Mario Williams took a lot of criticism for his performance on Monday night, with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski primary among those voicing concern.
It’s not a big surprise that Williams looked a little uncomfortable playing outside linebacker in his debut at his new position, but his coach and teammates swear it’s not a major problem.
“Our [starters] didn’t really play much football, and the ball went away from him a great deal,” coach Gary Kubiak told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a learning process for Mario. I’m encouraged by what I saw. . . . I know Mario is excited with what we’re doing. I think you’ll see him continue to improve.”
Teammate Antonio Smith said Williams has been a terror using the bull rush in camp.
“It has not been stopped in camp yet,” Smith told ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky. “Since he decided to do it, I ain’t seem him lose. You know what you need to do to beat a person. I think that throughout this camp, he’s figuring out how to use that. He’s added it into his bag of tricks and he’s going to figure out how to use it along with his other moves.”
It’s hard to imagine the Texans not being better on defense this year. But it’s also hard to imagine their defense being that good unless Williams is able to successfully convert to his new position.