Mario Williams: Out of the Shadows

When the Houston Texans picked Mario Williams first overall in last year's draft, they immediately placed him into a lose-lose situation. The Texans' offense was miserable and no matter what Williams did on defense, he would always be overshadowed by the performances of Reggie Bush and Vince Young, the two other players that were heavily considered by the Texans in the 2006 draft.

While many could still argue that it was a terrible draft-day decision, there no reason to put down Williams' performance at the same time — even if he had a less effective season than Houston's second-round pick, DeMeco Ryans.

Williams was drafted for one main reason — potential. He had a pretty good final season at North Carolina State, but it was his performance at the combine that caused scouts to salivate and made the Texans take him first overall.

When a team drafts a player based on potential, it is completely unfair to compare him to "NFL-ready" players from the start.

While Vince Young was being promoted as the Tennessee Titans' savior and Reggie Bush was being hailed as the greatest thing to happen to sports since LeBron James, Mario Williams was doing all he could to work on his game while ignoring the media hype surrounding the performance of his rookie peers.

This year is different.

In the Texans' opening game of the season, Mario Williams came up with a huge performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, amassing 5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 TD on a fumble recovery. While it is too early to tell whether or not Williams is ready to take his game to the next level, one thing is certain: the guy is 6'6" of pure potential.

The Texans completely dominated the lowly Chiefs, forcing 4 turnovers and capitalizing on the opportunities given to them. They have improved from top to bottom with improvements made at quarterback, running back, punter, kick-returner, and, most importantly, coaching. With Gary Kubiak coming into his first full-season with the Texans, expectations were high. After one game, there's a chance that these expectations might actually be met.

Yes, the Texans only beat the Chiefs and sure, Mario Williams has only played one game this season. Houston has nonetheless made steps in the right directions. They have finally given themselves a chance to forget about last year's draft. But if Williams continues to play with the same tenacity that he showed against the Chiefs, the 2006 draft might be one that Houston fans want to remember after all.

Comments and Conversation

September 12, 2007


He was good in that game. i hope he can do like that in all the games. Go Mario

September 14, 2007


I could be wrong…but wasn’t Kubiak’s first full season last year?

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