New Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips says he wants Mario Williams to do what he does best: Line up at defensive end, put his hand on the ground and rush the quarterback.
In other words, Phillips tells John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, just because he coaches a 3-4 defense, that doesn’t mean he’s moving his best pass-rushing defensive end to outside linebacker.
“I think Mario fits in well with what we’re going to do,” Phillips said. “He’s a five-technique, an outside rush guy. That’s what he is. I don’t see any difference for him. He’s going to be outside all the time.”
Although Phillips won’t be able to coach Williams until the lockout is over, he’s already watching tape of the players he has inherited. And he says he doesn’t think Williams looks comfortable when he’s standing up, instead of in a three-point stance.
“When they did stand him up, he took that false step every time, and that made him late on his rush,” Phillips said. “You don’t want him late on the rush. That’s just fundamentals, something you have to work on. That’s what happens when you have a player who’s not used to standing up stand up. I don’t think you need to stand Mario up. He comes off the ball so well with his hand on the ground I don’t know that you’d ever want to stand him up.”
Phillips would love it if the Texans draft a 3-4 outside linebacker who can start as a rookie, but he also likes the talent he already has. That includes Williams, who has led the team in sacks each of the last four seasons, continuing to do what he does best.