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Old 11-07-2006   #1
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Default Checking in on Mario Williams

Sorry if it has been posted:

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His first month was rough, and at one point coach Gary Kubiak singled him out, saying the rookie needed to play better. But as I talked to opposing coaches, many seemed to be really impressed by his talent and thought that if he had one other star on the D-line and wasn't constantly double-teamed he'd be all over the highlight shows every week.
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Old 11-07-2006   #2
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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Originally Posted by GuerillaBlack View Post
Sorry if it has been posted:

ESPN Link

His first month was rough, and at one point coach Gary Kubiak singled him out, saying the rookie needed to play better. But as I talked to opposing coaches, many seemed to be really impressed by his talent and thought that if he had one other star on the D-line and wasn't constantly double-teamed he'd be all over the highlight shows every week.
It reads to me though that this guy is going to bash on him a bit, however I don't get the Insider to read the whole story. Here is what he also said before you have to sign in ...

But what I found was that the Giants targeted and relied on his aggressiveness, didn't fear him as a run-stopper and, most interestingly, spent most of the passing game single-blocking him.

Williams lined up at right end for 18 snaps and left for 35. The Giants ran at him eight times and passed at him five. The Giants toyed with Williams by constantly running bootlegs and counters at his direction. In the first half, Williams was twice caught out of position on bootlegs to Jeremy Shockey, and on Tiki Barber's 16-yard touchdown run, the Giants ran right at Williams, who ended up on his knees.
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Old 11-08-2006   #3
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

Checking in on Mario Williams
posted:
Monday, November 6, 2006

I'm sandwiching the weekend with travel for ESPN The Magazine stories, so I was parked on the couch for this week's games. I tuned into the Giants-Texans' game, and decided to track Mario Williams. I've been thinking a lot about him this fall since I did a cover story in the Magazine about the impossible position he's facing this year. His first month was rough, and at one point coach Gary Kubiak singled him out, saying the rookie needed to play better. But as I talked to opposing coaches, many seemed to be really impressed by his talent and thought that if he had one other star on the D-line and wasn't constantly double-teamed he'd be all over the highlight shows every week.
Facing the Giants midway through the year was a good barometer for the No. 1 pick because New York runs and throws well. I charted all of Mario's plays, so remember these figures are unofficial. But what I found was that the Giants targeted and relied on his aggressiveness, didn't fear him as a run-stopper and, most interestingly, spent most of the passing game single-blocking him.

Williams lined up at right end for 18 snaps and left for 35. The Giants ran at him eight times and passed at him five. The Giants toyed with Williams by constantly running bootlegs and counters at his direction. In the first half, Williams was twice caught out of position on bootlegs to Jeremy Shockey, and on Tiki Barber's 16-yard touchdown run, the Giants ran right at Williams, who ended up on his knees.

For a while, the Giants didn't seem to fear Williams at all. Despite surrendering 45 pounds to Williams, Shockey single-blocked him on many plays and did so successfully. On the game-deciding touchdown that made the score 14-10, the Giants bootlegged at Williams, giving Eli Manning plenty of time and Shockey was wide open.

Williams was double teamed on only four passing plays. Sometimes he struggled to get past tackles; other times he didn't. At the end of the first half, he showed the dominating style that made him the top pick. On first-and-15 from the Houston 19, Williams bull-rushed Giants tackle Bob Whitfield, throwing the 318-pounder aside with his right arm, and sacked Manning. On the next play, he moved over a gap and plowed over Whitfield again *- like, planting the dude on his butt and hurdling over him *- and helped crumble the pocket for DeMeco Ryans to get Manning. Then, from the right side, Williams creamed tackle Luke Petitgout and forced Manning into an incompletion. On the next series Williams again beat Whitfield and forced Manning into an interception, although it was the final play of the half.

I know one game isn't indicative of the season, but there's no doubt Mario has moments where he looks like the most dominant player on the field and others when he isn't even a nuisance for the offense -* a reflection of his NC State career, when he was benched for ineffectiveness. Considering the pressure he's under amid the controversy surrounding his selection, pressure that he did nothing to earn, for his sake I hope his overpowering play develops into the norm.

Random T.O. Note

--T.O.'s "Sleeping on the Football" touchdown celebration was terrific. I'm on the fence in general about touchdown celebrations. I don't think they're too excessive but I don't get a lot of entertainment out of them either, even the good ones -- kind of like Super Bowl commercials. But T.O.'s making fun of himself for dozing off in meetings was clever.

Blog readers will recall a few months ago when I detailed how T.O. constantly nods off in meetings. Many, many players do, but Owens being Owens, it takes on a different life when he does. A former teammate of Owens' once told me about a story from the San Fran/Jeff Garcia days. He said that during Garcia and Owens' last season together, the offense held a players-only film session to go over SF's redzone offense. Garcia was running the meeting, holding the clicker, and at one point told Owens how to adjust if an opponent gave a particular defensive look. Garcia paused, waiting for T.O. to respond, and at that point players were biting their lips to keep from cracking up as Owens' face was planted in his hands and he was snoozing at the back of the room.

As the story goes, Garcia lost it and started screaming. Owens woke up, realized that everyone was laughing -* both at him and at how ticked off Garcia was -- and yelled back at Garcia before storming out.
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Old 11-08-2006   #4
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

At this point, Mario probably just wants to be aggressive out there, because being overly aggressive is still better than sitting back and thinking too much (like he did in the beginning of the season). That might be why he's weak against the run. Hopefully, he'll learn how to "feel" what the Olinemen are doing and adjust. You would think that a big guy like him would be great against the run, so it's obvious he still needs to learn how to get a feel for the game.
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Old 11-08-2006   #5
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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Originally Posted by joshri View Post
* a reflection of his NC State career, when he was benched for ineffectiveness.
It kills me every time I see this. Mario wasn't singled out and benched. A whole bunch of players (the whole 1st string D or something, iirc) were benched for ineffectiveness.
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Old 11-08-2006   #6
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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Originally Posted by Hookem Horns View Post
It reads to me though that this guy is going to bash on him a bit, however I don't get the Insider to read the whole story. Here is what he also said before you have to sign in ...

But what I found was that the Giants targeted and relied on his aggressiveness, didn't fear him as a run-stopper and, most interestingly, spent most of the passing game single-blocking him.

Williams lined up at right end for 18 snaps and left for 35. The Giants ran at him eight times and passed at him five. The Giants toyed with Williams by constantly running bootlegs and counters at his direction. In the first half, Williams was twice caught out of position on bootlegs to Jeremy Shockey, and on Tiki Barber's 16-yard touchdown run, the Giants ran right at Williams, who ended up on his knees.

Unless my math is wrong this is saying Mario was at LE/RE for a total of 52 snaps. The giants "toyed" with him by only having 13 plays in his direction? That's 25% of the plays he's in. Doesn't seem like they took full advantage if they "had his number"
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Old 11-08-2006   #7
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

I don't know about the observation "Mario is weak against the run"....

I don't think he is...I actually think that is one of his strong points....He may not make the play all the time, but I rarely see teams run right at Mario and have success....
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Old 11-08-2006   #8
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

From my limited analysis, it seems like Mario is more effective against the run to his side when its a "normal play". Its the draws, screens, counters that tends to get him.
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Old 11-08-2006   #9
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

The question that comes to mind is; what was/is his point of reference regarding Bush/VY and the draft. Is he slanting the writing based on his bias. A lot of what he says is true, but others seem to be opinion like "They were toying with him" type of things.
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Old 11-08-2006   #10
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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From my limited analysis, it seems like Mario is more effective against the run to his side when its a "normal play". Its the draws, screens, counters that tends to get him.
exactly...
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Old 11-08-2006   #11
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

I dont think 8 runs constitutes "toying". However, much like Freeney, Mario does seem to be very aggressive in getting up the field, making him easier to block on runs like counters and draws where he gets himself out of position. I think this will eventually be resolved as he gets more comfortable, like most of the mistakes he makes. All in all, he is our impact player on the D-line and is getting very little help from Peek, Babin, Weever, TJ in terms of tackles, push, and sacks. Im happy with the way he is developing, but Im a little dissapointed in everyone else.
And a side note, the next time Weever lines up at week-side defenseive end, im throwing something at the TV!
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Old 11-08-2006   #12
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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Originally Posted by edo783 View Post
The question that comes to mind is; what was/is his point of reference regarding Bush/VY and the draft. Is he slanting the writing based on his bias. A lot of what he says is true, but others seem to be opinion like "They were toying with him" type of things.
Here's a link to the original article in ESPN the Magazine. Lots of talk about Courtney Brown, etc.

Didn't get too good of a reaction from the members of this MB. I think the guy's biased.
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Old 11-08-2006   #13
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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Originally Posted by run-david-run View Post
However, much like Freeney, Mario does seem to be very aggressive in getting up the field, making him easier to block on runs like counters and draws where he gets himself out of position. I think this will eventually be resolved as he gets more comfortable, like most of the mistakes he makes.
The Colts "resolved" this issue by having outside linebackers that can cover for the aggressivenss of Freeney and Mathis while still filling their other responsibilities. Mario will have to be more controlled than those guys though; we don't have the linebackers to use the same approach.
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Old 11-08-2006   #14
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

Like it or not the guy speaks alot of truth in this little tidbit of writing. He adds some little opinions in there that seems like he is going overboard a little bit but the jist of it is true.
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Old 11-08-2006   #15
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Default Re: Checking in on Mario Williams

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Originally Posted by xtruroyaltyx View Post
I don't know about the observation "Mario is weak against the run"....

I don't think he is...I actually think that is one of his strong points....He may not make the play all the time, but I rarely see teams run right at Mario and have success....
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The Colts "resolved" this issue by having outside linebackers that can cover for the aggressivenss of Freeney and Mathis while still filling their other responsibilities. Mario will have to be more controlled than those guys though; we don't have the linebackers to use the same approach.
That is what I always felt that he does a descent job against the run. Several times I have seen him string out the blocker and the play and have no OLB scrapping and making a tackle.
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