Originally Posted by Dishman
There is absolutely no correlation between Mario's absence and the high-level of play by the defense, particularly the LB spot. As you suggest it is coincidence only. The spectacular defense we see is due to the combination of talent, a real D-coordinator on Phillips, and a respectable secondary courtesy of J-Jo. To suggest otherwise is dishonest, in my opinion.
I think the D gets along fine without him, as has already been proven, but I'd certainly love to have him back at the right price for his position. I think the prudent thing for the Texan's FO to do is to franchise Mario next year which provides them a full season to see how he works out or if he is again injured for a significant portion of the season. If he stays healthy and the performance isn't there then a trade scenario should be visited.
None of that really matters when I've been able to see Mario for like 5+ years at his position and disappear in games. He's been inconsistent a lot and I don't care what anyone says, HE TAKES PLAYS OFF!!! He did in college and that was the biggest knock on him coming into the league by all scouts. I've seen the exact type of player in the NFL on the Texans where he looks very dominant at times, but then goes away for long stretches of games where I watch him and I don't see a "non stop motor" player in the game. Mario has never been that dominant pass rusher that effects opposing team's QB's all game long to where they're just out of their zone. He has spurts where he plays great and looks like a monster, but he has never been that guy consistently. I don't care what kind of defensive systems we've had in the past either.
Another thing to add is that I've never heard anyone talk about Mario having one of the greatest work ethics on the team on and off the practice field. He's never been that guy that you hear about when people say "follow what Mario does" or watch how he works day in and day out as a professional and you'll learn what it's like to be in this league. I've heard that about guys like AJ, Demeco, and even Cushing at times. Never heard that about Mario before, and this was a long winded conversation on the radio one day, and I completely agreed with it.
Bottom line is that our pass rush is better than it's ever been in Texans history when Mario isn't here and we're 8-3 with a ton of other injuries. It's quite obvious to me that this team doesn't "NEED" Mario Williams to be a great team and the money that they pay him can go to some other very good players that they may need to go to that next level.