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Old 05-06-2011   #1
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Default Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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/...t/7552612.html
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Old 05-06-2011   #2
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

"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/...t/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 ?
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Old 05-06-2011   #3
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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"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/...t/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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #4
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

It's nice just to have a plan even if it's plan B.
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Old 05-06-2011   #5
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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."
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Old 05-06-2011   #6
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #7
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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I hope Watt turns out to be better than Okoye
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! What's with the high standards? Jeez!
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"You always hear about how tough they are and all that stuff," Orton said. "I don't think they are tough. I think they are cheap..."
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Old 05-06-2011   #8
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #9
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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!!
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Old 05-06-2011   #10
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #11
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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!
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Old 05-06-2011   #12
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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..
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Old 05-06-2011   #13
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #14
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #15
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #16
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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..
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Old 05-06-2011   #17
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #18
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #19
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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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.


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Originally Posted by silvrhand View Post
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.
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Old 05-06-2011   #20
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Default Re: Houston Chronicle: Phillips definitely playing Mario at OLB & Marios Happy !

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Originally Posted by silvrhand View Post
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.
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