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Old 09-13-2011   #1
srrono
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Default breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/pos...williams-at-lb

Breaking down Mario Williams at LB
September, 13, 2011
Comments By Paul Kuharsky
Mario Williams has a lot riding on his first season as an outside linebacker in Wade Phillipsí 3-4 defense.

When the Texans extended three contracts this summer to make salary-cap room for their free-agent additions, Williams was not one of them. Even though heís heading into the final year of his initial NFL deal. Even though heís regarded as a pass-rushing terror when healthy.

WilliamsThan means they wanted to wait and see on Williams

Game 1 brought two sacks and an excellent effort.

Jim Trotter monitored Williams closely Sunday, and said he dropped into coverage just twice in his 44 snaps. (I was there afterward when Williams showed a semi-selective memory and said he hadnít dropped at all.)

Writes Trotter of Williams:

One of his sacks came with his hand down, the other with his hand off the ground. Overall, he played upright on 24 plays and appeared to drop into a three-point stance only when the Texans went to their nickel or dime sub packages. Phillips also moved him around, aligning 31 times on the left and 13 on the right.

Also of note in the piece: Williams had surgeries on both groins during the offseason. Iím not sure if we knew that.
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Old 09-13-2011   #2
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

I liked what I saw from Williams on Sunday. That said, someone is going to have to cover if Mario doesn't. Those responsibilities are going to go to the inside linebackers in conventional sets (no nicks, dimes, etc...). Generally speaking, 3-4 inside backers aren't the best choices to take on explosive backs out of the backfield. I can see DeMeco and Cushing getting abused down the road.
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Old 09-13-2011   #3
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

Wasn't he listed on the injury report with a "groin"? And was he listed because he is still recovering from surgery or is it different?
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Old 09-13-2011   #4
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Wasn't he listed on the injury report with a "groin"? And was he listed because he is still recovering from surgery or is it different?
I don't know... but which groin was it?
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Old 09-13-2011   #5
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by srrono View Post
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/pos...williams-at-lb



Also of note in the piece: Williams had surgeries on both groins during the offseason. Iím not sure if we knew that.
What do they operate on in the groin? Sounds painful.
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Old 09-13-2011   #6
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

The thing that stood out most to me about Mario Sunday was how well he used his hands. He was constantly beating linemen (and abusing Clark) with his swim move, knocking their hands away before they could touch him. I can't remember him doing that as well in previous years.

Here's to real coaching, i guess.
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Old 09-13-2011   #7
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by GlassHalfFull View Post
What do they operate on in the groin? Sounds painful.
Need clarification from Dr. Cloak?
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Old 09-13-2011   #8
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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What do they operate on in the groin? Sounds painful.
The Groin.


CnD would probably be able to say better then I, gonna guess a muscle issue perhaps.
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Old 09-13-2011   #9
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by ESAD2-14 View Post
The Groin.


CnD would probably be able to say better then I, gonna guess a muscle issue perhaps.
He had bilateral hernia repairs. The recurrence rate is pretty low ~1-2% with a mesh repair. My guess is he probably pulled his groin (muscle) rather than the hernias being the problem.
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Old 09-13-2011   #10
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
I liked what I saw from Williams on Sunday. That said, someone is going to have to cover if Mario doesn't. Those responsibilities are going to go to the inside linebackers in conventional sets (no nicks, dimes, etc...). Generally speaking, 3-4 inside backers aren't the best choices to take on explosive backs out of the backfield. I can see DeMeco and Cushing getting abused down the road.
I know it's just one game, but did it look like power rushing teams could have a field day with our D? The 3-4 is already vulnerable to the power game, especially up the middle. It concerns me that a 4-5 yard average could be had against us with our current personnel. Thoughts?

As far as Mario, I liked a lot of what I saw against the Colts. Granted, he blew by their TE, which is not a lineman, but with Watt and/or Smith on the line, they might not be able to double Mario as much this year. I think that could potential bode well for his season.
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Old 09-13-2011   #11
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
I don't know... but which groin was it?
I never knew I have two groins. Learn something new everyday.
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Old 09-13-2011   #12
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I know it's just one game, but did it look like power rushing teams could have a field day with our D? The 3-4 is already vulnerable to the power game, especially up the middle. It concerns me that a 4-5 yard average could be had against us with our current personnel. Thoughts?

As far as Mario, I liked a lot of what I saw against the Colts. Granted, he blew by their TE, which is not a lineman, but with Watt and/or Smith on the line, they might not be able to double Mario as much this year. I think that could potential bode well for his season.
I'm hoping that we had our ears pinned back to go after Collins, and the strategy was to let'em have whatever they got from the run. Plus I feel like after two early fumbles in Colts territory followed by several quick scores who cares about a 5 yard run, give it to them till time expires because it chews up a lot of clock. You never see the two minute offense running the ball 10 out of 10 plays. Know what I mean.
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Old 09-13-2011   #13
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I know it's just one game, but did it look like power rushing teams could have a field day with our D? The 3-4 is already vulnerable to the power game, especially up the middle. It concerns me that a 4-5 yard average could be had against us with our current personnel. Thoughts?

As far as Mario, I liked a lot of what I saw against the Colts. Granted, he blew by their TE, which is not a lineman, but with Watt and/or Smith on the line, they might not be able to double Mario as much this year. I think that could potential bode well for his season.
We already have two Pro Bowl guys playin' inside. If we're vulnerable, what could we do different?
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Old 09-13-2011   #14
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I know it's just one game, but did it look like power rushing teams could have a field day with our D? The 3-4 is already vulnerable to the power game, especially up the middle. It concerns me that a 4-5 yard average could be had against us with our current personnel. Thoughts?

As far as Mario, I liked a lot of what I saw against the Colts. Granted, he blew by their TE, which is not a lineman, but with Watt and/or Smith on the line, they might not be able to double Mario as much this year. I think that could potential bode well for his season.
I think we may struggle against the run, but Wade hasn't installed his whole package yet, so this is a work in progress. I think we get pushed around in the middle of the field too much in any case. Cushing has looked slow to me, but he flashed a few times last weekend. Next week, we get a Dolphin team that has gotten away from a two back system and is in more of a spread. I think they will try to isolate the backs on our inside linebackers in our base set moreso than trying to run the ball down our throat. I like the look of our nick, dime packages so far...but that was Kerry Collins. I think it is a good thing we face Henne in a new offense, since we are pretty much in the same boat defensively, grasping a new identity.

You can't double Watt, Smith and Mario with 5 linemen, so I'm not too worried about the pass rush. Barwin and Cody are the weak links right now, but as a group, it's as talented as any (pass rush group) in the league if Watt keeps his play up. Barwin is still unproven in my eyes still, but I didn't see much to complain about last Sunday.
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Old 09-13-2011   #15
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

Came across this very complimentary article in USA TODAY.

NFL Replay: Texans' Williams excels in new role
By Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY

Quote:
HOUSTON ó Go ahead, give yourself a grade.

"I feel like I was probably a B or something," Mario Williams surmised late Sunday afternoon, after his smashing performance helped the new-look Houston Texans defense dismantle a Peyton-less Indianapolis unit during a season-opening 34-7 rout.

"There were a few missed sacks out there. The play before their touchdown, I definitely should've had him. That hurts. When we watch it on film, it'll be one of those things where I can't get a break. I should've had that one under my belt."

It is still about sacks, pressures, disruptions and any other measures of hitting the quarterback for Williams, transitioning from all-pro defensive end to play-making outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense that new coordinator Wade Phillips has installed.

Williams, a two-time Pro Bowl pick at end since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2006, passed his first real-game test as a linebacker with flying colors illuminated by two sacks, a forced fumble, two additional quarterback hits and a tackle for a loss. He also chased down battered fill-in Kerry Collins on another play that drew an intentional grounding penalty.

"I felt a lot more comfortable," he said of finally playing a full game in his new role.

If that was a B, imagine how devastating the game will be that earns an A-plus grade.

"It's a team game, but he made some individual plays, like we hoped he would," Phillips said of Sunday's showing, wearing a huge grin in the middle of the locker room. "That first sack of the ballgame (which extinguished the Colts' first drive) was a very big play. It set the tone. They couldn't stand there and hold the ball."

When Phillips, the former Dallas Cowboys coach, was hired in January to fix a defense that ranked 30th in 2010 (32nd against the pass), moving Williams into the type of role that DeMarcus Ware has flourished in with the Cowboys was one of his first signature moves. That instantly made Williams, 6-7, 285, the NFL's biggest linebacker. It prompted many questions about whether Williams was versatile enough to make the switch.

Williams' first thought of Phillips' arrival with his 3-4 scheme?

"Opportunity," he says. "I'm definitely going to drop sometimes. That's just what linebackers do. But at the same time, I know what he's done before with other players. He's going to put me in that position to make plays."

Neither Williams or Phillips recalled a single case in Sunday's game where the giant linebacker dropped in coverage. The mission, which included a few snaps at end in 4-3 alignments, was clearly to rush and pursue the run. Although the Colts were burned by mismatches that sometimes left tight end Dallas Clark trying to block Williams' outside rush from the 3-4, don't expect to see Williams trying to cover many tight ends or running backs on pass routes in open space.

"I'm not stupid," Phillips said.

Referring to critics, he added, "They keep thinking that. But that's not what we do."

Still, this switch has forced a new approach with growing pains, as Williams tries to become fluid in exploding from a stand-up alignment rather than a three-point stance.

Williams says that he didn't shed any pounds because of his new role, but has had to make a key physical adjustment with his long, lean frame: more stretching.

"The biggest thing for somebody 6-7, 285, is leverage," he says. "When it goes to getting off properly with stance and technique, it takes being flexible and bending."

It also takes avoiding what he calls the "false steps" that slow acceleration. Barely noticeable to casual observers, that's been a nagging issue throughout the transition as Williams has had too many cases where he wasted a step at the snap. It even happened a couple of times on Sunday, which he blamed on anxiety.

"When you're in a two-point stance, a lot of times guys pick up their front foot before they even move," he said. "So basically, you just stepped underneath yourself. That's what I don't want to do. That's half of my step, taking one step back, then stepping forward. That's one of those things I definitely have to work on every day in practice. It's just something that comes along with reps.

"A split-second," he added, "is the difference between a sack and a non-sack."

The progress, though, was evident with his fast, furious rush on Collins.

"Until a week-and-a-half ago, he was having problems with that," Phillips said. "He's done better and better in this. That's what he does from a three-point stance. He gets off the ball quick. If he can do it from a two-point stance, he's a little closer to the football."

Which can't be a good thing for opposing quarterbacks.
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Old 09-13-2011   #16
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If the defense starts giving up big chunks on runs then I'll be worried. This is a passing league and even run oriented teams air it out quite a bit.

5 ypc is not good, but teams are going to throw it. And when they do we have to make plays. With the way the league is built I'd much rather have an avg or slightly below avg run d and phenomenal passing defense.

If they can become great at both that's be cool too
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Old 09-13-2011   #17
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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He had bilateral hernia repairs. The recurrence rate is pretty low ~1-2% with a mesh repair. My guess is he probably pulled his groin (muscle) rather than the hernias being the problem.
hradhak is correct........sports hernias. As I posted in the pre Colts injury thread, it is most likely that the "groin" problem is probably related to a condition that is very closely associated with sports hernias.........nearby adductor tendon inflammation which can cause the adductor muscle to spasm/shorten and subsequently be strained/torn with sudden stretch.

In some cases of sports hernia, pain in the inner thigh continues after surgery. An additional surgery, called adductor tenotomy, may be recommended to address this pain. In this procedure, the tendon that attaches the inner thigh muscles to the pubis is cut. The tendon will heal at a greater length, releasing tension and giving the player a greater range of motion, thus allowing relief of pain. I should mention that some surgeons will empirically release the adductor at the time of the sports hernia rather wait for the inflammatory changes to resolve.......and find out that it won't.




Note the proximity of the sports hernia "zone of disruption" (adjacent to the pubic bone) with the anatomic insertion site of the adductor tendon into the pubic bone. This area commonly demonstrates overlapping inflammation.:


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Old 09-13-2011   #18
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by Rey View Post
If the defense starts giving up big chunks on runs then I'll be worried. This is a passing league and even run oriented teams air it out quite a bit.

5 ypc is not good, but teams are going to throw it. And when they do we have to make plays. With the way the league is built I'd much rather have an avg or slightly below avg run d and phenomenal passing defense.

If they can become great at both that's be cool too
OK, so Addai was 8 for 39 and Carter was 7 for 25.

Let me try to see if I can put the run D in a litte better perspective.

Right off the bat, I can say that Addai had a run for minus one (toward the sideline) tackled by Cushing.
The Texans accepted a holding penalty to make it 1 and 20 instead, so there was no play.
Just that one play would change it to 9 for 38 for just over 4yd ave.
That's a little better.

Next, it looks to me that Addai's first run for 11 yards was due to Watt. He kinda lost his balance for a tad after he had beaten his man and was free to prevent the cut back. The D-line had closed up all the gaps.

The 13yd run was a run left where Addai somehow squirted through Barwin, Jamison (and their blockers).

A 7yd run by Addai was a mis-tackle by Demeco at the LOS.

The last two plays were meant to show that the interior was not a problem in this game.
The other guys had fulfilled their gap assignments.
In fact, on Addai's 7yd run, it was Watt that somehow got through big bodies to come back and made the tackle.

....
As noted above, Carter was 7 for 25.
But he had two runs (for 8 and 2) at the end of the half where the Texans simply played back to prevent the pass.

...

BTW, thanks for the link, CNND!
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Old 09-13-2011   #19
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by Double Barrel View Post
I know it's just one game, but did it look like power rushing teams could have a field day with our D? The 3-4 is already vulnerable to the power game, especially up the middle. It concerns me that a 4-5 yard average could be had against us with our current personnel. Thoughts?
We definitely will still have some struggles on D, as a full conversion to a 3-4 is virtually impossible in 1 season. I have no doubt phillips can make this d decent, but you don't become great overnight. That being said, I think this is where it helps to have a great offense. Sure, they might be able to run up the middle, but that takes a lot of time. If we can put up a lot of points, they will not be able to just sit back and run.

This is kinda how Indy was built (though Indy can't run well and I hate their d, but I think this was the design anyway.) Get a quick lead and force them to play into your strengths.
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Old 09-13-2011   #20
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Default Re: breaking-down-mario-williams-at-lb

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Originally Posted by run-david-run View Post
The thing that stood out most to me about Mario Sunday was how well he used his hands. He was constantly beating linemen (and abusing Clark) with his swim move, knocking their hands away before they could touch him. I can't remember him doing that as well in previous years.

Here's to real coaching, i guess.
I saw the same thing. He's been using great hand-fighting techniques right off the snap of the football, and it allows him to get up the field and into making moves on the blocker.

In the past, he just ran up to the guy and would engage with the blocker and try to shed the blocker away.
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