans OLB Whitney Mercilus


RipTraxx
07-10-2013, 04:43 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000217130/article/making-the-leap-no-25-texans-olb-whitney-mercilus

Number19
07-10-2013, 06:29 PM
I agree that Merci will have a break out season and stated my expectations last week in a post. Maybe I'm sipping the cool-aid; but just a small sip. Double digit sacks is only four more than he got last year in a very limited role. And he should get off to a fast start, with teams concentrating on JJ. To repeat, I don't think a 15 sack season is beyond belief.

Rey
07-10-2013, 06:38 PM
Not having seen merciless yet since last season, based on what I've seen up until now, I'd guess that merciless will start losing snaps to the young rookie olb's by week 3.

I didn't see what the hype was in college and seeing him in the nfl he looked about the same.

Now, I would never rule out a player improving. He could very well have made exponential improvement this off season. That's what it'll take IMO...exponential growth for him to be the pass rushing olb we need.

Nawzer
07-10-2013, 07:36 PM
If Mercilus can step up and have a breakout season it would go a long ways for this defense which imo has major holes especially the LB corp.

thunderkyss
07-10-2013, 08:05 PM
Now, I would never rule out a player improving. He could very well have made exponential improvement this off season. That's what it'll take IMO...exponential growth for him to be the pass rushing olb we need.

I agree. I don't think he's headed for a breakout season. For him to get into double digits he'd have to had major improvements in his game.

He's not "fast" He's not going to beat anyone around the corner. He's not "strong" he's not going to bull-rush an offensive tackle into the QB.

What he's got is good instincts, a nose for the ball, & appears to have somewhat of an ability to stay clean amidst traffic (like on that last video). Those would be great traits if he were an ILB (but right now he's too small for that in a 3-4) or if we've got excellent coverage on the back end.

At least Connor was able to get around the end forcing the QB to step up. I'm not seeing that with Mercilus & that might affect Smith & Watt.

I'm hearing great things about Travardo's speed. I'm hearing great things about Montgomery's explosiveness. Really haven't heard much about Whitney (other than we expect big things from him).

False Start
07-10-2013, 08:17 PM
I agree. I don't think he's headed for a breakout season. For him to get into double digits he'd have to had major improvements in his game.

He's not "fast" He's not going to beat anyone around the corner. He's not "strong" he's not going to bull-rush an offensive tackle into the QB.

What he's got is good instincts, a nose for the ball, & appears to have somewhat of an ability to stay clean amidst traffic (like on that last video). Those would be great traits if he were an ILB (but right now he's too small for that in a 3-4) or if we've got excellent coverage on the back end.

At least Connor was able to get around the end forcing the QB to step up. I'm not seeing that with Mercilus & that might affect Smith & Watt.

I'm hearing great things about Travardo's speed. I'm hearing great things about Montgomery's explosiveness. Really haven't heard much about Whitney (other than we expect big things from him).

Good take. Hopefully, I'm wrong, but I see him as the next Travis Johnson type. He was taken in the 1st round but wont live up to expectations. :wadepalm:

I could be wrong though, he might just need the time to get some significant playing time.

I have a good feeling about Travardo and Sonic too, I get a feeling they might be the next Demeco type for this team.

ObsiWan
07-10-2013, 08:38 PM
I'm looking forward to improved production from our front seven overall. I'm not gonna be happy if its the J.J. & Ninja show again this year.

infantrycak
07-10-2013, 09:24 PM
Those would be great traits if he were an ILB (but right now he's too small for that in a 3-4) or if we've got excellent coverage on the back end.

The coaches do not seem to share your opinion on the proper size for a 3-4 ILB.

Mercilus 257 lbs

Cushing 255 lbs - not drafted for ILB
Sharpton 234 lbs
Dobbins 236 lbs
Davis 238 lbs

thunderkyss
07-11-2013, 02:41 AM
The coaches do not seem to share your opinion on the proper size for a 3-4 ILB.

Mercilus 257 lbs

Cushing 255 lbs - not drafted for ILB
Sharpton 234 lbs
Dobbins 236 lbs
Davis 238 lbs

Maybe it's the pads he wears..... or he's taller & doesn't carry it the same way. The other guys look stouter.

Rey
07-11-2013, 08:32 AM
Maybe it's the pads he wears..... or he's taller & doesn't carry it the same way. The other guys look stouter.

Besides Cushing I think he's like 3 or 4 inches taller than those other guys. Not sure what that means...just throwing it out there...

Playoffs
09-09-2013, 01:30 PM
Texans' Mercilus transitions to full-time role (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/53709/texans-mercilus-transitions-to-full-time-role)

Last season the Houston Texans didn't use outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus much, but when they did he made a difference.

Their first-round draft pick from 2012 only played 469 snaps last season, putting him in the bottom half of playing time for defensive first-round picks from 2012. Only Fletcher Cox's production rate was higher than Mercilus's last season. With some help from ESPN Stats & Info, I counted impact plays as forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, tackles for loss, sacks, pass breakups and interceptions. The last column, in the chart below, shows on what percent of their snaps each player made an impact play...

htownfan32
09-09-2013, 01:35 PM
Maybe it's the pads he wears..... or he's taller & doesn't carry it the same way. The other guys look stouter.

He was a DE, so I guess he has a lankier build?

badboy
09-09-2013, 04:57 PM
Hey Merci it is time to rise and shine.

DocBar
09-09-2013, 07:34 PM
Jefferon, Cushing, Reed, Mercilus would make a helluva starting LB corps if Jefferson and Mercilus were to improve on stopping the run and setting the edge. It would certainly be hell on wheels in passing situations.

Rey
09-09-2013, 09:44 PM
Hey Merci it is time to rise and shine.

Yep....lets go!

2slik4u
09-09-2013, 10:40 PM
Not having seen merciless yet since last season, based on what I've seen up until now, I'd guess that merciless will start losing snaps to the young rookie olb's by week 3.

I didn't see what the hype was in college and seeing him in the nfl he looked about the same.

Now, I would never rule out a player improving. He could very well have made exponential improvement this off season. That's what it'll take IMO...exponential growth for him to be the pass rushing olb we need.

He had 16 sacks and 9 forced fumbles in one season. That's a pretty big deal.

Rey
09-10-2013, 08:46 AM
He had 16 sacks and 9 forced fumbles in one season. That's a pretty big deal.

I'm talking about how he looked on film. Lots of guys put up stats in the NCAA.

Merciless looked good last night thought. It didn't show up in the sacks department, but I think he's going to have a good year.

2slik4u
09-10-2013, 08:54 AM
I'm talking about how he looked on film. Lots of guys put up stats in the NCAA.

Merciless looked good last night thought. It didn't show up in the sacks department, but I think he's going to have a good year.

Last night the defense looked ridiculous in the second half. Only problem was we could never finish the sack. It seemed like every other play we were sending loads of guys after rivers and we would penetrate the pocket with ease but he always got rid of the ball. Pretty frustrating to see us never get the sack but the disruption was certainly good to see.

I can only hope those sacks will start falling into place.

msbbc833
09-10-2013, 09:09 AM
Last night the defense looked ridiculous in the second half. Only problem was we could never finish the sack. It seemed like every other play we were sending loads of guys after rivers and we would penetrate the pocket with ease but he always got rid of the ball. Pretty frustrating to see us never get the sack but the disruption was certainly good to see.

I can only hope those sacks will start falling into place.

Yeah he was sending the ball outta there real quick, resulting in lots of incomplete passes. I don't even remember them converting a 3rd down in the 2nd half after our D stepped up

2012Champs
09-10-2013, 09:11 AM
Last night the defense looked ridiculous in the second half. Only problem was we could never finish the sack. It seemed like every other play we were sending loads of guys after rivers and we would penetrate the pocket with ease but he always got rid of the ball. Pretty frustrating to see us never get the sack but the disruption was certainly good to see.

I can only hope those sacks will start falling into place.



Mercilus recorded a sack as did Manning. There could have been more but we werent blanked

2012Champs
09-10-2013, 09:12 AM
Yeah he was sending the ball outta there real quick, resulting in lots of incomplete passes. I don't even remember them converting a 3rd down in the 2nd half after our D stepped up



Their last 5 series they failed to get a first down so it was a good turn around by the D

thunderkyss
09-10-2013, 09:52 AM
Last night the defense looked ridiculous in the second half. Only problem was we could never finish the sack. It seemed like every other play we were sending loads of guys after rivers and we would penetrate the pocket with ease but he always got rid of the ball. Pretty frustrating to see us never get the sack but the disruption was certainly good to see.

I can only hope those sacks will start falling into place.

I saw a stat, his QBR was 0.04 or something in the 4th qtr.... fck a sack. It's all about pressure & when the QB is getting rid of the ball that quick, sometimes it's all you can do.

2slik4u
09-10-2013, 11:12 AM
I saw a stat, his QBR was 0.04 or something in the 4th qtr.... fck a sack. It's all about pressure & when the QB is getting rid of the ball that quick, sometimes it's all you can do.

That's a great point. Although sometimes sack numbers are over rated I also think it gets under valued at times as well. Great to see the pressure, disruption, and complete dismantling of rivers timing but the sacks will need to be greater than two in future games for success in my humble opinion.

Rivers was able to dish the ball out and have incompletion after incompletion but how will Russell Wilson, kaepernick, manning and luck fare? I consider those as the top QBs we will face this season that have much better accuracy than rivers.

Gotta finish the play and get the sack seeing as how much we rush the passer. The QB has to pay.

badboy
09-10-2013, 11:19 AM
As a young player I expect Mercilus to get better as he gains confidence in himself and his teammates. This was a good start against a good QB with a very quick release. Sacks are wonderful but incomplete pass subtracts a down just as well.

NCTexan
09-10-2013, 11:23 AM
5 tackles and a sack, and seemed involved on a vast majority of the plays to me. I'm feeling better about him now.

2slik4u
09-10-2013, 11:24 AM
As a young player I expect Mercilus to get better as he gains confidence in himself and his teammates. This was a good start against a good QB with a very quick release. Sacks are wonderful but incomplete pass subtracts a down just as well.

That is correct but there isn't any loss of yards, the QB doesn't always hit the turf and after a QB is sacked multiple times they begin to make irrational decisions due to the mental block of being put on the ground.

I'm not saying pressure alone isn't great because it is but it's important to finish what they are actually trying to do in the first place which is get to the QB. Got to finish these plays.

sandman
09-10-2013, 11:26 AM
That's a great point. Although sometimes sack numbers are over rated I also think it gets under valued at times as well. Great to see the pressure, disruption, and complete dismantling of rivers timing but the sacks will need to be greater than two in future games for success in my humble opinion.

Rivers was able to dish the ball out and have incompletion after incompletion but how will Russell Wilson, kaepernick, manning and luck fare? I consider those as the top QBs we will face this season that have much better accuracy than rivers.

Gotta finish the play and get the sack seeing as how much we rush the passer. The QB has to pay.

Actually, for his career Rivers has a 64% completion rate. In the ONE season that Wilson, Kaepernick and Luck have each had, Wilson was at 64%, Kaepernick was at 63% and Luck was at 55%. While I believe that Wilson and Kaepernick bring a dynamic to the game that Rivers can't, they have not proven to be more accurate passers in their very limited sample size.

For the record, Manning is at 65% for his career. Schaub is at 65% as well. These one year phenoms aren't as amazing with their arms as we would like them to be.

2slik4u
09-10-2013, 11:31 AM
Actually, for his career Rivers has a 64% completion rate. In the ONE season that Wilson, Kaepernick and Luck have each had, Wilson was at 64%, Kaepernick was at 63% and Luck was at 55%. While I believe that Wilson and Kaepernick bring a dynamic to the game that Rivers can't, they have not proven to be more accurate passers in their very limited sample size.

For the record, Manning is at 65% for his career. Schaub is at 65% as well. These one year phenoms aren't as amazing with their arms as we would like them to be.

Also worth noting the ability of said QBs to extend plays with their legs which was what I was also referring to. That's what is dangerous to me.

Manning has played 16 seasons (IIRC). His completion % holds more water than rivers when you expand the number of pass attempts/completions.

We're splitting hairs on this and don't want to derail this discussion to much.

The Pencil Neck
09-10-2013, 12:09 PM
I'm feeling better about Mercilus after last night.

He got to Rivers a few times. Should have had at least one more sack but Rivers shook him off and ran for a first down.

I thought he played well overall.

thunderkyss
09-10-2013, 12:59 PM
That's a great point. Although sometimes sack numbers are over rated I also think it gets under valued at times as well. .

I think it's situational. If you've got a QB getting the ball out on time, you're just not going to get those sack numbers. Lucky for us, most QBs don't get the ball out on time, including the elite.

If you can say, "He had all day back there." Then you've got a problem. I don't think Rivers had all day... we weren't making it difficult for him early, but we made it difficult for him in the second half & it showed.

Russell Wilson, Collin Kaepernick..... I'd rather we hold them to .04 passer rating than to sack them 3 or 4 times.

thunderkyss
09-10-2013, 01:02 PM
I'm not saying pressure alone isn't great because it is but it's important to finish what they are actually trying to do in the first place which is get to the QB. Got to finish these plays.

I say it all the time. Sacks aren't the end all be all, but a higher number of sacks mean a higher number of pressures & hurries & everything that goes along with it (INTs)

So I get what you're saying. But I don't remember Rivers holding the ball more than 3 seconds but a couple of times (not that I broke out the stop watch).

thunderkyss
09-10-2013, 01:04 PM
Actually, for his career Rivers has a 64% completion rate. In the ONE season that Wilson, Kaepernick and Luck have each had, Wilson was at 64%, Kaepernick was at 63% and Luck was at 55%. While I believe that Wilson and Kaepernick bring a dynamic to the game that Rivers can't, they have not proven to be more accurate passers in their very limited sample size.



& there's a good chance we're not going to see Kaepernick at all.... at the very least we won't see a healthy Kaepernick. St Louis is going to grind it out & put a couple of licks on him before we see them.

2slik4u
09-10-2013, 01:33 PM
I say it all the time. Sacks aren't the end all be all, but a higher number of sacks mean a higher number of pressures & hurries & everything that goes along with it (INTs)

So I get what you're saying. But I don't remember Rivers holding the ball more than 3 seconds but a couple of times (not that I broke out the stop watch).

This is true. Rivers was hurried and disrupted the entire second half. Not sure what changed, maybe Watt, the will to get after it on the defense, or scheme change by wade. Whatever it was, it worked and worked extremely well.