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Old 09-27-2012   #1
Wolf6151
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Unhappy Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

Has Mercilus been on the field this season in the OLB position? I know he has been playing special teams, and doing a very good job of it, but I have not noticed him on the field as an OLB. Phillips said that Mercilus was drafted so that their would be a 3 man rotation at OLB to keep everyone fresh but I have not noticed him on the field at anything other than special teams. Now I missed most of game 2 so if I'm wrong feel free to correct me but has Mercilus been playing any OLB this season? I expect more from a 1st round draft pick.

Also what happened to Brandon Brooks? Brooks came into OTA's overweight but then lost some weight and was impressive in training camp/preseason and was challenging Caldwell for the starting position at RG. Now 3 games into the season he's nowhere to be seen. He hasn't been in any game yet, not even in a backup role, and now Ben Jones is stepping up nicely rotating with Caldwell at RG instead of Brooks. What's up with Brooks, anyone know?

It seems that all 3 of our 4th round picks Jones, Keshawn Martin, and Jared Crick have been playing and making meaningful contributions to the team. Our 1st (Mercilus) and our two 3rd (Posey and Brooks) aren't doing much. What gives?
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Old 09-27-2012   #2
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

Merci gets snaps at OLB every game. He got a couple pressures on Gabbert last week. He made a great open field tackle on a KO in Denver.

Brooks is a guard, and only a guard. Ben Jones can play both C and G, so it makes more sense to activate the guy that can slide in if Myers gets hurt as well our guards.
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Old 09-27-2012   #3
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

in truth we havent seen much from this draft class at all, which isnt such a bad thing compared to needing them to start right away. jones looks furthest ahead, already pushing for the starting RG position. mercilus is strong on special teams but looks a bit raw at linebacker, getting maybe 1/4th of the snaps as far as i can tell. brooks may still be having weight issues, and he definitely struggled to pick up the assignments during preseason - he's probably a year or two away from being on the field. crick has seen a little time. and our receivers are about where we expected them to be with posey catching up and martin as mostly a slot (something we dont often use).
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Old 09-27-2012   #4
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

Isn't a little early to be fretting over the draft picks? The fact that none of them have been forced to play because of lack of talented veterans is the mark of a strong team.

Only 3 games into the season . . Are you kidding me????
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Old 09-27-2012   #5
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Merciless has been good on special teams, but to me he looks like he did in college at Olb which isn't good.

Brooks is supposedly doing well in practice but can't be active on gamedays because of his limited versatility.

It's way too early to really worry about either though if we're judging their progress.

But I haven't been a big merciless fan at any point, so I'm going to keep Olb on my draft wish list for the time being.
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Old 09-27-2012   #6
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Originally Posted by Wolf6151 View Post
What gives?
Depth.
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Old 09-27-2012   #7
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Isn't a little early to be fretting over the draft picks? The fact that none of them have been forced to play because of lack of talented veterans is the mark of a strong team.

Only 3 games into the season . . Are you kidding me????

Fretting is what we do! Duhhhhhhh!!!!!

Both guys will be fine. I like Merci's improvement on Special Teams, and he'll start to make an impact on defense soon I believe. As we start to face more pass oriented teams in a couple of weeks I think you'll see some different packages on the field and see more guys rotate. It's hard to complain about anybody at this point in the season because we've been so effective. I don't care who's getting the job done as long as it's getting done. Barwin, Reed, Antonio, Watt, and Merci can't all have bunches of sacks through 3 games. Over the course of the season it'll start to even out.

I will say though that I think the writing is on the wall for Jamison/Crick to fill in for Antonio next year. I think we'll see some great play out of him at points this season in playing for his next gig.
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Old 09-27-2012   #8
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

I think as the season carries on we will see more of Mercilus. Even though he had a fantastic preseason he still looks like a baby deer. All uncoordinated and getting used to things. Frankly, he's been the most standout teamer thus far.

I think Brooks is the project they drafted. A project.
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Old 09-27-2012   #9
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

Brandon Harris, Brandon Brooks, Brooks Reed, my mind is constantly mixed up over these 3 lol.

I think this coaching staff has a history of drafting projects in round 1 and drafting the most game ready guys in the later rounds. It seems the 4th round has been very good to us over the years, is that because we've lucked out or is it down to the scouting philosophy?

On the other hand, only Cushing and JJ Watt stand out as 1st rounders who were absolutely amazing straight out of the box, sure we've been forced to play most of them early but I'll keep the faith, only Okoye has been a flat out bust to my mind, Brown split reps as a rookie and grew into the role slowly. Kjax started straight out and I'm utterly astounded that they've been able to recover the damage that must have done to him mentally.

Let Merci sit, watch what the other guys are doing and take a few snaps a game to learn the pro game. I reckon this will benefit us in the long run. For the first time I really do feel confident that the D coaching will improve anything thats wrong with his game over time.
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Old 09-27-2012   #10
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Originally Posted by welsh texan View Post

I think this coaching staff has a history of drafting projects in round 1 and drafting the most game ready guys in the later rounds. It seems the 4th round has been very good to us over the years, is that because we've lucked out or is it down to the scouting philosophy?
.
Their history is pretty clear: draft highly athletic defensive players 1st. Cushing, Watt, Mercilus, Jackson, even Okoye was a helluva prospect, Williams. We've ended up with a big, strong, fast defense. The best kind lol...

Offense, THIS offense anyway is less about athleticism and more about smarts and execution.
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Old 09-27-2012   #11
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Originally Posted by Wolf6151 View Post
Has Mercilus been on the field this season in the OLB position? I know he has been playing special teams, and doing a very good job of it, but I have not noticed him on the field as an OLB. Phillips said that Mercilus was drafted so that their would be a 3 man rotation at OLB to keep everyone fresh but I have not noticed him on the field at anything other than special teams. Now I missed most of game 2 so if I'm wrong feel free to correct me but has Mercilus been playing any OLB this season? I expect more from a 1st round draft pick.

Also what happened to Brandon Brooks? Brooks came into OTA's overweight but then lost some weight and was impressive in training camp/preseason and was challenging Caldwell for the starting position at RG. Now 3 games into the season he's nowhere to be seen. He hasn't been in any game yet, not even in a backup role, and now Ben Jones is stepping up nicely rotating with Caldwell at RG instead of Brooks. What's up with Brooks, anyone know?

It seems that all 3 of our 4th round picks Jones, Keshawn Martin, and Jared Crick have been playing and making meaningful contributions to the team. Our 1st (Mercilus) and our two 3rd (Posey and Brooks) aren't doing much. What gives?
Mercilus is transitioning from DE in college to OLB. The transition is going slower than we as fans would like.

Jones although less talented than Brooks is a very smart tough player that has played against higher levels of competition in college.

You can only carry so many OL on gameday and Brooks is the odd man out. Jones is the backup interior OL and Harris the backup OT. This is like a redshirt yr for Brooks. He's learning that it takes more than talent to be a professional football player. Hopefully he figures it out.

Gary only carries 4 WR's on gameday and Martin/Jean beat out Posey. Now that Jean is going to be out a few weeks it's time for Posey to be the next man up.

Brandon Harris has been the biggest disappointment to me. I had very high hopes for him and he cant even get on the field. Oh well, I guess you cant hit on all of you picks.
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Old 09-27-2012   #12
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

ENJOY THIS. This is arguably the first time in this franchise's history that they can sit on draft picks and develop them, rather than needing them to contribute right away.

Some may be getting time based on the position they play, but we don't have to worry about others not being on the field much because of a log-jam at the position!
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Old 09-27-2012   #13
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

I haven't been overtly impressed with any of our OLBs, so Merciless is in that group. If he was lighting it up in practice I think we'd see him on the field

Likewise our G play has not been excellent either
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Old 09-27-2012   #14
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Originally Posted by Texn4life View Post
Fretting is what we do! Duhhhhhhh!!!!!

I will say though that I think the writing is on the wall for Jamison/Crick to fill in for Antonio next year. I think we'll see some great play out of him at points this season in playing for his next gig.
Crick appears to be doing pretty well in defending the run, but thus far I'm not seeing him as much of a pass rusher. If we intend on dropping Smith, we need someone who can do both.
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Old 09-27-2012   #15
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

how is anyone gonna get a sack with JJ Watt scooping them all up?
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Old 09-27-2012   #16
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Originally Posted by Vinny View Post
how is anyone gonna get a sack with JJ Watt scooping them all up?
^^^
THIS!!!

How can any rookie "shine" when compared to the super nova brightness that is J.J. Watt??


(tried to rep you but... well, you know)
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Old 09-27-2012   #17
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

I will keep predicting Mercilus will become Texan break-out player until he does, just matter of time.

Brooks is being groomed, they like his feet & athletic ability for his size. OL coaching here is excellent so give him time.

Ben Jones is a stud. He would be Texan starting Center tomorrow if something happened to Myers. His competitive spirit is seizing an opportunity to get playing time @ RG, a battle which keeps right side fresh & physical helping 2nd year OT Newton.

Posey has been grinding, from those in the know (coaches in practice) to round back into football shape. I'm excited to see him get some reps, hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Keshawn caught a ball last game, lets see him get two or three to quell his nerves a bit so he can relax more & let his speed take over.

Crick is in spot & mop up duty as Vinny say's what's really left over for these inside the tackle players.

We already know Bullock is on IR. He will be the kicker next season.

Mondek didn't make the team so Texans brought in Ryan Harris is already seeing some action. pretty strong acquisition on the cheap.

Disappointing to see Grimes get nabbed off the PS but I would be even more disappointed to see Eddie Pleasant taken by another team. I would switch out Keo & put him onto special teams immediately as well have Wade insert him into some blitz packages, he is a defensive playmaker I'm telling you
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Old 09-27-2012   #18
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

Mercilus, like Brooks Reed (in his rookie year) did not see a lot of snaps in the first few games.

I would hold off on evaluating him.
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Old 09-28-2012   #19
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

I'm just a little disappointed that we haven't been able to see what these guys can do at their respective positions. I have high hopes for Mercilus and Brooks and think that Kubiak should let them get some on the job training in a real game. If our 4th round picks can play the game our earlier round players should be even further ahead.
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Old 09-28-2012   #20
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Default Re: Whitney Mercilus and Brandon Brooks?

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Originally Posted by Wolf6151 View Post
I'm just a little disappointed that we haven't been able to see what these guys can do at their respective positions. I have high hopes for Mercilus and Brooks and think that Kubiak should let them get some on the job training in a real game. If our 4th round picks can play the game our earlier round players should be even further ahead.
Worry not, we shall see what we have in them eventually. Easing players into our system is a luxury that we have not had in the past. McNair has said repeatedly that he admires franchises like Pittsburgh and New England that can endure yearly roster turnover without skipping a beat. We are grooming guys like Mercilus and Brandon Harris to take over if guys like Barwin and McCain should choose to play elsewhere (see Dreessen to Graham).


Here's a quote from Wade today:

(on OLB Whitney Mercilus) (OLB) Whitney (Mercilus) is doing fine. Its just weve got really good players at those positions. Were trying to bring him in slowly. We tried to do the same thing with (OLB) Brooks Reed last year and all of the sudden he had to play all the time. I think Whitney is getting ready to play and well play him more and more as we go.
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