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krocket
03-11-2011, 12:45 AM
This is a little outside the box, but what if Phillips were to move Mario Williams to Rush Linebacker? I have heard things from the FO and Phillips that this might be a possibility. He is big, fast, and a sack master. IMO he could cover out of the backfield receivers or the tight ends. There are others to play DE or we may draft one. That would also solve a couple of problems prior to draft so we were free to pick BPA at #11 or trade down for extra 1st or 2nd. I know I will probably get flamed from some people, but I would still like to see your input.

The Pencil Neck
03-11-2011, 01:03 AM
The idea is to move Mario around.

There will be times that he'll play 2-gap DE. There will be times he'll move outside the tackle and play with his hand down like a regular 4-3 DE. There will be times he'll play rush linebacker. There will be times he'll play a blitzing linebacker position where he chooses inside gaps and/or stunts with the other linebackers or down linemen.

But hopefully you won't see him out in coverage any more than we did with the old defense. He's got really good straightline speed but he doesn't have the skills or the type of athleticism necessary to cover guys coming out of the backfield in a man-on-man situation. He'll probably be OK in zones like he used to play when we zone blitzed. But he does not have the hips to turn and run with a TE or a RB.

beerlover
03-11-2011, 01:39 AM
Would the real Mario please stand up & be the pass rusher the Texans thought he is when they drafted him #1 overall?

I don't care what scheme or position he's at, it should be the other team that needs to account for him.

Here is what might happen. Texans draft a 5 technique DE W/experience in a 3-4 all ready & let Mario own the edges.

dalemurphy
03-11-2011, 01:43 AM
The idea is to move Mario around.

There will be times that he'll play 2-gap DE. There will be times he'll move outside the tackle and play with his hand down like a regular 4-3 DE. There will be times he'll play rush linebacker. There will be times he'll play a blitzing linebacker position where he chooses inside gaps and/or stunts with the other linebackers or down linemen.

But hopefully you won't see him out in coverage any more than we did with the old defense. He's got really good straightline speed but he doesn't have the skills or the type of athleticism necessary to cover guys coming out of the backfield in a man-on-man situation. He'll probably be OK in zones like he used to play when we zone blitzed. But he does not have the hips to turn and run with a TE or a RB.


Here's the thing about the 3-4 and why people need not worry about Mario's productivity in it: imagine Antonio Smith at DE, Earl Mitchell at NT, and Mario at DE (in 5 technique).. The Texans are going to rush five, Cushing is the ILB on Mario's side and Barwin is the OLB on Mario's side... Let's say that it is the weakside. The Texans are going to rush ASmith, Mitchell, Mario... Cushing and Barwin are blitzing, while Jamison and Demeco are dropping into coverage. The Texans will have three dynamic pass rushers all coming right over the tackle. Somehow, the offensive protection is going to ask the guard to pick up one rusher, the tackle to take one rusher, and the running back to recognize and take the other rusher in one on one matchups. At this point, is it really a concern where Mario is lined up? The only concern will be whether those three guys can finish.. and, if the 6 guys in coverage can hold up for 2seconds. (That's one of a hundred variations that we will see next year).. Having those hybrid OLBs and also Cushing on the inside in a 3-4 scheme is going to allow all sorts of opportunities for everyone involved.

Wade coached a defense that netted 8.5 sacks for ILB Bradie James...not to mention what he was able to accomplish with guys like Bruce Smith, Chuck Smith, Patrick Kerney, Merriman, etc... Mario should have a great season playing for Wade and being motivated to play for his next contract. If only there was going to be a season in 2011.

Ole Miss Texan
03-11-2011, 09:42 AM
Great posts guys, I love this thread.

I'm one that thinks Mario is going to be pretty productive with Wade here and I'm not worried about the "3-4 DE tag". I'm really looking forward to seeing Mario line up at the different positions and have those various responsibilites that Dale and PN referenced.

What's been frustrating for me is two of my favorite legitimate prospects at #11 are J.J. Watt and Cameron Jordan, both DEs that would fit well in the 3-4 scheme. Would they see enough snaps? With the way we think Wade intends to utilize Mario's strengths and move him around, I think drafting a great prospect like Watt would only make that easier. Otherwise who plays the DE spot when Mario lines up as an OLB or is moved around?

We've got a chance to get some really good guys along the DL... let's finally finish up in the trenches and win there game in and game out.

Here's a link BullNation provided in another thread. I really enjoyed watching N.D. Kalu discuss the X's and O's.
I think this video will better explain where Mario will be playing in a 3-4 scheme....

http://blogs.chron.com/nfl/2011/01/radio_faces_video_diagraming_m.html

IBleedTexans
03-11-2011, 09:59 AM
Here's the thing about the 3-4 and why people need not worry about Mario's productivity in it: imagine Antonio Smith at DE, Earl Mitchell at NT, and Mario at DE (in 5 technique).. The Texans are going to rush five, Cushing is the ILB on Mario's side and Barwin is the OLB on Mario's side... Let's say that it is the weakside. The Texans are going to rush ASmith, Mitchell, Mario... Cushing and Barwin are blitzing, while Jamison and Demeco are dropping into coverage. The Texans will have three dynamic pass rushers all coming right over the tackle. Somehow, the offensive protection is going to ask the guard to pick up one rusher, the tackle to take one rusher, and the running back to recognize and take the other rusher in one on one matchups. At this point, is it really a concern where Mario is lined up? The only concern will be whether those three guys can finish.. and, if the 6 guys in coverage can hold up for 2seconds. (That's one of a hundred variations that we will see next year).. Having those hybrid OLBs and also Cushing on the inside in a 3-4 scheme is going to allow all sorts of opportunities for everyone involved.

Wade coached a defense that netted 8.5 sacks for ILB Bradie James...not to mention what he was able to accomplish with guys like Bruce Smith, Chuck Smith, Patrick Kerney, Merriman, etc... Mario should have a great season playing for Wade and being motivated to play for his next contract. If only there was going to be a season in 2011.

This by far is the best post I have ever read on TT. Can 100 of y'all rep him for me . I'm posting from my phone, and can't .

kiwitexansfan
03-11-2011, 12:14 PM
This by far is the best post I have ever read on TT. Can 100 of y'all rep him for me . I'm posting from my phone, and can't .

I got him for you.

IBleedTexans
03-11-2011, 03:20 PM
I got him for you.

Thanx

krocket
03-11-2011, 03:47 PM
Thanks fellas! I appreciate the input and it helped me understand what might happen to Mario next year. I know a little about football from watching it for 50 years, but I was a Bball man and never played in organized football, but I have watched and read almost everything some of you post. I recognize the names of the guys who responded and it is an honor that you appreciated my post.

TexansSeminole
03-11-2011, 07:31 PM
Here's the thing about the 3-4 and why people need not worry about Mario's productivity in it: imagine Antonio Smith at DE, Earl Mitchell at NT, and Mario at DE (in 5 technique).. The Texans are going to rush five, Cushing is the ILB on Mario's side and Barwin is the OLB on Mario's side... Let's say that it is the weakside. The Texans are going to rush ASmith, Mitchell, Mario... Cushing and Barwin are blitzing, while Jamison and Demeco are dropping into coverage. The Texans will have three dynamic pass rushers all coming right over the tackle. Somehow, the offensive protection is going to ask the guard to pick up one rusher, the tackle to take one rusher, and the running back to recognize and take the other rusher in one on one matchups. At this point, is it really a concern where Mario is lined up? The only concern will be whether those three guys can finish.. and, if the 6 guys in coverage can hold up for 2seconds. (That's one of a hundred variations that we will see next year).. Having those hybrid OLBs and also Cushing on the inside in a 3-4 scheme is going to allow all sorts of opportunities for everyone involved.

Wade coached a defense that netted 8.5 sacks for ILB Bradie James...not to mention what he was able to accomplish with guys like Bruce Smith, Chuck Smith, Patrick Kerney, Merriman, etc... Mario should have a great season playing for Wade and being motivated to play for his next contract. If only there was going to be a season in 2011.

Yes, it is a concern.

If we put him at OLB he will have to drop into coverage from time to time. That is a huge concern for me as the man is not a linebacker, he is a defensive lineman.

Just put him at DEnd. He is an extremely athletic 290 pounder, what is the confusion about how well he will do? He has the perfect size and strength for 3-4 DE. I truly don't understand why people are worried about the transition.

Actually, he is probably better suited for this type of position than his previous one. Atleast now we don't have to worry about him running himself out of almost every play (had to be coaching). He should have been used to push lineman back into the ball carrier and knock down balls at the LOS from day 1. This nonsense where he runs himself out of the play 75% of the time was purely idiotic and a waste of his size and skill set.

And why would we consider moving our best defensive lineman, who is 290 pounds by the way, to linebacker? I don't understand that at all. I can understand moving him around here or there to change his rush angle, but I hope we aren't intending on putting him at OLB full-time. Because he will fail in that situation.

V3rm0nt3r
03-11-2011, 09:21 PM
Yes, it is a concern.

If we put him at OLB he will have to drop into coverage from time to time. That is a huge concern for me as the man is not a linebacker, he is a defensive lineman.

Just put him at DEnd. He is an extremely athletic 290 pounder, what is the confusion about how well he will do? He has the perfect size and strength for 3-4 DE. I truly don't understand why people are worried about the transition.

Actually, he is probably better suited for this type of position than his previous one. Atleast now we don't have to worry about him running himself out of almost every play (had to be coaching). He should have been used to push lineman back into the ball carrier and knock down balls at the LOS from day 1. This nonsense where he runs himself out of the play 75% of the time was purely idiotic and a waste of his size and skill set.

And why would we consider moving our best defensive lineman, who is 290 pounds by the way, to linebacker? I don't understand that at all. I can understand moving him around here or there to change his rush angle, but I hope we aren't intending on putting him at OLB full-time. Because he will fail in that situation.

I don't think anyone suggested moving him there on a permanent basis rather move him around like we've seen with other young athletic d linemen in 34 defenses to give different looks each play (Ngata or however the hell you spell his name for instance). Basically doing the exact opposite as Rick Smith did here which I'm ok with for some reason...

TexansSeminole
03-11-2011, 09:30 PM
I don't think anyone suggested moving him there on a permanent basis rather move him around like we've seen with other young athletic d linemen in 34 defenses to give different looks each play (Ngata or however the hell you spell his name for instance). Basically doing the exact opposite as Rick Smith did here which I'm ok with for some reason...

??

The suggestion to move him to OLB full-time has been made many times on this board. If you'd like to see where it was done in this thread, simply read the original post.

And opposite of who? Rick Smith is our General Manager. Did you mean Richard Smith, our D-coordinator from 2 years ago?

76Texan
03-11-2011, 11:52 PM
This is a little outside the box, but what if Phillips were to move Mario Williams to Rush Linebacker? I have heard things from the FO and Phillips that this might be a possibility. He is big, fast, and a sack master. IMO he could cover out of the backfield receivers or the tight ends. There are others to play DE or we may draft one. That would also solve a couple of problems prior to draft so we were free to pick BPA at #11 or trade down for extra 1st or 2nd. I know I will probably get flamed from some people, but I would still like to see your input.

From Phillips' playbook when he was with the Falcons, the OLBs almost never run with a TE or receiver.

There's one exception, in what they call a Cover 5, which is a 5-underneath man coverage with 2-deep safety against a standard set (2 backs, 2 receivers, and 1 TE.)
In this coverage, the 2 CBs run with the 2 WRs, the 2 ILBs run with the 2 backs,
the SAM will lock on the TE; however, both safeties have specific instruction to help the LBs first and foremost.
(There's another coverage called Cover One Alley, which is almost the same as the above coverage, I won't bother going into the detail.)

V3rm0nt3r
03-12-2011, 01:18 AM
??

The suggestion to move him to OLB full-time has been made many times on this board. If you'd like to see where it was done in this thread, simply read the original post.

And opposite of who? Rick Smith is our General Manager. Did you mean Richard Smith, our D-coordinator from 2 years ago?

My bad. You are totally right.

Yeah I meant Richard. Again, you are totally right.

Texanmike02
03-12-2011, 11:59 PM
I keep hearing about Mario as a LB. Please God! NO!. Look, he's fast. But that's it. He lacks the ability to change direction and him in any sort of coverage situation is a nightmare IMHO. Maybe put him there for a play or two a half but nothing more, it literally scares me. When he's playing the DE position he has two places to go... down the line or in the backfield. What in the hell are we going to do when he's called on to cover a TE or a RB coming out of the backfield?

Mike

Rey
03-13-2011, 01:20 AM
I seriously doubt Mario will get a whole bunch of snaps at OLB...

He will probably be moved a long the D-line, but I doubt he be in the normal rotation at LB...

76Texan
03-13-2011, 03:18 PM
Here's the thing about the 3-4 and why people need not worry about Mario's productivity in it: imagine Antonio Smith at DE, Earl Mitchell at NT, and Mario at DE (in 5 technique).. The Texans are going to rush five, Cushing is the ILB on Mario's side and Barwin is the OLB on Mario's side... Let's say that it is the weakside. The Texans are going to rush ASmith, Mitchell, Mario... Cushing and Barwin are blitzing, while Jamison and Demeco are dropping into coverage. The Texans will have three dynamic pass rushers all coming right over the tackle. Somehow, the offensive protection is going to ask the guard to pick up one rusher, the tackle to take one rusher, and the running back to recognize and take the other rusher in one on one matchups.

This situation sounds good; however, from the looks I see so far, Cushing will probably play strong side ILB (Mike) where he will meet an O-lineman more often than the Mo (weak side ILB).

I could be wrong, but I think Wade is more likely to play Cusing there than Demeco.

From his playbook, I can see some 6-man blitz (Jet Blitz, the Smoke) and some 5-man zone dog (the Mo Loop, the Mo Exit) that would involve the 3 guys on the weak side as you wish for.
But, again, I think it will involve Demeco.

There are other pass rush scheme on the strong side as well for the Mike.
And we might see the trio (Mario, Barwin, and Cushing) there.

76Texan
03-13-2011, 03:26 PM
I keep hearing about Mario as a LB. Please God! NO!. Look, he's fast. But that's it. He lacks the ability to change direction and him in any sort of coverage situation is a nightmare IMHO. Maybe put him there for a play or two a half but nothing more, it literally scares me. When he's playing the DE position he has two places to go... down the line or in the backfield. What in the hell are we going to do when he's called on to cover a TE or a RB coming out of the backfield?

Mike

Mario has already played OLB some when we go to the 3-4 look (which is the same as Wade's.)
And when we are in the 4-3, Mario mostly lined up mostly anywhere from 2-yds outside the OT, as a 9-tech or wider, which are some of the positions Wade's OLB can be found in.
Mario played mostly with his hand down in these situations, but that was the only difference. As far as the responsibilities are concerned scheme-wise, he was doing the same thing the 3-4 OLB was asked to do in Wade's scheme.

76Texan
03-13-2011, 03:41 PM
Here's something very telling straight from the horse mouth.
This was when the Packers were getting ready to switch to a 3-4

Jan 20-2009
Mobile, Ala. - General manager Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers was chatting with Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips on Tuesday at Senior Bowl practice when Thompson was asked about adapting his personnel to the 3-4 defensive scheme coordinator Dom Capers will be bringing to the team.

"It's really not that big a deal," Thompson said.

Phillips then tapped him on the shoulder.

"Tell him this: The weak-side linebacker, instead of being like this," Phillips said as he put one hand on the ground to get into a three-point stance, "is like this."

Phillips then stood up straight.

"There you have it," Phillips said.

...
That is, you just take the weakside DE lining up in a 3-pt stance, ask him to take his hand off the ground and stand up straight.
He automatically becomes the WILL in Wade's scheme.

TexansSeminole
03-13-2011, 03:42 PM
Mario has already played OLB some when we go to the 3-4 look (which is the same as Wade's.)
And when we are in the 4-3, Mario mostly lined up mostly anywhere from 2-yds outside the OT, as a 9-tech or wider, which are some of the positions Wade's OLB can be found in.
Mario played mostly with his hand down in these situations, but that was the only difference. As far as the responsibilities are concerned scheme-wise, he was doing the same thing the 3-4 OLB was asked to do in Wade's scheme.

And we see how that worked out. A relatively slow rush from the outside that usually got pushed out of the play. Why would we want to continue that?

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

76Texan
03-13-2011, 03:49 PM
And we see how that worked out. A relatively slow rush from the outside that usually got pushed out of the play. Why would we want to continue that?

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

I don't necessarily see it as you did.
In a couple of months I think I will have time to go back and analyze all the plays and we will find out (more or less) what happened on the field.
(I've already did, but did not take too many notes down.)

TexansSeminole
03-13-2011, 04:23 PM
I don't necessarily see it as you did.
In a couple of months I think I will have time to go back and analyze all the plays and we will find out (more or less) what happened on the field.
(I've already did, but did not take too many notes down.)

Outside of the fact that he will have to drop in coverage from time to time to force offenses to be disciplined, I have other questions about why we would want him at OLB.

He can rush the passer, even from the outside on occasion. My problem is that why do we want our 290 pound defensive lineman in that role. There are plenty of players that can do it more effectively while we can use Mario in a more fitting role.

When Mario was in college, he was a power football player. He completely shut down running plays to his side, and would also provide a pass rush on occassion. He wasn't a primary edge rusher though, that was Manny Lawson. In short, his skill set was utilized.

We brought him here and I guess we thought we had drafted Dwight Freeney, making him speed rush from the outside on nearly every play.

We need to restore him to the role that propelled him into the #1 overall pick. That role is a power defensive lineman, not an edge rusher.

JMO.

76Texan
03-14-2011, 12:59 AM
Outside of the fact that he will have to drop in coverage from time to time to force offenses to be disciplined, I have other questions about why we would want him at OLB.

He can rush the passer, even from the outside on occasion. My problem is that why do we want our 290 pound defensive lineman in that role. There are plenty of players that can do it more effectively while we can use Mario in a more fitting role.

When Mario was in college, he was a power football player. He completely shut down running plays to his side, and would also provide a pass rush on occassion. He wasn't a primary edge rusher though, that was Manny Lawson. In short, his skill set was utilized.

We brought him here and I guess we thought we had drafted Dwight Freeney, making him speed rush from the outside on nearly every play.

We need to restore him to the role that propelled him into the #1 overall pick. That role is a power defensive lineman, not an edge rusher.

JMO.It's really difficult to prove this.
The one thing I know, but cannot prove, is that the year we drafted him, one Wolfpack die-hard fan posted a video of all of his 25.5 sacks.
He was an edge rusher allright.
Even though I'm pretty sure he split the TE and the OT on at least one occasion for a sack; and beat both of them to the inside for another, he was still on the far edge.

This video here against MD clearly showed that he was an edge rusher, at times lining up wide outside the TE.

http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/mario-willams-nc-state-vs-maryland/bk1ehqz1vaMDsU_wRMQGtg

I don't have his college game tapes, so I cannot dispute your claim that he was shutting down the run to his side.
(I have thousands of games scattered everywhere. Ya know I don't pull rabbit out of thin air like 'em magicians. And I don't mean to aim at you, but I do believe that when one makes a claim, one should back it up.)

What I know is that with the Texans, as time progressed, Mario saw many other positions on the line, including inside as a 3-4 DE (as opposed to what we saw in that vid.)

I do not suggest that he's to move permanently to OLB in the 3-4.
I'm only stating the fact that Mario has been playing both as a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB (both on the strong and weak side) and more in the NFL.

Obviously, he was candid about what role he prefers not to play (2-gap).
In Wade's system, he doesn't have to worry about that so I don't see any problem.

We're not moving Mario to any strange territory, nor do we need to restore him to any place where he was "supposed to be" in college.

He's been making it very difficult to run to his side this past year (couple of years sounds more like it.) - This part I can "claim" because when the tape rolls, you can find all the different commentators doing our games verifying it as such.

Section516
03-14-2011, 09:51 AM
More confusion?

Phillips has no plans for Williams (6-6, 295) to stand up. While watching film of Williams and seeing the few times he did rush from a standing position, Phillips noticed he took a false step when the ball was snapped.

Whole article and more on Phillips and his defense at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/7470863.html

Seems Phillips really does like Mitchell @ nose..

76Texan
03-14-2011, 01:01 PM
"I think Mario fits in well with what we're going to do," Phillips said. "He's a five-technique, an outside rush guy. That's what he is. I don't see any difference for him. He's going to be outside all the time."

The philosophy of Phillips' 3-4, which he says is closer to a 4-3 than a traditional 3-4 because the linemen have to control one gap rather than two, is to get up the field when the ball is snapped and pressure the quarterback.

That kind of pressure will start with Williams, 26, who'll be in the last year of his contract.

Phillips has no plans for Williams (6-6, 295) to stand up. While watching film of Williams and seeing the few times he did rush from a standing position, Phillips noticed he took a false step when the ball was snapped.

"When they did stand him up, he took that false step every time, and that made him late on his rush," Phillips said. "You don't want him late on the rush. That's just fundamentals, something you have to work on. That's what happens when you have a player who's not used to standing up stand up.

"I don't think you need to stand Mario up. He comes off the ball so well with his hand on the ground I don't know that you'd ever want to stand him up."

....

I don't think there needs to be any confusion.
Mario can play the same way as he's playing now.
When he wants to play with hand down, he can do so just like he always have. He's still doing the same thing a 3-4 OLB does.

He will have to continue to work on taking the correct step when standing up.
The thing that helps when a guy play standing up is that it gives the defense the flexibility.
Once he puts his hand down, he's set.
If he stands up, he can move around pre-snap to create confusion to the offense. He can also pick and choose the gap and angle to come in on a pass rush. You have more flexibility that way with all the stunts.
On the other hand, playing with hand down gives him more explosion off the ball.
In the end, if he's not comfortable play standing up, he can just put his hand down.

It's just like a CB; if he's not comfortable with the shuffle technique then he should forget about it and continues to work on his back peddle.
There's no sense of forcing a square peg through a round hole.

76Texan
03-14-2011, 01:30 PM
The more Phillips sees of second-year defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, the more he likes the idea of Mitchell's becoming an effective nose tackle.

At 6-3 and 300 pounds, Mitchell isn't the traditional 330-pound nose tackle whose job is to tie up two blockers and allow the inside linebackers to make tackles. Phillips wants his nose tackle to be quick off the ball and penetrate.

Value in Mitchell
"I like him a lot," Phillips said. "His strength is in his legs. Guards don't move him. I know the center won't move him. He's got the quickness and speed that make him a good player wherever he is. I think we'll be versatile enough to put him in a position where he can help us."

Shaun Cody, 28, who started at tackle the past two years and signed a new contract, also figures in the equation.

"I think it was important to re-sign Cody because we know who we have," Phillips said.

......

This is why I've been saying that the Texans are unlikely to draft a NT in the first two rounds.

Our NTs play the same way Wade's NT always play.
Once in a long while, ours also head up on the C, just like his.
But they always look to penetrate one gap.

If anybody watch LSU they can see that Nevis, who's about 286 lbs, plays very well when he's at NT. He was constantly in the backfield when they don't put a double-team on him. Can you believe it? Double-teaming a 286-lb D-lineman?

76Texan
03-14-2011, 01:37 PM
"We've got to get Jackson playing better and not put him in some of the situations the corners were put in last year."

Phillips has a simple philosophy.

"It's what they can do," he said. "You look for their strengths, and then it's up to us (coaches) to put them in situations to take advantage of those strengths."

...

I've been saying the same thing since early last season.

And then there's a reason why Wilson and Pollard were let go.

"Some of the situations" refer (at least partially) to the times the safety wasn't where he was supposed to be.
There were even times when our corners had to look to "save" the safety! :vincepalm:

TexansSeminole
03-14-2011, 01:55 PM
This video here against MD clearly showed that he was an edge rusher, at times lining up wide outside the TE.

http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/mario-willams-nc-state-vs-maryland/bk1ehqz1vaMDsU_wRMQGtg


In half the plays shown in the video, Mario is rushing inside pushing lineman into the ball-carrier (quarterback). Even in the ones where he is rushing outside, there is some sort of gap discipline. With the Texans, I see him rushing past the quarterback or ball carrier far too often.

I can tell you from watching his games when he was at NC State, both in person and on TV, that he crashed inside far more often than he has ever done with us.

I don't consider an edge rusher someone who lines up on the outside. I consider an edge rusher someone who rushes the outside predominately. From the many games I saw of his at NC State, he was not an edge rusher by that definition.

Most of the time, outside of obvious pass rushing situations, he was used to set the edge (or more accurately destroy the edge). Most of the time it looked like his assignment was to create mismatches for McCargo/Lawson/the rest of the crew by eating double teams. He was extremely effective at taking on double teams from the TE and OL and was still able to set the edge as a power defensive end in those situations.

Here in Houston, he has been used mainly to rush the outside.

Texanmike02
03-14-2011, 05:26 PM
Mario has already played OLB some when we go to the 3-4 look (which is the same as Wade's.)
And when we are in the 4-3, Mario mostly lined up mostly anywhere from 2-yds outside the OT, as a 9-tech or wider, which are some of the positions Wade's OLB can be found in.
Mario played mostly with his hand down in these situations, but that was the only difference. As far as the responsibilities are concerned scheme-wise, he was doing the same thing the 3-4 OLB was asked to do in Wade's scheme.

Like I said. A couple of snaps here and there is ok. But when you start going to that look over the course of a game its going to cause issues. Either you are telegraphing where the 4th rusher is coming from or you're dropping a guy who just can't cover into coverage. If I'm a QB and I see him as an OLB, especially with his hands off the ground, my number one target instantly becomes whoever is running to the flats or whoever he's trying to cover. Either way, I know which side of the field I'm throwing to.

I just don't think its a good idea as a staple of the defense. I could be wrong I guess. But I am not wild about him as our starting OLB. It seems that if you're going to do that, just play a 4-3 and make him a DE and move him around.
Mike

Texanmike02
03-14-2011, 05:33 PM
It's really difficult to prove this.
The one thing I know, but cannot prove, is that the year we drafted him, one Wolfpack die-hard fan posted a video of all of his 25.5 sacks.
He was an edge rusher allright.
Even though I'm pretty sure he split the TE and the OT on at least one occasion for a sack; and beat both of them to the inside for another, he was still on the far edge.

This video here against MD clearly showed that he was an edge rusher, at times lining up wide outside the TE.

http://www.blinkx.com/watch-video/mario-willams-nc-state-vs-maryland/bk1ehqz1vaMDsU_wRMQGtg

I don't have his college game tapes, so I cannot dispute your claim that he was shutting down the run to his side.
(I have thousands of games scattered everywhere. Ya know I don't pull rabbit out of thin air like 'em magicians. And I don't mean to aim at you, but I do believe that when one makes a claim, one should back it up.)

What I know is that with the Texans, as time progressed, Mario saw many other positions on the line, including inside as a 3-4 DE (as opposed to what we saw in that vid.)

I do not suggest that he's to move permanently to OLB in the 3-4.
I'm only stating the fact that Mario has been playing both as a 4-3 DE and a 3-4 OLB (both on the strong and weak side) and more in the NFL.

Obviously, he was candid about what role he prefers not to play (2-gap).
In Wade's system, he doesn't have to worry about that so I don't see any problem.

We're not moving Mario to any strange territory, nor do we need to restore him to any place where he was "supposed to be" in college.

He's been making it very difficult to run to his side this past year (couple of years sounds more like it.) - This part I can "claim" because when the tape rolls, you can find all the different commentators doing our games verifying it as such.

I watched that video and I'll say this. I want THAT Mario. He looks much more lean and probably a little lighter in that video. He looks Peppersesque. Gotta wonder if reducing his weight to closer to that wouldn't help with the injuries as well.

That said, that is NOT the same Mario we have. We have the NFL 4-3 DE version. He looks to be a LOT heavier (20-25lbs or maybe more) today than he is there. I would LOVE that Mario as an OLB. The one we have today will get rocked if he tries to play 3-4 OLB full time.

JMO.

Mike

infantrycak
03-14-2011, 05:52 PM
I watched that video and I'll say this. I want THAT Mario. He looks much more lean and probably a little lighter in that video. He looks Peppersesque. Gotta wonder if reducing his weight to closer to that wouldn't help with the injuries as well.

That said, that is NOT the same Mario we have. We have the NFL 4-3 DE version. He looks to be a LOT heavier (20-25lbs or maybe more) today than he is there. I would LOVE that Mario as an OLB. The one we have today will get rocked if he tries to play 3-4 OLB full time.

Not sure what Mario you have been watching but the one on the Texans is extremely lean and certainly not carrying 20+ extra lbs.

http://www.whodeyfans.com/uploaded_images/Mario-703875.jpg

http://www.texansgab.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/mario-williams.jpg

Texanmike02
03-14-2011, 06:21 PM
Not sure what Mario you have been watching but the one on the Texans is extremely lean and certainly not carrying 20+ extra lbs.

http://www.whodeyfans.com/uploaded_images/Mario-703875.jpg

http://www.texansgab.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/mario-williams.jpg

Look at his legs in that video. Lean isn't the word I should have used because you're right. I'm wondering if he's not a little "muscle bound". Maybe I'm over on my weight estimate but he is definitely more fluid in that video than he was this year. Maybe it was the hernias but go look at that video. He looks MUCH more fluid and changes direction better. He looks stiff if you ask me.

Everything I've seen has him listed between 290-295 but I don't know what he was when he was playing in college and we all know the stats are always blown up anyway. Hakeem was 7'0 remember?


Mike

The Pencil Neck
03-14-2011, 06:43 PM
Look at his legs in that video. Lean isn't the word I should have used because you're right. I'm wondering if he's not a little "muscle bound". Maybe I'm over on my weight estimate but he is definitely more fluid in that video than he was this year. Maybe it was the hernias but go look at that video. He looks MUCH more fluid and changes direction better. He looks stiff if you ask me.

Everything I've seen has him listed between 290-295 but I don't know what he was when he was playing in college and we all know the stats are always blown up anyway. Hakeem was 7'0 remember?


Mike

It looks like pretty much the same guy to me, just against inferior competition and without as much responsibility. In those sacks, it didn't like like Mario had anything to do other than go after the QB AND it looked like he wasn't expecting the QB to move. A lot of times now when Mario gets free like that, he has a tendency to slow down a little bit and spread his arms out like he's expecting the QB to run and he's afraid that he won't be able to change direction quickly enough to get him.

But, one of those sacks reminded me a lot of one of his sacks in the Redskin game.

infantrycak
03-14-2011, 07:01 PM
Everything I've seen has him listed between 290-295 but I don't know what he was when he was playing in college and we all know the stats are always blown up anyway.

Mario was 295lbs at the combine.

76Texan
03-15-2011, 12:03 AM
Like I said. A couple of snaps here and there is ok. But when you start going to that look over the course of a game its going to cause issues. Either you are telegraphing where the 4th rusher is coming from or you're dropping a guy who just can't cover into coverage. If I'm a QB and I see him as an OLB, especially with his hands off the ground, my number one target instantly becomes whoever is running to the flats or whoever he's trying to cover. Either way, I know which side of the field I'm throwing to.

I just don't think its a good idea as a staple of the defense. I could be wrong I guess. But I am not wild about him as our starting OLB. It seems that if you're going to do that, just play a 4-3 and make him a DE and move him around.
MikeYou are suggesting things I never said.

1. I do not suggest that he will drop into coverage regularly.

Even if he does, it would be a zone drop as I've mentioned earlier.
Very rarely does the OLB in Wade's system turn and run with the TE.
If we do that, I would think Barwin is the guy.

In contrary to what you fear, I'm pretty sure that the QB that saw Mario dropping back into coverage rarely threw to his side.

2. What I've been trying to emphasize is that he's already lining up quite often at the same position a 3-4 OLB normally does. His assignment is the same, only he's been doing it much better than most 3-4 OLBs.
He can control more than one gap quite often (making it easier for the guys playing behind him and/or other guys on the line.)
Whether he will play standing up or how often will be up to the coaches and him to decide. We've never heard him complaining about playing standing up before, so I don't see why the fuss.

3. Wade also employs the 4-man front and the 46 Bear front as the Texans have been doing.

4. What I see is Mario doing a lot of the same things he's been doing, which is a mix of him lining up at many different positions on the line (3-tech, 4t, 4i, 5t, 6t, 7t, 9t).

76Texan
03-15-2011, 12:10 AM
In half the plays shown in the video, Mario is rushing inside pushing lineman into the ball-carrier (quarterback). Even in the ones where he is rushing outside, there is some sort of gap discipline. With the Texans, I see him rushing past the quarterback or ball carrier far too often.

I can tell you from watching his games when he was at NC State, both in person and on TV, that he crashed inside far more often than he has ever done with us.

I don't consider an edge rusher someone who lines up on the outside. I consider an edge rusher someone who rushes the outside predominately. From the many games I saw of his at NC State, he was not an edge rusher by that definition.

Most of the time, outside of obvious pass rushing situations, he was used to set the edge (or more accurately destroy the edge). Most of the time it looked like his assignment was to create mismatches for McCargo/Lawson/the rest of the crew by eating double teams. He was extremely effective at taking on double teams from the TE and OL and was still able to set the edge as a power defensive end in those situations.

Here in Houston, he has been used mainly to rush the outside.

This is not true at all.
I've responded to DaleMurphy recently about Mario's play in the first game.
A guy does not control 2 gaps (or once a while even 3 gaps, or an additional part of the alley) by MAINLY rushing the outside.
He was a monster in that game.
I rewatched the Skins game a few days ago, and he was also tremendous.

I'm going to pull a game near the time he gets shut down toward the end of the season and we shall see what he did and how much the sport hernia affected him.

76Texan
03-15-2011, 12:50 AM
I wish I know how to make vids from VLC or KMPlayer in order to show the plays better.

Week 12 vs. Titans (Smith at QB)

1-10-TEN 35 (11:10) 11-R.Smith sacked at TEN 35 for 0 yards (90-M.Williams).

Titans in 2-TE set, single back, 2 receivers split wide on either side.
1st TE Stevens on the right, in normal position (about 2 feet outside RT)
2nd TE Scaife on the left, in what some call the Up position (about one yard outside the LT).

Texans in 4-man front (difficult to see whether it's a wide front - Center uncovered - or a Miami front, but never mind about that.)

Mario was head up on the 2nd TE Scaife, but since this guy is lining up wider than normal, Mario was in the position of a 9-tech.

Scaife released outside Mario.
Mario went straight through the center of the LT's block, pushed him backward onto the ground, jumped over him to corral the QB.
Who said he went wide???

http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/2010112802/2010/REG12/titans@texans#tab:watch

76Texan
03-15-2011, 01:03 AM
2-10-TEN 35 (10:39) 28-C.Johnson left tackle to TEN 40 for 5 yards (31-B.Pollard).

Same formation fot the Titans, except both TEs were in normal position.
Actually, the 2nd TE was another OT (#66 Otto) on Mario's side.
Texans in a base 3-4, Mario as the ROLB.
Pollard walked up the left side of the D to make 8 in the box.

Titans tried a ZBS run right at Mario.
Mario stood up the outside LT, shutting down this side.
RB Johnson cut back to the other side.
Smith (LDE) tried to jump over the RT's cut block, lost balance temporarily and stumbled forward deep into the backfield, out of the play.
Not only that, he hindered Pollard (who was unblocked on the back side) from getting to the runner.
That play had a chance of going nowhere; instead, Johnson's momentum carried him for 5 yards as Pollard tackled him from behind.

Again, Mario didn't go wide, even as a true 3-4 OLB.

76Texan
03-15-2011, 02:01 AM
3-5-TEN 40 (10:39) (Shotgun) PENALTY on TEN-71-M.Roos, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at TEN 40 - No Play.

Texans showed a Bear front that caught the Titans off-guard, LT Roose moved early.

....

3-10-TEN 35 (9:36) (Shotgun) 11-R.Smith pass incomplete deep middle to 12-J.Gage (25-K.Jackson).

Titans in shotgun spread, single back (Johnson, to the left of the offense - Mario's side), 3 receivers on the right, 1 on the left.

Texans in a Bear front, 2 D-liinemen just outside the Guards, 2 ILBs 57 & 56 clamped either side of the C, 2 OLBs (Anderson strong side, Mario weak side).

Texans walked Pollard up and sent him in on a blitz with both OLBs dropping back into coverage. An uncommon 3-3 zone, something like this:

Deep zones: Allen Wilson Jackson
Underneath: Mario Anderson Quin

Allen started out as the RCB (on the lone receiver on the left side of the offense.)

Jackson as the LCB (on the most outside receiver on the right side, let's call him the #1 receiver.)
Quin as the nickel back (on the middle receiver/right side, let's call him the #2 receiver; this is #12 Justin Gage, the target receiver.)
The most inside receiver on the right side was uncovered, let's call him the #3 receiver.

Herein lies the problem with the Texans zone, which is referred to as spot drop (each defender drop to a spot - a landmark, then start looking at the QB, waiting to break on the ball).

All 4 receivers ran vertical routes (but we can forget about the receiver on Allen's side, since he was not involved in the play.)

The #1 receiver ran down the side line (outside of Jackson)
The #2 receiver ran another go route (inside of Jackson)
The #3 receiver ran a post route (toward Wilson).

Houston, we have a problem.
There are 3 receivers and only 2 defenders deep.

Jackson actually defended 2 receivers deep.
He broke off the #1 receiver (who ran a deeper route) and zeroed in on the #2 receiver, knocking the ball loose for an incompletion (Wilson came in to clean it up.)

In this instance, Quin needed to be coached up such that when both of his immediate threats go long (especially when all 3 threats on his side go long), he has to turn to run with one of them.
It was either bad coaching or Quin's failing to follow instructions.
Anderson did turn and followed the #3 receiver, so it was likely that Quin had missed his assignment, and ended up covering air.

Covering air or grass is a common problem with spot drop in a zone defense.
Some call it a soft zone.

At any rate, back to the topic here.
Anderson played as OLB and dropped into a zone; he did well running with the receiver with deep help from the safety Wilson.
Mario played as OLB and dropped into a zone; he stayed there to watch for the RB while Allen took on the receiver.

Jackson not only stopped a third down conversion; he prevented a highly possible TD while defending two receivers deep.
(And he got no love.) :vincepalm:

Ole Miss Texan
03-15-2011, 09:46 AM
I think part of why Mario may look differently is because we're talking about a guy that's still been physically maturing as a person. He's 26 years old now and has been through 5 years of NFL strength and conditioning. The videos are from his Junior year of college when he was like 20 years old. We think all these players and stars are adults... they're still kids though.

dalemurphy
03-15-2011, 10:07 AM
I think part of why Mario may look differently is because we're talking about a guy that's still been physically maturing as a person. He's 26 years old now and has been through 5 years of NFL strength and conditioning. The videos are from his Junior year of college when he was like 20 years old. We think all these players and stars are adults... they're still kids though.

He played very stiff this year. I'm sure that contributes to Mike's perception of him being bulkier. That is what happens when you ask a guy to play with a sports hernia for an entire season.

76Texan
03-15-2011, 12:16 PM
He played very stiff this year. I'm sure that contributes to Mike's perception of him being bulkier. That is what happens when you ask a guy to play with a sports hernia for an entire season.

It's true that perception is everything!

I pulled up a game from early in the 07 season, and I saw a stiffer Mario Williams.
The guy I watched this year is more fluild in his movement than ever.
It's late in the game (don't remember during which week it started) that I can see him not being as active and flexible in his movements.
I skimmed thru the above mentioned game in week 12, and that was the case (late in the game).

I jumped to the week 13 game against the Eagles, and it was a different Mario from the start. From here on out, you can definitely say that he was verty stiff in his movement.

http://www.theredzone.org/BlogDescription/tabid/61/EntryId/12996/Mario-Williams-played-with-sports-hernia-last-night/Default.aspx

dalemurphy
03-15-2011, 02:02 PM
It's true that perception is everything!

I pulled up a game from early in the 07 season, and I saw a stiffer Mario Williams.
The guy I watched this year is more fluild in his movement than ever.
It's late in the game (don't remember during which week it started) that I can see him not being as active and flexible in his movements.
I skimmed thru the above mentioned game in week 12, and that was the case (late in the game).

I jumped to the week 13 game against the Eagles, and it was a different Mario from the start. From here on out, you can definitely say that he was verty stiff in his movement.

http://www.theredzone.org/BlogDescription/tabid/61/EntryId/12996/Mario-Williams-played-with-sports-hernia-last-night/Default.aspx

Here is Mario looking pretty fluid early in the season (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipF5bsh185E)

OR here: The glory days in Week One (http://www.youtube.com/user/TexansBullBlog#p/u/33/XuQOe8KQLlQ)

BigBull17
03-21-2011, 01:05 PM
I think I saw somewhere where Philips said Mario standing up affected him a lot. I don't know the exact location or the whole interview but I found that interesting. Also, there was that moment last year where you could tell he had a huge problem health wise. He wasn't the same player.

The Pencil Neck
03-21-2011, 02:40 PM
I think I saw somewhere where Philips said Mario standing up affected him a lot. I don't know the exact location or the whole interview but I found that interesting.

He said that whenever Mario stood up, he always took a false step that slowed his rush. That kinda sounds like bad coaching to me. IIRC, in the interviews (I think he said it in a couple of interviews on chron.com, might be the same interview reported multiple times), he hinted that he was going to let Mario just keep his hand on the ground because of that false step because Mario felt more comfy like that.

But. If you can coach Mario up on how to rush from a standing position, why not do it? I can't imagine that a false step issue is going to be why Wade doesn't use Mario as a rush linebacker unless Mario just can't fix the problem.

BigBull17
03-21-2011, 02:47 PM
He said that whenever Mario stood up, he always took a false step that slowed his rush. That kinda sounds like bad coaching to me. IIRC, in the interviews (I think he said it in a couple of interviews on chron.com, might be the same interview reported multiple times), he hinted that he was going to let Mario just keep his hand on the ground because of that false step because Mario felt more comfy like that.

But. If you can coach Mario up on how to rush from a standing position, why not do it? I can't imagine that a false step issue is going to be why Wade doesn't use Mario as a rush linebacker unless Mario just can't fix the problem.

Which I think Philips will do, once he gets working with guys. He really can't do much because of the lock out, ATM. Maybe he can turn him into a terror.