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Old 06-11-2006   #1
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Default M.Williams Survival of the fittest

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HOUSTON – Last week, Houston Texans rookie defensive end Mario Williams was given a key to the city, a crisp white cowboy hat and a box of Cowboy boots – new kicks straight out of the "Bonanza" casting closet. They were called gifts, but some might have construed them as peace offerings.

"I'm gonna have to frame that hat or something," Williams chuckled.

While admiring the boots at a table inside Reliant Stadium, Williams straightened two grotesquely swollen big toes. A pair of smashed toenails – common hazards for linemen – had been removed a few days earlier. Now the toes looked like two fleshy light bulbs popping out of his sandals. That meant only patience and pain would get those boots on his feet any time soon.

The picture was an appropriate metaphor. Booed by Texans fans on draft day for not having the panache of a Reggie Bush or the hometown flavor of a Vince Young, Williams appears poised to endure a rookie season in search of a tough fit. While Houston can give the No. 1 overall selection a key to the city – and the Texans can offer resounding support – finding the hardware to unlock the hearts of the locals will take a lot more effort.

The upcoming season, sure to be one of more growing pains for Houston, will require patience. Not only from Williams but also from the ever-critical fans who expect so much from him. The city is already doing its best to make up for an embarrassing welcome. All that is left is for the season-ticket holders to fall in line and let go of Bush and Young. There can be no wondering what could have been – even if Williams says he doesn't mind.

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"I don't worry about that because there's no way to control it," Williams said. "I'm not worried about being compared to Reggie. I'm not worried about being compared to anybody."

It's the right thing to say. But it's not entirely true. Williams does have some names he can rattle off when you want to talk comparisons. He just prefers more favorable matches that he can aspire to be. Say, Bruce Smith or Reggie White from the old school. Or, if you want to discuss some of his contemporaries, Jevon Kearse, Julius Peppers and Dwight Freeney. All five of those players made at least one Pro Bowl by their third NFL season, and all but Smith registered double-digit sacks as a rookie.

"He can be that good," said Texans defensive tackle Robaire Smith, who is counting on Williams' arrival to vastly improve his own pass rush along with the league's 31st-ranked defense. "When you watch him, it's like he's a mixture of Jevon and Julius. When we watch film of him, you can see a lot of his quickness and body movements are like Jevon. That's crazy, because he's like 40 or 50 pounds heavier than Jevon.

"I think he's going to start the season singled up with offensive linemen, but once he proves himself, those guards are going to be sliding [over] to help. And that's going to free us up inside in the pass rush."

Williams won't be alone. Houston's defensive line as a whole should see steep improvement with the shift to a 4-3 alignment. Anthony Weaver, who was signed to play end in the 3-4, has been moved inside and should start next to Smith. Jason Babin moves back to end – his natural position where he was a terror in college. Interestingly, the personnel give the Texans the ability to switch in and out of the 3-4 when a game necessitates it.

Babin can play end or outside linebacker, while Williams, Weaver and Smith can switch in and out at tackle and end depending on what front Houston is in. The Texans also have good potential in former first-round pick Travis Johnson and Antwan Peek, who was given a first-round tender this offseason.

So who's the key to solidifying the group? It will likely end up being Williams.

"We're asking a little more from him than a normal guy," Houston's first-year head coach Gary Kubiak said. "We're pushing him right along quickly. He's been a starter since the day he walked into this locker room. That's our expectation for him. But as I told him, 'Just do your job. We've got to put a good team around you.' "

"I was around Neil Smith when he was getting after it pretty good [in Denver], and those guys, their presence on your team is just exceptional. I'm expecting the same from this kid."

While Williams has remained a controversial pick – one that "has been debated and debated in this city," as new general manager Rick Smith put it – it's not all about passing on talents like Bush and Young.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_yl...yhoo&type=lgns
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Old 06-11-2006   #2
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For the last month, Karmelowicz and Smith have hammered Williams with lessons to refine how he uses his hands to defeat pass-blocking techniques. Despite his 14½ sacks as a junior at North Carolina State last year, Williams appeared to lack polish at times – particularly early in the season when he struggled to stay on his feet and maintain his speed against cut blocks. That was a major reason why he only produced one sack in his first four games.

"Pass blocking is totally different in the NFL than what it was in college," Williams said. "You have tackles that keep their hands inside, close to their bodies. They'll even use their upfield arm as a decoy. In college, that upfield arm was the one they always tried to punch you with. It's not like that here. They'll give you a decoy with one [hand and then] punch you with the other. … There's a lot more technique here, and a lot more ways to be fundamentally sound."

Williams has slightly over three months to add that polish. And then Houston opens the season against teams with Pro Bowl quarterbacks (Donovan McNabb, Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper) and teams with improved offenses (Washington and Dallas
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Old 06-11-2006   #3
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Five straight wins and nobody will remember who Reggie is. Ten wins and they'll give Mario VY's car.
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Old 06-11-2006   #4
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I believe the first time he mauls a QB of the AFC South, he'll be well on his way to the much deserved cheers that he should've gotten on draft day.
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Old 06-11-2006   #5
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Originally Posted by Texan Asylum
I believe the first time he mauls a QB of the AFC South, he'll be well on his way to the much deserved cheers that he should've gotten on draft day.
And I look forward to watching it.
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Old 06-12-2006   #6
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And I look forward to watching it.
same here
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Old 06-12-2006   #7
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The upcoming season, sure to be one of more growing pains for Houston, will require patience. Not only from Williams but also from the ever-critical fans who expect so much from him. The city is already doing its best to make up for an embarrassing welcome. All that is left is for the season-ticket holders to fall in line and let go of Bush and Young. There can be no wondering what could have been – even if Williams says he doesn't mind.
Seems to me it is the media, both local and national, that need to let go of stuff.
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Old 06-12-2006   #8
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IMO as soon as Mario sacks VY and grabs Bush we will be much better as a team.

Honestly I think the whole mental part of this draft has been way overblown by a few rich fans touting their opinion around this town trying to push fans their way. Mattress Mack is deplorable as a fan and has made what should have been a welcome site in our town with Mario an off-key problem with his Titan/VY slanted advertisements and ringing endorsement of Vince and denouncing of Mario. He reminds me of a T.O. type in our city - not because he likes VY, but because he is endorseing another cities team and players even to the point of monetary and gifts. Please move to Tennesee MAck!! We wont miss your bull, over-priced furniture and commercials that never cahnge in 20 years - And thats a fact Jack!!

So now rather than our city being able to celebrate the teams new directions and staff were being pulled around tried to make feel bad by these so called "Rich fans" towards their favorite players because the team choose to try and be a good franchise and took who would help them the most? Talk about lack of common respect and support in your own city. IMO guys like Mack have just spread their opinion around with money because they can and make themselves and the city look bad because of it.

Honestly I'm not a VY or Bush hater so please spare that stuff. - I think there both great talents.

But it really irks me when I hear on the radio and press about a huge VY welcome to the NFL party being held in Houston rather than in Tennesee where it belongs.

- And yet there is next to no coverage on the Texans in the paper or local news and almost nothing being done outside of this Hat and city key announcement being done to welcome Mario to Houston. I hear much more being done to avoid him. I dont hear anything about a car dealership welcoming him in with a new vehicle, no new furniture, no benefits being done for him etc...no nada. This is still the #1 pick were talking about - Mario Williams.

I find alot of this treatment of VY/Bush in bad taste and disheartening plus way overblown by the media and I'm frankly tired of hearing it. They are rookies and the draft was 2 months ago people - so Please how about more stories on our team, some support for our players and the Real #1 pick if your going to call yourself a fan of the team in this town - and stop with all the VY/Bush media bull.

Vince is a houstonian, but so are alot of NFL players. - But I dont hear about parties for any of them nor do I hear in other cities people doing anything like this for another teams player...
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Old 06-12-2006   #9
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Toe that look like "two fleshy light bulbs popping" out of his sandals....OOOOOOOOOOOOOwwwwwwwwwwwuuuuucccccchhhh hhhyyyuuukk!
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Old 06-12-2006   #10
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I would love to see Williams go OLD school and be an absolute monster with a mean streak like Elvin Bethea, Deacon Jones, Joe Greene, etc...
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Old 06-12-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by U4ikrob
IMO as soon as Mario sacks VY and grabs Bush we will be much better as a team.

Honestly I think the whole mental part of this draft has been way overblown by a few rich fans touting their opinion around this town trying to push fans their way. Mattress Mack is deplorable as a fan and has made what should have been a welcome site in our town with Mario an off-key problem with his Titan/VY slanted advertisements and ringing endorsement of Vince and denouncing of Mario. He reminds me of a T.O. type in our city - not because he likes VY, but because he is endorseing another cities team and players even to the point of monetary and gifts. Please move to Tennesee MAck!! We wont miss your bull, over-priced furniture and commercials that never cahnge in 20 years - And thats a fact Jack!!

So now rather than our city being able to celebrate the teams new directions and staff were being pulled around tried to make feel bad by these so called "Rich fans" towards their favorite players because the team choose to try and be a good franchise and took who would help them the most? Talk about lack of common respect and support in your own city. IMO guys like Mack have just spread their opinion around with money because they can and make themselves and the city look bad because of it.

Honestly I'm not a VY or Bush hater so please spare that stuff. - I think there both great talents.

But it really irks me when I hear on the radio and press about a huge VY welcome to the NFL party being held in Houston rather than in Tennesee where it belongs.

- And yet there is next to no coverage on the Texans in the paper or local news and almost nothing being done outside of this Hat and city key announcement being done to welcome Mario to Houston. I hear much more being done to avoid him. I dont hear anything about a car dealership welcoming him in with a new vehicle, no new furniture, no benefits being done for him etc...no nada. This is still the #1 pick were talking about - Mario Williams.

I find alot of this treatment of VY/Bush in bad taste and disheartening plus way overblown by the media and I'm frankly tired of hearing it. They are rookies and the draft was 2 months ago people - so Please how about more stories on our team, some support for our players and the Real #1 pick if your going to call yourself a fan of the team in this town - and stop with all the VY/Bush media bull.

Vince is a houstonian, but so are alot of NFL players. - But I dont hear about parties for any of them nor do I hear in other cities people doing anything like this for another teams player...
I totally agree with you on that....
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Old 06-12-2006   #12
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Default he said "grabs Bush"

Quote:
Originally Posted by U4ikrob
IMO as soon as Mario sacks VY and grabs Bush we will be much better as a team.

Honestly I think the whole mental part of this draft has been way overblown by a few rich fans touting their opinion around this town trying to push fans their way. Mattress Mack is deplorable as a fan and has made what should have been a welcome site in our town with Mario an off-key problem with his Titan/VY slanted advertisements and ringing endorsement of Vince and denouncing of Mario. He reminds me of a T.O. type in our city - not because he likes VY, but because he is endorseing another cities team and players even to the point of monetary and gifts. Please move to Tennesee MAck!! We wont miss your bull, over-priced furniture and commercials that never cahnge in 20 years - And thats a fact Jack!!

So now rather than our city being able to celebrate the teams new directions and staff were being pulled around tried to make feel bad by these so called "Rich fans" towards their favorite players because the team choose to try and be a good franchise and took who would help them the most? Talk about lack of common respect and support in your own city. IMO guys like Mack have just spread their opinion around with money because they can and make themselves and the city look bad because of it.

Honestly I'm not a VY or Bush hater so please spare that stuff. - I think there both great talents.

But it really irks me when I hear on the radio and press about a huge VY welcome to the NFL party being held in Houston rather than in Tennesee where it belongs.

- And yet there is next to no coverage on the Texans in the paper or local news and almost nothing being done outside of this Hat and city key announcement being done to welcome Mario to Houston. I hear much more being done to avoid him. I dont hear anything about a car dealership welcoming him in with a new vehicle, no new furniture, no benefits being done for him etc...no nada. This is still the #1 pick were talking about - Mario Williams.

I find alot of this treatment of VY/Bush in bad taste and disheartening plus way overblown by the media and I'm frankly tired of hearing it. They are rookies and the draft was 2 months ago people - so Please how about more stories on our team, some support for our players and the Real #1 pick if your going to call yourself a fan of the team in this town - and stop with all the VY/Bush media bull.

Vince is a houstonian, but so are alot of NFL players. - But I dont hear about parties for any of them nor do I hear in other cities people doing anything like this for another teams player...
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Old 06-12-2006   #13
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Originally Posted by U4ikrob
I find alot of this treatment of VY/Bush in bad taste and disheartening plus way overblown by the media and I'm frankly tired of hearing it. They are rookies and the draft was 2 months ago people - so Please how about more stories on our team, some support for our players and the Real #1 pick if your going to call yourself a fan of the team in this town - and stop with all the VY/Bush media bull.

Keep an eye out on the fan blog. Something I've been working on for a while should probably be published later today. heh.
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Old 06-12-2006   #14
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Not trying to throw the thread off course, but from what I got as of now Babin is our other starting DE.
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Old 06-12-2006   #15
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If you all remember McNabb was also booed at his draft. A truly sad moment in Eagles history. Mario's play will change all of the peoples minds. Your job is to never let those who did it forget that they are idiots.
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Old 06-12-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texans_Chick
Keep an eye out on the fan blog. Something I've been working on for a while should probably be published later today. heh.
Thanks TC - Really have been enjoying your blogs at the Chronic. IMO between you and Megan we are actually getting some coverage of the team. Its a shocker that they actually pay a staff at the Chronicle because the lack of reporting has been so bad since the draft I quit reading it for the most part. The texans site has more up to date news for the most part. It's just deplorable to me that McClain our supposed "dedicated" Texans reporter has yet to produce anything on the team for the most part since the draft outside of "We made a big mistake - we should have taken Vince" ravings. Honestly I think/hope he's looking fo a job in Tennessee were his opinions and views are more relevant since he's always talking about that team and not ours to the point I found his views offensive and biased more than once.
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Old 06-12-2006   #17
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Mario's going to be great!
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Old 06-12-2006   #18
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Your job is to never let those who did it forget that they are idiots.
Well said.
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Old 06-13-2006   #19
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97.9 the box had him on few days ago... and he was taking calls from callers.... and everyone was giving him props!-- everyone wanna show there love for him, lets all go out and buy #90 jerseys before the Phily game!
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Old 06-13-2006   #20
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heres my take on williams as ive stated several times, The guy is gonna change the defense and he doesnt even have to get double digit sacks, he doesnt need to have a probowl rookie season, he doesnt have to be DROY.
He will change how the offense plays against us, they will line up an extra blocker on him, they will run away from him, they will use strong formations to protect the quarterback, wich gives them less quality targets. they will shift a guard or a center on a pull to help stop him wich will open up ryans or weaver or smith to rush thru the middle. so even if he only gets 5 sacks all year our defense will be alot better than without him. I know one thing, it's really gonna be fun to watch
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