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In Defense of Mario
Mario Williams came to Houston and a blast of heat immediately greeted him. It wasnt our legendary weather either. The Mario/Vince/Reggie chronicles are well documented and, unfortunately, endure. For the record I was among those booing at Reliant Stadium - I was in the Reggie Bush camp.
Mario has since won me over. Through four years few with enough football knowledge to fit on the end of a kicking tee would argue otherwise.
Some perspective: Mario has 39.5 sacks through his first four years. Julius Peppers had exactly 1/2 sack more through his initial four years.
Thats an average of 9.8 sacks a year for Mario, 10 for Peppers, and for additional perspective Bruce Smith avg. 11 through his first four years.
Name a historically great pass rusher - Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Chris Doleman...what did they all have in common?
Bruce Smith - Cornelius Bennett, Darryl Talley, Jeff Wright.
Reggie White - Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons.
Too Tall Jones - Randy White, Harvey Martin.
Chris Doleman - Keith Millard, John Randle (although I will concede Randle came toward the end of Doleman's stint with Minnesota).
Look at some of the more accomplished pass rushers today - Dwight Freeney has Mathis, Jared "Trailor Park" Allen has the Williams Bros.
My point is with each name I listed above, almost immediately you think of their teammates. Almost like a quarterback and his top receiver.
But when someone says Mario Williams who do you think of? Yet his numbers, four years in, are right there with some of the most recognizable names in the NFL. I couldnt care less what a sensationalist like Richard Justice writes in that paper hardly anyone reads anymore - yes he is a sensationalist meaning he writes for a response not a journalist.
Perhaps this is the year Connor Barwin and Amobi Okoye attatch their names to Mario's. Its time for opposing quarterbacks to feel the heat.
Re: In Defense of Mario
Agreed, good insight.
Antonio Smith plays better inside, if Barwin makes a leap, or if we land Schobel I think Mario (if healthy) will have a great year.
If any year we need the pass rush to step up this is the year with such young CBs.
I drink because the Texans make me.
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