PDA

View Full Version : Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !


IDEXAN
05-06-2011, 09:45 AM
The more tape Wade Phillips watches of Texans defensive end Mario Williams, the more he sees DeMarcus Ware.
**
"I think he's the rush guy we need," Phillips said. "You have to put him in the spot that gives him the best chance to rush the passer all the time and be your star rusher.

"He's got the talent. With him standing up, he lines up a little wider, and he's coming every time on a different angle. This gives him the chance to be the premier rusher, just like DeMarcus."
**
"I feel great about it," Williams said about moving to weak-side linebacker. "What an opportunity for me.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/7552612.html

IDEXAN
05-06-2011, 09:55 AM
"After we talked about it and looked at everything again, we decided Mario's got to be the guy," Phillips said. "Once we determined that, it changed what our thinking was in the draft."
The Texans used their first two draft picks on defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who'll compete with Connor Barwin on the strong side.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/7552612.html
&&
If this mornings Chronicle story is accurate, this sounds like the real reason the Texans didn't draft Robert Quinn with their first round pick ?

b0ng
05-06-2011, 10:02 AM
"After we talked about it and looked at everything again, we decided Mario's got to be the guy," Phillips said. "Once we determined that, it changed what our thinking was in the draft."
The Texans used their first two draft picks on defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who'll compete with Connor Barwin on the strong side.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/fb/texansfront/7552612.html
&&
If this mornings Chronicle story is accurate, this sounds like the real reason the Texans didn't draft Robert Quinn with their first round pick ?

They probably didn't want Quinn to begin with for whatever reason. I think not having the opportunity to draft Smith is what "gave" them this idea. Wade's previous comments (which were made well well well before the draft) was him describing Mario's role as "Bruce Smith with the Bills", which was 3-4 DE. I think Quinn is going to be good, I hope Watt turns out to be better than Okoye (settin the bar low), but if he doesn't have much of an impact this first year it's going to be awfully tough to watch if Quinn tears it up.

beerlover
05-06-2011, 10:13 AM
It's nice just to have a plan even if it's plan B.

badboy
05-06-2011, 10:14 AM
It's nice just to have a plan even if it's plan B.For once,someone seems to know what to do besides "coach 'em up."

nero THE zero
05-06-2011, 10:19 AM
If this mornings Chronicle story is accurate, this sounds like the real reason the Texans didn't draft Robert Quinn with their first round pick ?

There's really no way of knowing for sure what the Texans were thinking because our local sports reporting is so bad. Have you seen PFT's report on college prospect visits? They specifically point to our local sports coverage because the reporting is so substandard compared to the other NFL cities.

So, I wouldn't read anything into the Chronicle's reporting. All we know is (1) in Wade's opening press conference he mentioned that Mario would play inside and that he made a false step every time he was stood up, (2) the Texans were allegedly targeting Aldon Smith and he was taken before our pick, and (3) suddenly there is talk of Mario playing OLB.

Take from that what you will, but it's obvious to me that playing Mario is a last resort (or a plan B)more than what they had planned all along.

nero THE zero
05-06-2011, 10:20 AM
I hope Watt turns out to be better than Okoye
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! What's with the high standards? Jeez!

Ole Miss Texan
05-06-2011, 10:21 AM
I'm so excited to see Mario, Watt, Antonio, Connor, Brooks, Demeco, Cushing and Anderson rushing the passer this year. We've got a great group of guys that will alternate and provide that pass rush ability. This is going to be awesome.... I havn't been this excited about our defense ever.

gtexan02
05-06-2011, 10:23 AM
I'm so excited to see Mario, Watt, Antonio, Connor, Brooks, Demeco, Cushing and Anderson rushing the passer this year. We've got a great group of guys that will alternate and provide that pass rush ability. This is going to be awesome.... I havn't been this excited about our defense ever.

Just pray that the lockout is lifted sometime soon. I dont want to go into the season with all this potential and no time to practice it. This is going to be some drastic situation/scheme changes.

PLEASE nfl, work it out!!

Ole Miss Texan
05-06-2011, 10:27 AM
I'm just going to go on record here and say that Wade is a much smarter defensive mind than I am. HAHAHA

With that said, I really really hope Barwin and Brooks turn out to be excellent 3-4 OLBs and pair with Demeco and Cush to form an elite 4 LB group. Not only do I really think highly of all 4 players.... I really want a dominant DL and think Watt and Mario could be elite DEs. The two of them on the DL would be amazing and if we can just find that NT. I think we'll be fine next year but I don't know that we have that NT we want for the next 10 years. I see that in Watt and Maro at Ends though. I do think Mario is going to be moved all around to create mismatches and this movement will only help our DL rotate players and stay fresh.

Ole Miss Texan
05-06-2011, 10:29 AM
Just pray that the lockout is lifted sometime soon. I dont want to go into the season with all this potential and no time to practice it. This is going to be some drastic situation/scheme changes.

PLEASE nfl, work it out!!

That's what I've been worried about too. Then add to the fact that once FA opens up (especially if that's REALLY close to the 1st game)... it's going to be a mad house signing Free Agents. We NEED a #1 Cornerback and I worry about getting the guy we need + signing him, flying him here and suiting up for the game within a matter of days. New guy to a new team with a new scheme along with Rookies getting significant playing time around him.

I have a feeling it's going to be some ugly football at the beginning of the season!

silvrhand
05-06-2011, 10:41 AM
That's what I've been worried about too. Then add to the fact that once FA opens up (especially if that's REALLY close to the 1st game)... it's going to be a mad house signing Free Agents. We NEED a #1 Cornerback and I worry about getting the guy we need + signing him, flying him here and suiting up for the game within a matter of days. New guy to a new team with a new scheme along with Rookies getting significant playing time around him.

I have a feeling it's going to be some ugly football at the beginning of the season!

There is a lot of concerns here...

- Mario needs to lose about 50lbs IMHO to play this effectively.. 290-300 is way too big.
- How is he going to handle playing OLB, completely new setup for him.
- He's not going to rush the passer every down, what about when someone runs right at him..

honestly this move makes me nervous..

Nawzer
05-06-2011, 10:50 AM
This is going to be great tv one way or another. Moving Mario could be a spectacular failure or success. Obviously, I'm hoping it will be a good move, but it'll be a disaster if it doesn't. If moving Mario doesn't work out, it'll be another nail in the coffin for Kubiak and Mario's days in Houston may be numbered. Either way this move gets me slightly excited about the Texans.

Ole Miss Texan
05-06-2011, 10:56 AM
There is a lot of concerns here...

- Mario needs to lose about 50lbs IMHO to play this effectively.. 290-300 is way too big.
- How is he going to handle playing OLB, completely new setup for him.
- He's not going to rush the passer every down, what about when someone runs right at him..

honestly this move makes me nervous..

Honestly I'm not too worried about Mario's "weight". He's a freaking huge athlete and while he may slim down some... I just don't think he has the fat to lose a lot. I think he may get lean and mean but he's already a specimen.

Yes he'd be the largest OLB ever but I just don't see him having the same responsibilities as the typcial OLB. I think he's great in run support, particularly outside contain.

He's dropped back in coverage some in the past and done alright. He's occupied a space but he looks like a DE dropping in coverage and I think always will. I don't think he'll ever (or very rarely) actually cover an oponent and run with them. At the end of the day I think his responsibilities will be very similar to what he's already done in the past, I just think Wade will help him grow as a player but putting him in better situations to succeed.

silvrhand
05-06-2011, 11:02 AM
This is going to be great tv one way or another. Moving Mario could be a spectacular failure or success. Obviously, I'm hoping it will be a good move, but it'll be a disaster if it doesn't. If moving Mario doesn't work out, it'll be another nail in the coffin for Kubiak and Mario's days in Houston may be numbered. Either way this move gets me slightly excited about the Texans.

Not if Wade is the new coach.. sorry if Kubiak gets fired and Wade gets promoted I will not think this is an upgrade for us at the coaching position. But it does fit well with the fact that Cowher will be drooling all over our defensive selections hopefully.

silvrhand
05-06-2011, 11:02 AM
Honestly I'm not too worried about Mario's "weight". He's a freaking huge athlete and while he may slim down some... I just don't think he has the fat to lose a lot. I think he may get lean and mean but he's already a specimen.

Yes he'd be the largest OLB ever but I just don't see him having the same responsibilities as the typcial OLB. I think he's great in run support, particularly outside contain.

He's dropped back in coverage some in the past and done alright. He's occupied a space but he looks like a DE dropping in coverage and I think always will. I don't think he'll ever (or very rarely) actually cover an oponent and run with them. At the end of the day I think his responsibilities will be very similar to what he's already done in the past, I just think Wade will help him grow as a player but putting him in better situations to succeed.

I can see Peyton Manning drooling all over if they can find a way to isolate Mario..

Brandon420tx
05-06-2011, 11:04 AM
The limit to what Mario will be asked to do coverage wise is take a simple zone where he won't have to move too much, and free up someone else to blitz/play man on a faster target. From that zone he'll first play the run, then disrupt passing lanes, then spy the QB. I pretty much expect his zone responsibilities will either be to in the flat, or to stop quickslants.

GP
05-06-2011, 11:14 AM
What will be "key" is if Mario can disguise his pre-snap stance/intentions and sell it to the center and QB.

Much like a WR must line up the same way every time, so as to not tip off the defense that it's a run or a pass (or that the WR isn't a target at all on the play), mario is going to have to play with a poker face. He's going to need to be able to make the center and the QB guess on every snap: "Is he rushing, or is he in zone/read?"

Off of THAT, your 3-4 then begins to wreak havoc on the opposing offense. because you can send that extra LB that exists in a 3-4 or drop him back and send a CB or S blitz. This is what makes the Steelers brand of 3-4 so deadly: You don't know where the pressure is coming from. With our 4-3, it was just "line 'em up and bull rush 'em" or maybe a slant or maybe a CB blitz every now and then.

If Mario can play good poker out there, we stand a chance of this working. If he gets mentally and psychologically lazy out there...putting hands on hips, just giving up and watching the play develop without him reacting to it (because he doesn't know what to do or where to go, or he feels he's put in a position to lose already)...THEN we have a problem.

He's going to have to raise his game, primarily in the mental/psychological area of his skill set. I think he can, but he has to really want it. He can't go into thinking he can "just be Mario" and things will come easily for him.

It can work, but it's on Mario to make it work. Natural skills alone will not produce the desired results. He's going to have to really desire to reach a new level, IMO. And that's why Wade likes JJ Watt so much: He rises above obstacles and adapts & overcomes to the point that he (JJ Watt) makes his own luck out there. Brooks Reed a similar type of personality, IMO.

I'm rooting for Mario to take it to the next level.

thunderkyss
05-06-2011, 11:42 AM
I'm just going to go on record here and say that Wade is a much smarter defensive mind than I am. HAHAHA

With that said, I really really hope Barwin and Brooks turn out to be excellent 3-4 OLBs and pair with Demeco and Cush to form an elite 4 LB group. Not only do I really think highly of all 4 players.... I really want a dominant DL and think Watt and Mario could be elite DEs. The two of them on the DL would be amazing and if we can just find that NT. I think we'll be fine next year but I don't know that we have that NT we want for the next 10 years. I see that in Watt and Maro at Ends though. I do think Mario is going to be moved all around to create mismatches and this movement will only help our DL rotate players and stay fresh.

I completely agree with this. To me this sounds like Texans Panic mode. Why draft Reed if Mario is the guy & that was our thinking before the draft.

I think the #1 overall & the #11 overall are premium price for 3-4 DEs. I'd much rather see Wade change his system to a 4-3, standing Mario up on occasion.


There is a lot of concerns here...

- Mario needs to lose about 50lbs IMHO to play this effectively.. 290-300 is way too big.
- How is he going to handle playing OLB, completely new setup for him.
- He's not going to rush the passer every down, what about when someone runs right at him..

honestly this move makes me nervous..

I agree. He's huge & athletic for his size. But asking him to lose 50lbs, you're taking away what makes him special. He would surely lose strength, as there isn't an ounce of fat on him.


What really worries me, is that we don't have a true LB playing either OLB position. TEs are going to kill us. Screens are going to kill us. More so than they have before that is.

powda
05-06-2011, 11:46 AM
I can see Peyton Manning drooling all over if they can find a way to isolate Mario..

I can see Manning crumble like the berlin wall if they do it right.

Demarcus Ware seems to be everyones comparisson and idea fit for what we want here...but dont fool yourself...ware made his name and reputation off of rushing the passer. He dosent drop back often and neither will Mario.

Anyone concerned about Mario as a linebacker in the run game hasnt been watching the games. He will be very good against the run. He may need to drop some weight but he's a good enough athlete to do what they want at 270-285 lbs.

The question will not be if Mario is rushing, it will be what gap is he rushing from and is he doing it in tandem with a stunt? If the offense starts shifting their blockers then you get players like Barwin/Reed rushing on the opposite side.

Be more concerned about Safety, Cornerback, and Nose tackle. Relying on your most talented defensive player (Mario) and putting him in the best position to succeed (OLB) is the right move schematically.

silvrhand
05-06-2011, 11:53 AM
I can see Manning crumble like the berlin wall if they do it right.

Demarcus Ware seems to be everyones comparisson and idea fit for what we want here...but dont fool yourself...ware made his name and reputation off of rushing the passer. He dosent drop back often and neither will Mario.

Anyone concerned about Mario as a linebacker in the run game hasnt been watching the games. He will be very good against the run. He may need to drop some weight but he's a good enough athlete to do what they want at 270-285 lbs.

The question will not be if Mario is rushing, it will be what gap is he rushing from and is he doing it in tandem with a stunt? If the offense starts shifting their blockers then you get players like Barwin/Reed rushing on the opposite side.

Be more concerned about Safety, Cornerback, and Nose tackle. Relying on your most talented defensive player (Mario) and putting him in the best position to succeed (OLB) is the right move schematically.

I'm sorry there is a HUGE difference in playing the run as a LB from a standing position vs. from a 3 point stance on the line. Mario just has to stand the block up and shed them, or watch the block, now he has to worry about a lot more that he is not used to..

Honestly I just don't like this move.. it's not a simple transition IMHO.

powda
05-06-2011, 12:10 PM
Mario has been a superior run defender with blockers inhibiting him. He will have the same success in limited space because of his athleticism. The only drawback i can think of is that there will be times when he has containment responsibilities on the outside. That will limit his aggresiveness on some plays i imagine.

And the title 3-4 Rush linbacker dosent mean he'll be playing exclusively in a two point stance. He will still have his hand in the dirt plenty in nickle and dime packages. Phillips hybrid defense is "3-4" in title only.

wolf123
05-06-2011, 12:29 PM
Were blowing this way out of porportion IMO. Ware rarely ever drops into coverage just like mario will be doing, these players will rush 95% of the time.

Pro's-
1. Run defense just got better. Mario will be able to set the edge alot better then barwin or brooks
2. Mario has stated that he feels better rushing standing up(sees the field better) Wade will work on his footwork
3. You now have 3 pass rushing OLB instead of 2.
4. Mario is happy and thats important

Con's
1. Mario must learn a new position
2. Brooks doesn't get to play as much
3. Weakens rotation at DE slightly

dalemurphy
05-06-2011, 12:45 PM
Were blowing this way out of porportion IMO. Ware rarely ever drops into coverage just like mario will be doing, these players will rush 95% of the time.

Pro's-
1. Run defense just got better. Mario will be able to set the edge alot better then barwin or brooks
2. Mario has stated that he feels better rushing standing up(sees the field better) Wade will work on his footwork
3. You now have 3 pass rushing OLB instead of 2.
4. Mario is happy and thats important

Con's
1. Mario must learn a new position
2. Brooks doesn't get to play as much
3. Weakens rotation at DE slightly


We are replacing, essentially, Zac Diles from the front 7... Mario's athleticism in space isn't too far from what Diles offered... and, I was a fan of Diles. Cushing and Demeco will still be playing LB and Barwin/Reed will generally line up on the strong side and tend to have greater responsibilities in coverage.

If we end up with a very physical front seven that is difficult to run on, applies heavy pressure on the QB, but is susceptible to some swing passes to RBs and quick outs to TEs- I'll be jumping for joy!

gary
05-06-2011, 01:04 PM
We are replacing, essentially, Zac Diles from the front 7... Mario's athleticism in space isn't too far from what Diles offered... and, I was a fan of Diles. Cushing and Demeco will still be playing LB and Barwin/Reed will generally line up on the strong side and tend to have greater responsibilities in coverage.

If we end up with a very physical front seven that is difficult to run on, applies heavy pressure on the QB, but is susceptible to some swing passes to RBs and quick outs to TEs- I'll be jumping for joy!These plays are much better than just getting beat fifty or sixty yards down the field to lose the game.:kubepalm:

Corrosion
05-06-2011, 01:19 PM
I can see Peyton Manning drooling all over if they can find a way to isolate Mario..


You know as well as I do that teams will find a way to exploit any and every advantage .... I can easily see teams figuring out how to exploit MW in space.

Texan4Ever
05-06-2011, 01:29 PM
Its going to be wired seeing a 6'7" 295-lbs linebacker but I guess I can see the logic behind this. If Mario's main role is to rush and get to the quarterback, then it won't be a problem as he will still be playing the end position but only standing up.

If he is asked to cover then...:kubepalm::wadepalm:

Thorn
05-06-2011, 01:46 PM
This is going to be great tv one way or another. Moving Mario could be a spectacular failure or success. Obviously, I'm hoping it will be a good move, but it'll be a disaster if it doesn't. If moving Mario doesn't work out, it'll be another nail in the coffin for Kubiak and Mario's days in Houston may be numbered. Either way this move gets me slightly excited about the Texans.

Yep. Kind of how I feel. If all this works and gets us into the playoffs, fine, then maybe Kubiak will have finally started acting like a head coach. If all this doesn't work, then Kubiak has to go. Either way works for me.

IDEXAN
05-06-2011, 01:52 PM
"We talked about that," Phillips said about Williams' weight. "I don't think he's a natural 290-pound guy. When he came in the other day, he was like 282. I don't think he'll have a problem getting down a little bit."
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
In the Chronicle story, Phillips says Mario is already at a street weight of
282 and Wade indicated he's not "naturally" a 290 pounder anyway.
I don't think I'd want Mario < 270, he's a big man at 6'6" - 6'7" with a big frame, and low or mids 270s should work very well for him, no less though.

Pantherstang84
05-06-2011, 01:57 PM
I think there is too much chicken little talk about the defense in the off season. I mean Wade Phillips has been coaching defense at the professional level (and doing a damn good job at it) since most people on this board have been doing one of the following:

1. Pooping diapers
2. Playing with Hotwheels
3. Playing Pong from Sears and Roebuck on their parent's Curtis Mathis.

I think the man deserves just a little bit of recognition that he just might, might, know what the hell he is doing on the defensive side of the ball.

BTW...If you are taking what McGobbler, Dickie, or Jerome are saying as gospel, would you be interested in buying a suspension bridge in the Sahara Desert?

CloakNNNdagger
05-06-2011, 01:57 PM
Another thing that concerns me is that in past years, Mario's rushing repertoire seemed to have consisted of virtually only rushing around the ends in a very circuitous fashion, usually ending up behind the QB. Spin moves were virtually nonexistent, contact was minimized, and for his size and supposed strength, he didn't seem to "throw off" many defenders. As an OLB, he is going to have to work on more than just that first hitch step. He will have to majorly expand his repretoire to succeed in his new position.

BigBull17
05-06-2011, 01:59 PM
Its going to be wired seeing a 6'7" 295-lbs linebacker but I guess I can see the logic behind this. If Mario's main role is to rush and get to the quarterback, then it won't be a problem as he will still be playing the end position but only standing up.

If he is asked to cover then...:kubepalm::wadepalm:

****, he can't be worse than what we've trotted out there to cover people in the past. Pollard, Diles, almost every linebacker that has ever been assigned a tight end in coverage, almost every safety, ect...

powda
05-06-2011, 02:20 PM
This is going to be great tv one way or another. Moving Mario could be a spectacular failure or success. Obviously, I'm hoping it will be a good move, but it'll be a disaster if it doesn't. If moving Mario doesn't work out, it'll be another nail in the coffin for Kubiak and Mario's days in Houston may be numbered. Either way this move gets me slightly excited about the Texans.

If Mario dosent have the ability as a rush linebacker he'll do fine as a 5tech. Reed will slide over to the Olb spot opposite Barwin. If it dosent work it should be just a hiccup. The problem instead would be, do they continue waiting on Mario to develop there if he cant do it? If so thats a detriment to the coaching staff.

I'm way more concerned about our interior run defense and secondary. If Mitchell cant hold the point at nose we're going to be shifting our ends inside a bit or useing more 40 fronts. As far as our secondary...last year was pretty much worst case scenerio...but I still need to see 2 free agent acquistions before i start feeling comfortable.

Mr teX
05-06-2011, 02:41 PM
Were blowing this way out of porportion IMO. Ware rarely ever drops into coverage just like mario will be doing, these players will rush 95% of the time.

Pro's-
1. Run defense just got better. Mario will be able to set the edge alot better then barwin or brooks
2. Mario has stated that he feels better rushing standing up(sees the field better) Wade will work on his footwork
3. You now have 3 pass rushing OLB instead of 2.
4. Mario is happy and thats important

Con's
1. Mario must learn a new position
2. Brooks doesn't get to play as much
3. Weakens rotation at DE slightly

This is all that matters honestly. From what little Wade has seen of him rushing from the standing position, He obviously thinks he can do it...

like many in here, my 1st reaction upon hearing this is that Mario is somewhat limited athletically to be able to play olb but then i took into account:

1.) Wade's 3-4 isn't the traditional 3-4, its a hybrid & therefore the traditional way of look at what you need to run the 3-4 & how it can be run is slightly different...I think this is the biggest misconception of how people are viewing this move.

2.) Wade's comment about Mario taking false steps clearly means that he thinks/knows that Mario's never been formerly coached on how to rush from the standing position. this isn't a far off notion b/c he did it so infrequently with the previous DC's it probably wasn't a point of focus for them.....plus we know about their "coaching" skills anyway.

3.) What Mario did at the combine in 2006 was one of the best & most complete combine performances not only for a DE but in some people's opinion....ever. when you look at it from that perspective, it's kind of crazy to think that he couldn't make the transition successfully.

Mr teX
05-06-2011, 03:01 PM
Another thing that concerns me is that in past years, Mario's rushing repertoire seemed to have consisted of virtually only rushing around the ends in a very circuitous fashion, usually ending up behind the QB. Spin moves were virtually nonexistent, contact was minimized, and for his size and supposed strength, he didn't seem to "throw off" many defenders. As an OLB, he is going to have to work on more than just that first hitch step. He will have to majorly expand his repretoire to succeed in his new position.

The only move mario doesn't seem to have is the spin move.....but who other than Dwight Freeney does? I've seen him successfully execute the bull rush & even reggie white's hump move a time or two in getting to the qb. His main issue is that no else is able to take any heat off him & protection is shaded to him every single down........hopefully that can change with our new additions and wade's scheme.

HuttoKarl
05-06-2011, 03:17 PM
There is a lot of concerns here...

- Mario needs to lose about 50lbs IMHO to play this effectively.. 290-300 is way too big.
- How is he going to handle playing OLB, completely new setup for him.
- He's not going to rush the passer every down, what about when someone runs right at him..

honestly this move makes me nervous..

If someone runs right at him, someone's getting a dirt nap.

The1ApplePie
05-06-2011, 03:25 PM
The only move mario doesn't seem to have is the spin move.....but who other than Dwight Freeney does? I've seen him successfully execute the bull rush & even reggie white's hump move a time or two in getting to the qb. His main issue is that no else is able to take any heat off him & protection is shaded to him every single down........hopefully that can change with our new additions and wade's scheme.

Alot of players are coached not to use a spin move, since it is an easy way to lose contain if you have your back to the play or your eyes off the backfield.

beerlover
05-06-2011, 03:39 PM
This may explain why wade prefers a smaller one gap penetrating NT, open a crease for Mario to hit, like C Chris Myers & OL in ZBS executes for Foster. One cut, downhill, decisive inside-out pass rushing monster QB's must adjust to.

CloakNNNdagger
05-06-2011, 04:44 PM
Alot of players are coached not to use a spin move, since it is an easy way to lose contain if you have your back to the play or your eyes off the backfield.

But it is very handy when you've hit an immoveable wall and have to quickly change direction.

CloakNNNdagger
05-06-2011, 04:47 PM
The only move mario doesn't seem to have is the spin move.....but who other than Dwight Freeney does? I've seen him successfully execute the bull rush & even reggie white's hump move a time or two in getting to the qb. His main issue is that no else is able to take any heat off him & protection is shaded to him every single down........hopefully that can change with our new additions and wade's scheme.

I truthfully did not appreciate Mario having to deal with double teams as often as some have made the case for.

Rey
05-06-2011, 05:09 PM
Honestly I'm not too worried about Mario's "weight". He's a freaking huge athlete and while he may slim down some... I just don't think he has the fat to lose a lot. I think he may get lean and mean but he's already a specimen.

Yes he'd be the largest OLB ever but I just don't see him having the same responsibilities as the typcial OLB. I think he's great in run support, particularly outside contain.

He's dropped back in coverage some in the past and done alright. He's occupied a space but he looks like a DE dropping in coverage and I think always will. I don't think he'll ever (or very rarely) actually cover an oponent and run with them. At the end of the day I think his responsibilities will be very similar to what he's already done in the past, I just think Wade will help him grow as a player but putting him in better situations to succeed.

I am a little bit worried about Mario at OLB for a couple reasons.

If he is going to be blitzing most of the time that means your other LB's are gonna have to do a bit more coverage...I'm not sold on Connor Barwin or Reed in coverage...And I think Demeco has not been all that good in that area and I am hoping Cushing plays more like his rookie self and not sophomore self....

I also want to see how Mario adjust to playing standing up. I like Cushing and Demeco as blitzers...especially up the middle...

All that said, I think that if we are going to not be predictable on defense Mario will have to cover sometimes...Whether it be out in the flats or a shallow zone...he's gonna have to cover at times...More often than he has in the past...

I think they can make it work though. I just wish that we could have camp and stuff so the coaches could see how things are working out...how players are moving...what they are strong at...ect....

I think our pass rush will definitely be improved. Definitely...

But I am still a bit worried about shorter passing routes and shallow stuff that the LB's will be responsible for...Especially with Mario and Barwin/Reed joining them.

Rey
05-06-2011, 05:12 PM
Were blowing this way out of porportion IMO. Ware rarely ever drops into coverage just like mario will be doing, these players will rush 95% of the time.

And good offensive teams are able to exploit that. Ware is great...I would like to see Mario rush from the OLB spot like D-Ware.

That would be nice.

False Start
05-06-2011, 06:09 PM
What if Mario fails at the LB position in the first 3-4 games? Do they move him back to the line?

MojoX
05-06-2011, 06:37 PM
All that said, I think that if we are going to not be predictable on defense Mario will have to cover sometimes...Whether it be out in the flats or a shallow zone...he's gonna have to cover at times...More often than he has in the past....

Being unpredictable is not just about rushing vs. covering the pass. It is also about the pass rushing angles taken by Williams and the other linemen. I think there are instances where being in a two point stance may allow the extra quickness to shoot the gap on stunts, twists, etc.

CloakNNNdagger
05-06-2011, 07:00 PM
I am a little bit worried about Mario at OLB for a couple reasons.

If he is going to be blitzing most of the time that means your other LB's are gonna have to do a bit more coverage...I'm not sold on Connor Barwin or Reed in coverage...And I think Demeco has not been all that good in that area and I am hoping Cushing plays more like his rookie self and not sophomore self....

I also want to see how Mario adjust to playing standing up. I like Cushing and Demeco as blitzers...especially up the middle...

All that said, I think that if we are going to not be predictable on defense Mario will have to cover sometimes...Whether it be out in the flats or a shallow zone...he's gonna have to cover at times...More often than he has in the past...

I think they can make it work though. I just wish that we could have camp and stuff so the coaches could see how things are working out...how players are moving...what they are strong at...ect....

I think our pass rush will definitely be improved. Definitely...

But I am still a bit worried about shorter passing routes and shallow stuff that the LB's will be responsible for...Especially with Mario and Barwin/Reed joining them.

When all is said and done, we have come around to agreeing on coverage concerns. Last year, none of our LBs were particularly admirable in coverage. And the TEs were routinely killing us.

I'm hoping that our D becomes "unpredictable" in a GOOD way.................that is, to the opposing OFFENSE only.

Rey
05-06-2011, 07:23 PM
Being unpredictable is not just about rushing vs. covering the pass. It is also about the pass rushing angles taken by Williams and the other linemen. I think there are instances where being in a two point stance may allow the extra quickness to shoot the gap on stunts, twists, etc.

I think stunts work more in high school and college than they do in the pros...

If you are going to get good pressure in the NFL you normally have to have good pass rushers and/or a really good blitz scheme.

When I am talking about being unpredictable I am talking about the QB knowing who is coming and who is not. I am talking about offensive coordinators being able to scheme against weaknesses...

And actually, being in a two point stance can hinder your pass rush...You aren't as explosive coming out, and you start out with a higher pad level...None of us know how Mario to OLB will work out, but it will be very interesting to see. I like Mario going forward...I don't like him moving laterally or backward as much...

But all the stunting and blitzing and great pass rushers in the world won't help us if we can't consistently keep QB's from throwing little short routes all game long. Go back and look at the Giants game play by play last year....They won that game dinking and dunking their way down the field...

Our initial/underneath coverage has sucked, and adding Mario and Barwin/Reed to the LB corps only seems like it will magnify it.

Norg
05-06-2011, 07:32 PM
Just pray that the lockout is lifted sometime soon. I dont want to go into the season with all this potential and no time to practice it. This is going to be some drastic situation/scheme changes.

PLEASE nfl, work it out!!

im not to worried all the oter teams are going through the exact same thing if u think about it in one way or the other

MojoX
05-06-2011, 09:47 PM
I think stunts work more in high school and college than they do in the pros...

If you are going to get good pressure in the NFL you normally have to have good pass rushers and/or a really good blitz scheme.

When I am talking about being unpredictable I am talking about the QB knowing who is coming and who is not. I am talking about offensive coordinators being able to scheme against weaknesses...

Fair points. I know what you meant by unpredictability and tried to reference that. It is much what most people mean when using the term in discussing 3-4 defenses. My response is simply that Phillips' system isn't about the unpredictability of whether or not Williams is coming. He will be coming 90-95% of the time. Predictability is as much of a problem as in a 4-3 set. Phillips focuses more on attack angles, which can bring a different form of unpredictability. An offensive coordinator has an easier time scheming against a zone blitz scheme if the attackers, whoever they may be, take predictable angles.

As I understand it, it is the traditional, pure, 3-4 that is built more on deception.


And actually, being in a two point stance can hinder your pass rush...You aren't as explosive coming out, and you start out with a higher pad level...None of us know how Mario to OLB will work out, but it will be very interesting to see. I like Mario going forward...I don't like him moving laterally or backward as much...

But all the stunting and blitzing and great pass rushers in the world won't help us if we can't consistently keep QB's from throwing little short routes all game long. Go back and look at the Giants game play by play last year....They won that game dinking and dunking their way down the field...

Our initial/underneath coverage has sucked, and adding Mario and Barwin/Reed to the LB corps only seems like it will magnify it.

I understood a two point stance being about vision and quickness and the three point stance about pad level, leverage, and power. If I am wrong, no problem. Teach me. What is the functional difference between the various stances defenders take?

I get you on looking at old footage of last year's defense, but I would rather not. That scheme is gone. I'd rather look at old footage of Phillips' scheme to note weaknesses and strengths. We already know from the many comments made by Texans opponents that the team's coverage schemes were poorly designed and the coverage backs were poorly coached. I just don't know what sucked more, the coaching or the personnel.

I plan to look at clips I can find of Phillips' work with the Chargers and Dallas, when I get the time. I'll look out for the observations you have just made.

I have read so many things from the modern 3-4 gurus (Belichick, Phillips, LeBeau, Capers) in which they profess that folks tend to make too much out of the alignment of the front (34 vs. 43). Belichick claims the real difference is in the concepts and the athletes and the positions they are out in to be successful. Phillips says the same. So in the end, I don't know how to assess this experiment with Williams other than to think that, I have no idea how Phillips is gonna use his players, but I look forward to seeing it play out. (Would provide links but am being lazy right now.)

BullNation4Life
05-06-2011, 09:59 PM
It is really upsetting to see all the negative thoughts about this move. "What if he fails" " he's too big" "He doesn't have fluid hips" blah blah blah...

Though they may be legit concerns, they are minute concerns. Mario can play the position at the weight he is at right now, or get down to about 280-282. He is far quick enough to play standing up, he even did so in his 14 and 12 sack seasons and had success doing so. He even stated numerous times he preferred standing up cause he felt he could get off the ball quicker and see the backfield easier.

As far as coverage, he will more than likely be in zone coverages if he is asked to cover and that is not asking too much of his talent. Asking him to cover a back or TE might be much, but zone coverage should be manageable.

As soon as I heard JJ Watt's name, I knew this was where Phillips was headed with Mario and I love the idea.

All in all, I think this is gonna spring Mario's career into the next level as being an elite pass rusher. I am saying the over/under on sacks will be 15 and another Pro Bowl vote.

Call a homer or drinking the kool aid, I just know what my eyes see and my eyes are telling me other teams are gonna have a very long season with Mario coming off the edge as an OLB....

BullNation4Life
05-06-2011, 10:01 PM
Fair points. I know what you meant by unpredictability and tried to reference that. It is much what most people mean when using the term in discussing 3-4 defenses. My response is simply that Phillips' system isn't about the unpredictability of whether or not Williams is coming. He will be coming 90-95% of the time. Predictability is as much of a problem as in a 4-3 set. Phillips focuses more on attack angles, which can bring a different form of unpredictability. An offensive coordinator has an easier time scheming against a zone blitz scheme if the attackers, whoever they may be, take predictable angles.

As I understand it, it is the traditional, pure, 3-4 that is built more on deception.




I understood a two point stance being about vision and quickness and the three point stance about pad level, leverage, and power. If I am wrong, no problem. Teach me. What is the functional difference between the various stances defenders take?

I get you on looking at old footage of last year's defense, but I would rather not. That scheme is gone. I'd rather look at old footage of Phillips' scheme to note weaknesses and strengths. We already know from the many comments made by Texans opponents that the team's coverage schemes were poorly designed and the coverage backs were poorly coached. I just don't know what sucked more, the coaching or the personnel.

I plan to look at clips I can find of Phillips' work with the Chargers and Dallas, when I get the time. I'll look out for the observations you have just made.

I have read so many things from the modern 3-4 gurus (Belichick, Phillips, LeBeau, Capers) in which they profess that folks tend to make too much out of the alignment of the front (34 vs. 43). Belichick claims the real difference is in the concepts and the athletes and the positions they are out in to be successful. Phillips says the same. So in the end, I don't know how to assess this experiment with Williams other than to think that, I have no idea how Phillips is gonna use his players, but I look forward to seeing it play out. (Would provide links but am being lazy right now.)

Look for the clips of the Texans during the 07-08 season where Mario was in packages as a standing DE and you will get a good idea of how mario will perform as an OLB

MojoX
05-06-2011, 11:33 PM
Look for the clips of the Texans during the 07-08 season where Mario was in packages as a standing DE and you will get a good idea of how mario will perform as an OLB

Thanks. Tried to find clips but got noise in the search. Will look again for the season you mentioned.

b0ng
05-07-2011, 09:06 AM
Thanks. Tried to find clips but got noise in the search. Will look again for the season you mentioned.

One of his sacks against Peyton in week 1 2010 came from a standing OLB spot in a 3-4 look. He basically shit on the Colts LT (Which I'm not even sure who was their LT at the time) with a shoulder dip/lean and blew right around him. No, he didn't look like Clay Matthews coming around the edge at mach 5 but he did look way too big to be able to handle coming at an LT with a 2 step start. I know I've seen him (and Barwin in 2009) rush from OLB spots in various 3-4 looks under terrible DC's so hopefully Phillips can make that happen more effectively.

And people who are saying "Oh well Phillips system is just a 4-3!" technically it is, but for the most part Mario isn't going to have his hand on the ground nearly as much as he did in a traditional 4-3. He's going to be doing a hell of a lot more rushing from a standing spot than we are used to seeing.

Pretty good write-up about the Wade Phillips scheme and what it means for our defense (http://www.battleredblog.com/2011/1/4/1913068/thats-so-crazy-it-just-might-work-examining-wade-phillips-3-4-scheme).

Wade Phillips 2003 Falcons defensive playbook (https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B5aZCUsARsqsZmMyMmQyZGEtZTRhNC00ZjhiLTg1Y2U tZTQxNzFiYTlmMTg2&hl=en&pli=1)

The1ApplePie
05-07-2011, 10:52 AM
I wouldn't expect Ware numbers out of Mario, but Wade turned the aging Greg Ellis into a double-digit sack OLB.

IDEXAN
05-07-2011, 01:10 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamba_Hali
In 2009 Hali moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense under new head coach Todd Haley, having had experience at both linebacker and defensive end at Penn State.
In 2010 the Chiefs hired a new defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel. Hali finished the season with the most sacks in the AFC, with 14.5. After the 2010 season Hali was invited to his first Pro Bowl.
2006 Kansas City 16 61 44 17 4 8.0 5 1 1
2007 Kansas City 16 58 46 12 2 7.5 2 0 0
2008 Kansas City 16 54 43 11 2 3.0 3 1 0
2009 Kansas City 16 62 44 16 1 8.5 4 0 0
2010 Kansas City 15 47 29 12 3 14.5 4 2 0
Total 66 279 208 70 12 41.5 18 4 1
***
The above stats are for the Chiefs Tambi Hali, their 275 lb LB who was a DE in their 4-3 until they moved him to OLB when they transitioned to the 3-4.
From the looks of Hali's stats, it seems that the conversion has worked out pretty good for him and the Chiefs ? FWIW ?

CloakNNNdagger
05-07-2011, 01:36 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamba_Hali
In 2009 Hali moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense under new head coach Todd Haley, having had experience at both linebacker and defensive end at Penn State.
In 2010 the Chiefs hired a new defensive coordinator, Romeo Crennel. Hali finished the season with the most sacks in the AFC, with 14.5. After the 2010 season Hali was invited to his first Pro Bowl.
2006 Kansas City 16 61 44 17 4 8.0 5 1 1
2007 Kansas City 16 58 46 12 2 7.5 2 0 0
2008 Kansas City 16 54 43 11 2 3.0 3 1 0
2009 Kansas City 16 62 44 16 1 8.5 4 0 0
2010 Kansas City 15 47 29 12 3 14.5 4 2 0
Total 66 279 208 70 12 41.5 18 4 1
***
The above stats are for the Chiefs Tambi Hali, their 275 lb LB who was a DE in their 4-3 until they moved him to OLB when they transitioned to the 3-4.
From the looks of Hali's stats, it seems that the conversion has worked out pretty good for him and the Chiefs ? FWIW ?


Just an FYI. Despite what wikipedia states, I followed him in college. He was a DT his 1st 2 years and a DE his last 2 years.........in a rigid traditional 4-3 D. He was never used as an OLB. Penn State essentially refused to tinker with 3-4 variations of the 4-3 until 2006, after Hali was already gone.

ChampionTexan
05-07-2011, 01:44 PM
Just an FYI. Despite what wikipedia states, I followed him in college. He was a DT his 1st 2 years and a DE his last 2 years.........in a rigid traditional 4-3 D. He was never used as an OLB. Penn State essentially refused to tinker with 3-4 variations of the 4-3 until 2006, after Hali was already gone.

Which - if correct - actually makes the Mario situation more comparable.

wolf123
05-07-2011, 01:48 PM
And good offensive teams are able to exploit that. Ware is great...I would like to see Mario rush from the OLB spot like D-Ware.

That would be nice.

None of the steelers LB's are very good at coverage either.

IDEXAN
05-07-2011, 02:33 PM
Just an FYI. Despite what wikipedia states, I followed him in college. He was a DT his 1st 2 years and a DE his last 2 years.........in a rigid traditional 4-3 D. He was never used as an OLB. Penn State essentially refused to tinker with 3-4 variations of the 4-3 until 2006, after Hali was already gone.
Right, but I'm not sure if I'm getting your point here C&D ?
I mean doesn't Hali's resume as a down lineman exclusively in college and then a 275 lb down lineman in the early part of his NFL career followed by an apparently successful convertion to 3-4 OLB add validity to the hypothesis that another large, athletic down lineman like Mario Williams could have a similarly successful conversion ?

CloakNNNdagger
05-07-2011, 03:39 PM
Right, but I'm not sure if I'm getting your point here C&D ?
I mean doesn't Hali's resume as a down lineman exclusively in college and then a 275 lb down lineman in the early part of his NFL career followed by an apparently successful convertion to 3-4 OLB add validity to the hypothesis that another large, athletic down lineman like Mario Williams could have a similarly successful conversion ?

That's why I interjected my post. Although, it has to be kept in mind that one player's ability to transition does not necessarilly assure another's.:handshake:

badboy
05-07-2011, 04:33 PM
It is really upsetting to see all the negative thoughts about this move. "What if he fails" " he's too big" "He doesn't have fluid hips" blah blah blah...

Though they may be legit concerns, they are minute concerns. Mario can play the position at the weight he is at right now, or get down to about 280-282. He is far quick enough to play standing up, he even did so in his 14 and 12 sack seasons and had success doing so. He even stated numerous times he preferred standing up cause he felt he could get off the ball quicker and see the backfield easier.

As far as coverage, he will more than likely be in zone coverages if he is asked to cover and that is not asking too much of his talent. Asking him to cover a back or TE might be much, but zone coverage should be manageable.

As soon as I heard JJ Watt's name, I knew this was where Phillips was headed with Mario and I love the idea.

All in all, I think this is gonna spring Mario's career into the next level as being an elite pass rusher. I am saying the over/under on sacks will be 15 and another Pro Bowl vote.

Call a homer or drinking the kool aid, I just know what my eyes see and my eyes are telling me other teams are gonna have a very long season with Mario coming off the edge as an OLB....I will take the under and hope you are right and I'm wrong.

rmartin65
05-07-2011, 04:35 PM
I will take the under and hope you are right and I'm wrong.

Under as well. I think Mario tops around 12-14 for the rest of his career.

badboy
05-07-2011, 04:38 PM
Under as well. I think Mario tops around 12-14 for the rest of his career.Can you imagine the contract he will want if he has 15 sacks? Maybe we could work a trade about game 12?

b0ng
05-07-2011, 04:54 PM
I'd take the under on 15 sacks as well unfortunately. If Mario ends with 15 sacks, how many sacks do the rest of the LB's come up with?

CloakNNNdagger
05-07-2011, 06:29 PM
I came across this draft profile of Mario's.

Teaming with Manny Lawson, Mario Williams has helped give NC St. the most feared edge rush duo in college football. As a freshman in 2003, Williams made an immediate impact. For the year he tallied 56 tackles, 13 for loss, and five sacks. He was named to everyone’s Frosh All American lists. As a sophomore, his numbers were almost identical. He finished with 57 tackles, 15 for loss, and six sacks. Williams upped his output for the season finishing with 62 tackles, 24 for loss, and 14.5 sacks.

There may not be a better physical specimen at any position in the draft. Williams has fantastic size for a defensive end, but couples that with supreme athleticism. He draws a lot of comparisons to Julius Peppers for his size and athleticism combination. Mario has the quickness off the line, the ability to change direction, and the closing speed to be a major factor as a pass rusher. But his height and bulk allow him to be a force against the run as well.

Despite being so talented, Williams has not dominated like he should. He just seems to disappear at times. For how big and athletic he is, he should just own opposing tackles. Perhaps that is because he still relies on his athleticism to make plays. Whatever the reason, it does cause some concern.

Williams may end up being the first defensive player selected in April. His upside is that tremendous. He is not as good a prospect as Julius Peppers was, because along with all his talent, Peppers dominated games too. But, the ability is there. Mario is a top 10 lock, and should land in the Top five of the draft.

This could be written of Mario after 5 years in the NFL. I'm hoping that Mario loses his stigmata in his new role.

The Pencil Neck
05-07-2011, 06:33 PM
Personally, I wouldn't look at this as being a 3-4 or a 4-3, I look at this as being more of a 5-2.

Our linebackers, doing linebackerly things like covering people, will be Cush and Demeco.

Our line in normal situations will be:

Mario -- Watt -- Cody -- Smith -- Reed/Barwin

Our line in passing (but non-nickel) situations will be

Reed -- Mario -- Watt -- Smith -- Barwin

And in nickel, either one of these guys will leave the field OR one of Demeco and Cush will leave and we'll add a DB in their place.

At least, that's the way I'm seeing it.

beerlover
05-07-2011, 06:34 PM
Thread Title should read: Evolution of Mario Williams

One thing for sure, he is a rare talent. I hope he can be more explosive in new position.

BullNation4Life
05-07-2011, 07:00 PM
Personally, I wouldn't look at this as being a 3-4 or a 4-3, I look at this as being more of a 5-2.

Our linebackers, doing linebackerly things like covering people, will be Cush and Demeco.

Our line in normal situations will be:

Mario -- Watt -- Cody -- Smith -- Reed/Barwin

Our line in passing (but non-nickel) situations will be

Reed -- Mario -- Watt -- Smith -- Barwin

And in nickel, either one of these guys will leave the field OR one of Demeco and Cush will leave and we'll add a DB in their place.

At least, that's the way I'm seeing it.

I am as well and that is what intrigues me....

gary
05-07-2011, 07:53 PM
Okoye won't be a starter?

MojoX
05-07-2011, 08:47 PM
Personally, I wouldn't look at this as being a 3-4 or a 4-3, I look at this as being more of a 5-2.

Our linebackers, doing linebackerly things like covering people, will be Cush and Demeco.

Our line in normal situations will be:

Mario -- Watt -- Cody -- Smith -- Reed/Barwin

Our line in passing (but non-nickel) situations will be

Reed -- Mario -- Watt -- Smith -- Barwin

And in nickel, either one of these guys will leave the field OR one of Demeco and Cush will leave and we'll add a DB in their place.

At least, that's the way I'm seeing it.

That's how I am thinking about it, too.

El Tejano
05-07-2011, 10:52 PM
No more read and react for Mario. Now it's just full go! I sense a Mario YOU SUCK thread not being needed anymore.

infantrycak
05-08-2011, 09:33 AM
Personally, I wouldn't look at this as being a 3-4 or a 4-3, I look at this as being more of a 5-2.

Our linebackers, doing linebackerly things like covering people, will be Cush and Demeco.

Our line in normal situations will be:

Mario -- Watt -- Cody -- Smith -- Reed/Barwin

Our line in passing (but non-nickel) situations will be

Reed -- Mario -- Watt -- Smith -- Barwin

And in nickel, either one of these guys will leave the field OR one of Demeco and Cush will leave and we'll add a DB in their place.

At least, that's the way I'm seeing it.

Why did you skip over Mitchell?

thunderkyss
05-08-2011, 11:27 AM
None of the steelers LB's are very good at coverage either.

That isn't exactly true. Their worthless in man coverage, but their understanding of routes & zones is right their with the best in the league.

Which, I also think Mario understands zones & coverages better than most of our OLBs. When he drops into coverage, he actual takes throws away, forces difficult throws, or gets a hand on the ball.

It's very rare (especially pre-Cush) that we would see a Texans LB get a hand on a ball. It appears that they understand they are supposed to drop to where the little dot on the play-map shows them they are supposed to be, regardless how the routes develop around them.

thunderkyss
05-08-2011, 11:30 AM
Right, but I'm not sure if I'm getting your point here C&D ?
I mean doesn't Hali's resume as a down lineman exclusively in college and then a 275 lb down lineman in the early part of his NFL career followed by an apparently successful convertion to 3-4 OLB add validity to the hypothesis that another large, athletic down lineman like Mario Williams could have a similarly successful conversion ?

Mario's too stiff if you ask me.

He's also 290lbs (I always though closer to 300lbs...... 295/298 something like that).

Totally different athlete.

But Mario is a bread all his own, so who knows?

I'm just one of those guys who thought Mario would serve this team better as a DE regardless what front we're in. The OL is made up of a bunch of big guys. Mario has been the only one on our team in a long time to come close to dominating any of them.

Lucky
05-08-2011, 11:57 AM
Okoye won't be a starter?
Okoye is the forgotten man. He has no role in the defense. I guess it's possible he has some trade value, but I doubt for a draft pick. Maybe for another overpaid vet? I wonder if the Broncos are looking to dump Brian Dawkins, after drafting Rahim Moore? I wanted the Texans to go after Dawkins in 2009.

CloakNNNdagger
05-08-2011, 04:44 PM
Okoye is the forgotten man. He has no role in the defense. I guess it's possible he has some trade value, but I doubt for a draft pick. Maybe for another overpaid vet? I wonder if the Broncos are looking to dump Brian Dawkins, after drafting Rahim Moore? I wanted the Texans to go after Dawkins in 2009.

Sometime Friday on 610 during an unscheduled interview, McClain stated that he was writing an article which will appear in the Monday Chronicle.............on Okoye and Slaton. Should be "interesting" what additional "insight" he has garnered.

The Pencil Neck
05-08-2011, 04:45 PM
Why did you skip over Mitchell?

Ah, my bad. I think that normal NT spot will be Cody and Mitchell. But you're right, Mitchell sounds like he's going to get the chance to be the starter there.

The Pencil Neck
05-08-2011, 04:49 PM
Okoye won't be a starter?

I'd be really shocked if he was able to work himself into being a starter on this team in this defense. I don't think he can be a better DE than Watt or Smith and I don't think he can be a better NT/DT than Mitchell and Cody. And I think we've got other options at both of those positions that are going to be better suited to the defense than Okoye.

If we don't move him somehow, I don't even see him in our normal rotations.

Rey
05-08-2011, 04:51 PM
None of the steelers LB's are very good at coverage either.

Individually there aren't many LB's that you would classify as great or very good in coverage.

Especially not man coverage.

But there is no way that the Steelers have as good a defense as they have if their LB's aren't playing the pass well.

Rey
05-08-2011, 05:03 PM
Personally, I wouldn't look at this as being a 3-4 or a 4-3, I look at this as being more of a 5-2.

Our linebackers, doing linebackerly things like covering people, will be Cush and Demeco.

Our line in normal situations will be:

Mario -- Watt -- Cody -- Smith -- Reed/Barwin

Our line in passing (but non-nickel) situations will be

Reed -- Mario -- Watt -- Smith -- Barwin

And in nickel, either one of these guys will leave the field OR one of Demeco and Cush will leave and we'll add a DB in their place.

At least, that's the way I'm seeing it.

I think that would be ok in a lot of instances.

But I'm finding it really hard to picture us not getting roasted with Mario and Barwin/Reed at the OLB spots.

Even a team like Jacksonville, in a basic offensive set with MJD and Mercedes Lewis, will give us headaches.

Seems like TE's and RB's are going to give us headaches next year....

Lucky
05-08-2011, 05:47 PM
None of the steelers LB's are very good at coverage either.
James Harrison is considered to be a pretty good coverage LB. And I remember Woodley reading Matt Schaub and coming up with a big int back in 2008.

Here are some observations on Mario's switch from NFLN analyst Willie McGinest (http://www.nfl.com/videos/houston-texans/09000d5d81fb213e/That-s-one-giant-linebacker), a 15 year vet at 3-4 OLB.


If you played in the 3-4 system, there's no way you can be only 5% (dropping into coverage). It all depends on the formation. Whatever the strength of the formation, whether it's right or left and that's based on the receivers, that's the side that's gonna drop.

Mario Williams is in his 6th year, and now he's gonna have to learn the whole defense, again. He's gonna have to be able to recognize formations...receivers, running backs, tight ends...He's gonna have to be able to play in space.

He's gonna have to walk out on the #2 receiver. He's gonna have to learn the coverages. Cover 2, cover 4 , cover 1, cover 8, whatever it is...Then, he's gonna have to be able to communicate. Communication level goes up 95%. He's gotta get a call, he's gotta give a call. He's gotta tell his d-end what he has to do...Then between all that, he's gotta learn to read run/pass...He's thinking and he's going to be hesitant when he first starts.

He's going to have to learn everything about the 3-4 defense. And it's not easy.

Not a ringing endorsement for Mario's move to OLB. But as Warren Sapp said, Phillips must have a way for Mario to do what he does best.

P.S. Sapp does a great mini-impersonation of John McClain (@ 1:06 mark).

P.P.S. Just how tall is Stacey Dale? She's like an Amazon goddess. I love the girls of the NFLN. Dale, Lindsey Soto, Michelle Beisner. Watch 'em year round.

nytexan
05-08-2011, 05:53 PM
I think that would be ok in a lot of instances.

But I'm finding it really hard to picture us not getting roasted with Mario and Barwin/Reed at the OLB spots.

Even a team like Jacksonville, in a basic offensive set with MJD and Mercedes Lewis, will give us headaches.

Seems like TE's and RB's are going to give us headaches next year....

I believe Philips will have them in zone much more than we're used to and when they're not you'll see Cushing as our primary cover LB

thunderkyss
05-08-2011, 07:23 PM
I'd be really shocked if he was able to work himself into being a starter on this team in this defense. I don't think he can be a better DE than Watt or Smith and I don't think he can be a better NT/DT than Mitchell and Cody. And I think we've got other options at both of those positions that are going to be better suited to the defense than Okoye.

If we don't move him somehow, I don't even see him in our normal rotations.

He played DE out of a 3 man front several times last season, & didn't look bad. A lot like Antonio, close.... but never finishing.

I think he'll be a fine DE. Not a monster, or a star...... but we're talking about a 3-4 here.

thunderkyss
05-08-2011, 07:42 PM
James Harrison is considered to be a pretty good coverage LB. And I remember Woodley reading Matt Schaub and coming up with a big int back in 2008.

Here are some observations on Mario's switch from NFLN analyst Willie McGinest (http://www.nfl.com/videos/houston-texans/09000d5d81fb213e/That-s-one-giant-linebacker), a 15 year vet at 3-4 OLB.



Not a ringing endorsement for Mario's move to OLB. But as Warren Sapp said, Phillips must have a way for Mario to do what he does best.

P.S. Sapp does a great mini-impersonation of John McClain (@ 1:06 mark).

P.P.S. Just how tall is Stacey Dale? She's like an Amazon goddess. I love the girls of the NFLN. Dale, Lindsey Soto, Michelle Beisner. Watch 'em year round.

I understand what McGinest said (one of my favorite players by the way) but they never looked at what Dallas did with Ware. If Ware said 5% of the time, I think he was being generous. I don't believe Ware dropped back anywhere near 5%, or nearly as often as Mario did as a 4-3 DE.

One of the tenets of 3-4 fans, is that you never know where the rush is coming from. Against Dallas for the last 5 years or so, there was no doubt who the first 4 rushers were going to be. He pretty much played like a strong-side DE on the weak-side.

Texan_Bill
05-08-2011, 07:52 PM
As he should! I said this whenever the Texans first hired Phillips... A lot of people don't think Mario is athletic enough to play OLB. I happen to think he is. Someone, (I think it was Steph/ Texanschick) that brought up the fact that Mario's best game was 3.5 sacks v. Denver. He played that game nearly entirely standing up like an OLB....

thunderkyss
05-08-2011, 08:25 PM
I wouldn't expect Ware numbers out of Mario, but Wade turned the aging Greg Ellis into a double-digit sack OLB.

Mario has never really had any help on the DL.

Can Reed be our Ellis? Or Bawin, or Anderson, or even Bullman. If Watt or even Antonio can be that 5 tech that demands attention (Spears), we might finally have a our pass rush.

steelbtexan
05-08-2011, 08:45 PM
I'm glad Marios happy.

That's what's important.

Marios a great leader of men. Gripe until you get your way. (Almost child like) I wonder why the Texans are considered to be soft. Could it be the coaches are soft on the players? This is exhibit #1.

The Pencil Neck
05-08-2011, 08:47 PM
I think that would be ok in a lot of instances.

But I'm finding it really hard to picture us not getting roasted with Mario and Barwin/Reed at the OLB spots.

Even a team like Jacksonville, in a basic offensive set with MJD and Mercedes Lewis, will give us headaches.

Seems like TE's and RB's are going to give us headaches next year....

It's not really that much different than a 4-3 team that always brings 1 blitzer. In man, Cushing and Ryans will each take a RB or a TE and one of the safeties will take the remaining guy, just like they would have in the old 4-3. In a 4-3, you've always got 1 extra guy, in this 5-2 version of the 3-4, you're just using that guy to penetrate and put pressure into the backfield.

And you can make it work in zone as well.

Occasionally, we should change it up and have someone who plays a more traditional coverage LB position. And sometimes any of the five guys on the line can drop back into zone. If that's done creatively and randomly, it can really screw up the passing lanes and make QBs make bad reads.

It will be interesting to see how it all develops.

thunderkyss
05-08-2011, 09:19 PM
I'm glad Marios happy.

That's what's important.

Marios a great leader of men. Gripe until you get your way. (Almost child like) I wonder why the Texans are considered to be soft. Could it be the coaches are soft on the players? This is exhibit #1.

Whoa..... Mario hasn't been griping. I remember him answering one question, acknowledging that a 3-4 DE isn't the star a 4-3 DE can be. But he said he'll do what the coaches tell him.

He appeared to buy into the Bruce Smith spill Wade was passing around.

I don't think Mario has been complaining or whining.

Grforces
05-08-2011, 09:49 PM
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/09000d5d81fb2b3f/Mario-moves-to-OLB?module=HP_headlines

just some video. if posted already sorry.

gafftop
05-08-2011, 10:18 PM
http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/09000d5d81fb2b3f/Mario-moves-to-OLB?module=HP_headlines

just some video. if posted already sorry.

I agree 100% with video. Wade Phillips seems to me to be the 2nd coming of Kubiak. Wade/Kubiak = Wak Again if our defense is dependent on Mario good luck. Just my opinion.

TANSTAAFL
05-10-2011, 10:50 PM
Interestingly, LB Coach Herring coached Mario, as the defensive coordinator, at NC State in 2004. Think Mario was a sophomore then. NC State went from 89th to 1st in total defense that year.

Ole Miss Texan
05-11-2011, 08:56 AM
Interestingly, LB Coach Herring coached Mario, as the defensive coordinator, at NC State in 2004. Think Mario was a sophomore then. NC State went from 89th to 1st in total defense that year.

REP - Nice Find! This made me go look at his wiki page. Pretty interesting.
In 2002, Herring accepted a position in the NFL with the Houston Texans to coach linebackers, after having been on the job as defensive coordinator at Ole Miss for less than a month.[1][2] Although Herring only held the Texans position for two years, he coached the 2003 league-leader in tackles, Jamie Sharper. In 2004, Herring left the NFL to become defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at North Carolina State University. His first year at North Carolina State, the Wolfpack defense led the nation in total defense after ranking 89th in that category the year prior.

El Tejano
05-11-2011, 09:36 AM
A friend of mine who is a die hard Cowboys fan said that when we hired Phillips he figured this is what would happen to Mario. He stated that the statement Peter King made about Demarcus Ware going in coverage only like 6 times the whole season was right. He said Wade has a very good way of hiding his coverages because he will not hesitate to play a 3-3-5 defense to cover for the fact that Mario's going in everytime. He also said the fact that Mario has shown to move from one side to the other makes it even better because he can move Mario around. Then he concluded that the picks of JJ Watt and Shiloh Keo (who many think could become a LB) were drafted. To enable us to do this with Mario.

Tailgate
05-11-2011, 09:46 AM
A friend of mine who is a die hard Cowboys fan said that when we hired Phillips he figured this is what would happen to Mario. He stated that the statement Peter King made about Demarcus Ware going in coverage only like 6 times the whole season was right. He said Wade has a very good way of hiding his coverages because he will not hesitate to play a 3-3-5 defense to cover for the fact that Mario's going in everytime. He also said the fact that Mario has shown to move from one side to the other makes it even better because he can move Mario around. Then he concluded that the picks of JJ Watt and Shiloh Keo (who many think could become a LB) were drafted. To enable us to do this with Mario.

Peter Kings article on the move...


Let's examine what the phrase "playing in space'' means. In some 3-4 schemes, the outside linebackers are asked to drop in coverage, but in reality they almost never do. If you watch Phillips' defense in Dallas (and, for that matter, in San Diego before then), the outside linebackers were pretty consistently lined up wide on the line of scrimmage, outside the defensive ends. There's this fear that Williams will be a lost sheep on the four or five snaps a game where (it is presumed, and I believe wrongly) he would have to drop and cover a tight end or back. But Phillips doesn't do that, and I'm sure he's not going to start now with Williams.

I asked my friend Aaron Schatz of FootballOutsiders.com, a site that studies tape of every NFL game, what he thought of the move, and to work up some stats on Williams and Ware to see how much each pressured the passer in recent seasons. "To be honest,'' Schatz said, "I don't think Mario Williams as outside linebacker is that crazy. The strongside linebacker [in Phillips' defense] only rarely drops into coverage and the weakside linebacker almost never drops into coverage. Last year, our game charters had Ware in coverage on six passes. That's it. [Antwan] Applewhite, the weakside linebacker in San Diego, was in coverage on just nine. Williams makes more sense there than as a five-technique end.'' The five-technique end has run and rush responsibilities and lines up on the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle.



Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/05/10/mail/index.html#ixzz1M3UNqYVd

Tailgate
05-11-2011, 10:25 AM
Bucky Brooks at nfl.com seems to be warming up to the idea...


However, I've started to see the wisdom in making the move after extensively studying Phillips' system and Williams' talents in the film room.

From a schematic standpoint, Phillips' "30" defense is actually an old school 5-2 defense with five defensive linemen capable of rushing the passer on the field on most downs. The outside linebackers are the designated playmakers in the scheme, with the Will linebacker often occupying the starring role.

Unlike the Pittsburgh Steelers' scheme, which positions pass rushers on the right or left regardless of the strength of the formation, Phillips utilizes a strong and weak side to place his premier rusher on the backside of the formation. With most teams operating under a right-handed premise, this will put his top rusher at the right outside linebacker spot on most downs.

DeMarcus Ware absolutely dominated opponents as a Will linebacker in Phillips' scheme with the Cowboys. He frequently took advantage of isolated matchups on the edge, and it's no coincidence his game took off when he had the opportunity to get after the quarterback aggressively in the system. With 60.5 sacks over the past four years, Ware obviously benefitted from playing the premier position in the scheme.

While some would say that Williams' athleticism doesn't match Ware's, I would point to the early career success of Shawne Merriman under Phillips as a prime example of why the move will work for the Texans.

Merriman, who is 6-4, 265 pounds, had 27 sacks in two seasons under Phillips. This is significant to note because his game is built on power and explosiveness, which also are the strongest parts of Williams' skill set. Merriman found a way to thrive in the system despite his athletic limitations, so it is quite possible that Williams will enjoy similar success under Phillips' guidance.

In the end, this should not be much of a transition for Williams because he has played on both sides of the line based on matchups in the past and often lined up at right defensive end for the Texans in critical situations. Although he will need to adjust to playing from an upright position, he will still get after the quarterback on 95 percent of the snaps.



http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fc4e47/article/stand-and-deliver-williams-move-to-lb-could-work-for-texans?module=HP_cp2

b0ng
05-11-2011, 11:41 AM
I think after Wade's "5-2" comment and people actually looking at the role that Ware played in teh Dallas defense they aren't thinking it's that crazy. You just have to get over the size of a 6'7" 280lb OLB.

I'm waaaaaay more worried about Earl Mitchell/Shaun Cody playing the NT spot than I am Mario going from a complete 4-3 DE to a pass rushing 3-4 OLB.

Ole Miss Texan
05-11-2011, 11:44 AM
I think after Wade's "5-2" comment and people actually looking at the role that Ware played in teh Dallas defense they aren't thinking it's that crazy. You just have to get over the size of a 6'7" 280lb OLB.
I'm waaaaaay more worried about Earl Mitchell/Shaun Cody playing the NT spot than I am Mario going from a complete 4-3 DE to a pass rushing 3-4 OLB.
It just gets back to him being an OLB in name only. Wade's defense is different than any other 3-4. I'd be worried about Mario as a full time "outside linebacker" in most other systems. With Mario moving around to the weakside virtually every play and rushing the passer... call him an OLB, call him a 3rd DE... it's all the same.

I'm getting so excited to see how this defense responds. I think we've got so much potential here to be a really good defense.

El Tejano
05-11-2011, 01:05 PM
My question is what kind of leverage does this give Mario if he makes the transition to OLB succesfully? Anyone remember the deal Terrell Suggs went through two years ago? I don't remember if he was saying that he wanted to be called a DE or OLB because one would require he get paid more than the other.

badboy
05-11-2011, 01:12 PM
My question is what kind of leverage does this give Mario if he makes the transition to OLB succesfully? Anyone remember the deal Terrell Suggs went through two years ago? I don't remember if he was saying that he wanted to be called a DE or OLB because one would require he get paid more than the other.If Mario gets 14+ sacks as OLB someone will pay him plenty. Anyone think a 6'7" LB may knock a pass or two down?

Mr teX
05-11-2011, 01:28 PM
If Mario gets 14+ sacks as OLB someone will pay him plenty. Anyone think a 6'7" LB may knock a pass or two down?

Honestly, this is where i believe mario will make his biggest impact. He'll still get 10-11 sacks but he will affect qbs more batting passes down, knocking them in the air & jumping in the qb's passing lane b/c he's so damn tall.

In addition to this, Watt isn't too much shorter at 6'5 & we know that this was sort of specialty for him @ Wisconsin

badboy
05-11-2011, 01:30 PM
Honestly, this is where i believe mario will make his biggest impact. He'll still get 10-11 sacks but he will affect qbs more batting passes down, knocking them in the air & jumping in the qb's passing lane b/c he's so damn tall.

In addition to this, Watt isn't too much shorter at 6'5 & we know that this was sort of specialty for him @ Wisconsin
Yep, that is a lot of tree limbs to throw through (threw just wanted to get that in).

infantrycak
05-11-2011, 01:49 PM
My question is what kind of leverage does this give Mario if he makes the transition to OLB succesfully? Anyone remember the deal Terrell Suggs went through two years ago? I don't remember if he was saying that he wanted to be called a DE or OLB because one would require he get paid more than the other.

Suggs wanted to be considered a DE. To compare the franchise tag for DE last year was $12.4 mil and for LB was $9.7 mil.

El Tejano
05-11-2011, 03:26 PM
Suggs wanted to be considered a DE. To compare the franchise tag for DE last year was $12.4 mil and for LB was $9.7 mil.

In that case, nice move by Uncle Bob and Co. Very, very smart!!

DocBar
05-11-2011, 04:03 PM
In that case, nice move by Uncle Bob and Co. Very, very smart!!Hell, with the Texans luck, MW will have 25 sacks this years and go for the totaled franchise tags for both positions. Snakebit is snakebit and the Texans have never fared well in FA.

Rey
05-11-2011, 04:15 PM
It's not really that much different than a 4-3 team that always brings 1 blitzer. In man, Cushing and Ryans will each take a RB or a TE and one of the safeties will take the remaining guy, just like they would have in the old 4-3. In a 4-3, you've always got 1 extra guy, in this 5-2 version of the 3-4, you're just using that guy to penetrate and put pressure into the backfield.


Only thing is that most 4-3 teams want to use their 4 down-linemen to get penetration without having to bring a blitz.

And I am concerned about Ryans and Cushing holding TE's and RB's without any additional help. I think that the rush will make QB's get rid of the ball faster, but if it doesn't get there we could be in trouble.

Occasionally, we should change it up and have someone who plays a more traditional coverage LB position. And sometimes any of the five guys on the line can drop back into zone. If that's done creatively and randomly, it can really screw up the passing lanes and make QBs make bad reads.

It will be interesting to see how it all develops.

That will be the key, because every defense has weaknesses. The 5-2 esque defense that we are planning to run is definitely a step up from the blah blah blah 4-3's we've run in the recent past.

Hopefully Phillips can make it work.