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View Full Version : Texans plan to use Mario Williams at outside linebacker


Splat
05-05-2011, 01:03 PM
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/05/05/texans-plan-to-use-mario-williams-at-outside-linebacker/

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle wrote about Williams’ planned conversion in a chat Wednesday. (A full story is coming Friday.) At 6’6 and 290 pounds, Williams will look a little crazy standing up. But McClain says he plans to drop some weight and the Texans won’t count on him to cover as the weak side outside linebacker.

“He’ll be up in running situations and down in passing situations. Sometimes they might change him around,” McClain writes.

Phillips plans to use Williams like he did DeMarcus Ware (http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/player_main.aspx?sport=NFL&id=3170) and “loves” Williams at OLB. It appears the team selected J.J. Watt in part to free up Williams from playing defensive end.

LonghornsLegend
05-05-2011, 01:24 PM
Good luck with that. I think Wade is smart enough to figure this out though. He's still gonna be almost primarily rushing the passer as a RE, he'll just do it standing up sometimes, hand in the dirt, maybe switch sides. I just don't think you'll see much dropping back into coverage from him, letting him get after the QB you shouldn't notice a big change.


None the less, Watt, Reed, and Harris were excellent picks to start out that defense with. I just feel that had plenty of talent to run a 4-3 and only needed afew more pieces.

Saints-Tigers
05-05-2011, 01:27 PM
I bet they end up running a lot of 4-3, particularly on passing downs.

Shane P. Hallam
05-05-2011, 01:29 PM
I bet they end up running a lot of 4-3, particularly on passing downs.

I wouldn't bet on that with Wade...

umphrey
05-05-2011, 01:31 PM
Sounds about as good as Aaron Kampman did in 2009

ElectricEye
05-05-2011, 01:34 PM
That's a whole lot of meat standing up. I'm not sure how it works out in the end, but if anyone can pull it off it's Wade. I personally thought they would run a lot of shifts and unbalanced lines to keep Mario's hand on the ground and keep him with clean match-ups against offensive lines.

AntoinCD
05-05-2011, 01:35 PM
Despite being huge in size Williams is a freak athlete. If he drops 10lbs to 280lbs then you'd also have to think he will develop a greater range. That being said I don't think Phillips will want him doing much more than rushing the passer, however occasionally putting him in the flat or dropping back will surprise some teams. I personally think he'll split his time at OLB and DE. They do have Connor Barwin and newly drafted Brooks Reed who are better suited to OLB

umphrey
05-05-2011, 01:39 PM
If this is how they plan to use him they are just running a 4-3 and calling it something else. Phillips is just bringing in his play book and ripping out a bunch of pages.

FlyingElvis
05-05-2011, 01:55 PM
Elephant. Like Willie McGinest with even more athleticism. Scary.

ElectricEye
05-05-2011, 02:04 PM
Elephant. Like Willie McGinest with even more athleticism. Scary.

Yeah, that's the only way I can see this working too and it does have very good potential to be a good fit....but it just seems weird to mess with something that's going to so right already. I suppose you've got to do what you've got to do to help a guy fit a scheme though.

AntoinCD
05-05-2011, 02:08 PM
Yeah, that's the only way I can see this working too and it does have very good potential to be a good fit....but it just seems weird to mess with something that's going to so right already. I suppose you've got to do what you've got to do to help a guy fit a scheme though.

The Texans really had to bring in a guy with a proven track record of producing top quality defenses because despite having an outstanding offense their defense, particularly in pass coverage, is and has been abysmal. Wade Phillips was clearly the top guy available and he seems to have an idea of how to make, what seems like obvious, 43 players like Williams and Ryans fit in. I think the X factor in the front 7 could be Cushing. He can play inside and out and he gives them extra flexibility to the LB corps.

ElectricEye
05-05-2011, 02:21 PM
I can't imagine Cushing doing anything besides playing ILB in that scheme. He's a perfect fit for that position, even. He's not nearly the pass rusher some people thought he was coming out of college either, so his value outside is severely limited. Probably a Barwin/Reed platoon opposite Williams. Reed should be able to handle the non-pass rushing roles in that defense fine.

Ness
05-05-2011, 03:52 PM
Yeah, that's the only way I can see this working too and it does have very good potential to be a good fit....but it just seems weird to mess with something that's going to so right already. I suppose you've got to do what you've got to do to help a guy fit a scheme though.

Well if it makes their defense better overall then more power to Houston.

PackerLegend
05-05-2011, 03:54 PM
Sounds about as good as Aaron Kampman did in 2009

My thoughts exactly... He tried but it was pretty bad.

FUNBUNCHER
05-05-2011, 05:54 PM
The Texans coaching staff needs to find ALL of the 1980s Bills game tape featuring Bruce Smith, then go look at Howie Long with the Raiders, both were pass rushing terrors who played DE in a 30 front.

Making Mario Williams drop 25# to play OLB is STOOPID.

It's not written in stone that 34 DEs are two gap players.


Sometimes it's SMART to build you defense around what you best defender(s) does best.
Why did Haynesworth fail so spectacularly in D.C.?? Because dumbass Jim Haslett tried to turn a freak one-gap DT into a 34 NT.

Talent before scheme. Always.

SeanTaylorRIP
05-05-2011, 06:28 PM
Wade Phillips was not going to come in and run a 4-3, that's ridiculous to think.

TACKLE
05-05-2011, 06:38 PM
People are making WAAAYY too much of this. In Wade's 3-4 over defense, WOLB is essentially just a rush DE. His hand will be in the ground on every 3rd down and nickel situation. I'd be surprised if Mario is asked to drop on 5 snaps a game. People need to stop freaking out about this. Remember how often Wade asked Merriman to drop? Almost never. And even if they did want to drop him, despite being 290, he's way more athletic and fluid then conversion guys in this years draft like Aldon Smith, Justin Houston and even Brooks Reed.

bucfan12
05-05-2011, 07:56 PM
Hope he plans to shed 15 lbs. He needs to be quicker. He's not a fit in this defense at all.

bucfan12
05-05-2011, 08:00 PM
I can't imagine Cushing doing anything besides playing ILB in that scheme. He's a perfect fit for that position, even. He's not nearly the pass rusher some people thought he was coming out of college either, so his value outside is severely limited. Probably a Barwin/Reed platoon opposite Williams. Reed should be able to handle the non-pass rushing roles in that defense fine.

Speaking of Cushing, I wonder how much he's been juicing this offseason since he can't be tested. He didn't look too good last year, especially since he was caught.

ChiFan24
05-05-2011, 10:35 PM
Might as well see what you can get for him in a trade. If it's a first plus another day 2 pick, I might pull the trigger. I don't see this OLB thing working out, and 5 tech is kind of a waste of his talents.

SeanTaylorRIP
05-05-2011, 10:39 PM
Trading your franchise player, that's rough on the fan base. What the hell trade him to the Lions and you can have Mike Rumph playing CB.

niel89
05-05-2011, 11:10 PM
Hes gonna do fine. If he is some how god awful in the schematic position they put him in, they will adjust to make him more effective. You don't abandon your best defensive player.

HEISMANHERSCHEL
05-05-2011, 11:27 PM
Despite being huge in size Williams is a freak athlete. If he drops 10lbs to 280lbs then you'd also have to think he will develop a greater range. That being said I don't think Phillips will want him doing much more than rushing the passer, however occasionally putting him in the flat or dropping back will surprise some teams. I personally think he'll split his time at OLB and DE. They do have Connor Barwin and newly drafted Brooks Reed who are better suited to OLB

Actually, Connor Barwin's specialty is getting injured.

Monomach
05-06-2011, 12:24 AM
Might as well see what you can get for him in a trade. If it's a first plus another day 2 pick, I might pull the trigger. I don't see this OLB thing working out, and 5 tech is kind of a waste of his talents.

I REALLY hope he gets traded. Not because I hate Houston or anything...I just want to see Falcon fans telling us that Julio Jones is worth more picks than Mario the same way he's worth more than Cutler, Boldin, or Marshall.

cunningham06
05-06-2011, 02:57 AM
Speaking of Cushing, I wonder how much he's been juicing this offseason since he can't be tested. He didn't look too good last year, especially since he was caught.

Cushing will be fine don't you worry. He was playing out of position this season, and he plays much better when he has Demeco next to him for guidance. It ain't the roids (although they may have helped).

BlindSite
05-06-2011, 05:42 AM
Wade's system is more of a 43 with one end standing on about 30% of snaps. Super Mario isn't going to be on his feet every down like some expect. He'll keep his hand in a dirt a lot of the time, exactly like Ware does in Dallas. Wade's ends in the traditional alignment don't even play a true 5 technique they're more penetrators anyway.

It's not as big a shift as people are thinking. They'll be fine with the front 7 personnel they have.

SenorGato
05-06-2011, 07:50 AM
Williams will be fine. He's one of the best pass rushers and all around defensive players in the league. Guys like him are what defenses are built around in the NFL...and really nothing nowadays is more overblown than the almighty front change for a D.

BuddyCHRIST
05-06-2011, 12:43 PM
He'll be fine, Wade has shown the ability to get the best out of these kind of guys. I'm sure he'll be rushing the passer on most plays, Mario is a talent to build your defense around.

Jimmy
05-06-2011, 03:13 PM
Call me stupid for asking... but if he's not going to cover, what's the point in having him stand up to begin with?

fenikz
05-06-2011, 05:04 PM
id guess he covers 5% of the time

and people need to remember what a freak athlete he is
4.66, 35 reps, 40.5" at 285 lbs, he will have no problem playing in space

JBCX
05-06-2011, 05:38 PM
This is a ridiculous idea,imho. Mario Williams is more Bruce Smith than DeMarcus Ware.

Just play Mario Williams and JJ Watt as your two 3-4 DEs, get a big NT, and you'll have, probably, the best 3-4 front in the league.

Then play DeMeco Ryans and another guy as your ILBs, and use Brooks Reed and Brian Cushing as the two OLBs. I don't understand what's so hard about this.

ElectricEye
05-06-2011, 05:43 PM
id guess he covers 5% of the time

and people need to remember what a freak athlete he is
4.66, 35 reps, 40.5" at 285 lbs, he will have no problem playing in space

Lateral agility at that height/weight is going to be a problem. Moving backwards, ect. I agree that he'll probably play more of an elephant role though, shouldn't bother him too much.

BlindSite
05-06-2011, 05:58 PM
Call me stupid for asking... but if he's not going to cover, what's the point in having him stand up to begin with?

To put it in simple terms, there's a few different ways of running the 34 defense.

Traditionally the idea is to have 3 massive units up front who don't shed blocks but more instead just hold at the point of attack, occupy blockers and allow the linebackers to run free.

The OLBS are bigger because containment becomes their assignment on rushing downs and pass rusher in other situations.

Wade asks his ends to all almost play like UTs and penetrate their gaps causing confusion and in essence calling for a double team anyway.

Think of Mario Williams not as playing Shawne Merriman's role but more Julius Peppers in Carolina, almost always have his hand in the dirt, but occasionally shuffled onto his feet, around the line and every now in then back in coverage or shifted further out to rush the passer.

It's a different alignment to what pittsburgh use or the jets use. Having him standing at all is more designed to bring some confusion into the defense, is he blitzing? is he dropping?

marks01234
05-07-2011, 05:54 PM
Scary thought for opposing offenses.

cunningham06
05-07-2011, 07:02 PM
This is a ridiculous idea,imho. Mario Williams is more Bruce Smith than DeMarcus Ware.

Just play Mario Williams and JJ Watt as your two 3-4 DEs, get a big NT, and you'll have, probably, the best 3-4 front in the league.

Then play DeMeco Ryans and another guy as your ILBs, and use Brooks Reed and Brian Cushing as the two OLBs. I don't understand what's so hard about this.

Brian Cushing is a 3-4 ILB in this scheme. Connor Barwin would be the starting OLB opposite Brooks Reed if Mario were to stay at DE. I like this move given that Barwin is still unproven and we have plenty of guys who could play DE.

wordofi
05-07-2011, 11:40 PM
As great of an athlete as Williams is, I doubt this works very well. He's a 4-3 defensive end only.

GaMeTiMe
05-08-2011, 04:00 AM
This is something we're all skeptical about but only because of his size. I think Williams not only can do it but could potentially wreck havoc at the position. If he is able to wrap his head around the position change and if necessary sort of tweak his craft for the nuisances of attacking from a new stance he'll be fine. That's really all it is, he'll still have his same game and be a monster trying to get to the QB on every snap, nothing else.

Of course it's only May and they haven't seen anything from anyone at this point so this could change a week after the lockout ends. They have the personnel and flexibility to play him at either OLB or DE and Antonio Smith has a much better chance of fading early than Brooks Reed who will be the initial odd man out of the starting line-up.