Tag:Mario Williams
Posted on: January 13, 2011 11:43 am
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Hot Routes 1.13.10: Orange ties are always in



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • John Fox brought an orange tie to his interview with the Broncos on Wednesday. And after getting delayed by weather twice earlier this week, Fox finally actually made it to Denver. So, what separates him from the other Broncos candidates? "I've been doing it. I have a plan, whether it's a bye week schedule, a training camp schedule. It's not my first rodeo, so to speak," Fox told the Associated Press. "So, I think I do have a blueprint to do it. We've had success, some years more than others. But you know the full body of work I think holds a blueprint for success."
  • And while we’re talking about Polamalu, the NY Times does a nice job on the spiritual side of the guy with the best hair in the league.
  • The Steelers Lounge caught up with Merril Hoge about this weekend’s Steelers-Ravens game.

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 4:58 pm
 

Texans keeping Kubiak, replacing defensive staff

Posted by Andy Benoit

To the chagrin of many Houston fans, owner Bob McNair has announced that head coach Gary Kubiak will return for a sixth season. The Texans just turned in a disappointing 7-9 season in which it set new lows for defensive ineptitude (267.5 passing yards allowed per game, 32nd in the NFL).

"I appreciate Bob's confidence in me," Kubiak said in a statement released by the team. "We visited today and decided on a new direction. I am very lucky. I work for a great man that believes in me. That means a lot to me. I have a lot of work to do to make him proud."

RELATED: COACHING HOT SEAT TRACKER

One could make the argument that Kubiak is not deserving of the blame, though. Mike Shanahan’s long-time assistant in Denver was hired for his offensive pedigree. The Texans have ranked in the top four in offensive yardage each of the last three seasons. The problems have been on defense.

Consequently, Kubiak fired defensive coordinator Frank Bush, defensive backs coach David Gibbs, linebackers coach Johnny Holland and assistant linebackers coach Robert Saleh Monday. He is looking to bring in a defensive czar to right the ship, and he says it doesn’t matter if that individual has a 4-3 or 3-4 background, but has said that Wade Phillips -- previously rumored as a DC candidate -- will be interviewed.

A 4-3 background does matter, though. GM Rick Smith has invested very high draft picks in a slew of 4-3 front seven players (Mario Williams, Amobi Okoye, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing). The 4-3 system has not panned out the last several years, but that’s been a player performance issue more than anything. This season, besides Ryans’ Achilles injury and Williams’ nagging hernia, the Texans were done-in by callow cornerbacks and safeties who are hard-hitting but inept in coverage.

Kubiak is not responsible for the defensive personnel, and he’s not responsible for players having basic fundamentals. That issue pertains more to the assistant coaches. Hence, McNair felt sweeping changes on that side of the staff would suffice for 2011.

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Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:31 pm
 

Mario Williams done for the season

Posted by Andy Benoit
M. Williams
The Houston Texans have placed Mario Williams on Injured Reserve. This is essentially a mercy move by a team eliminated from playoff contention. On Monday night against the Ravens Williams re-aggravated the painful sports hernia that he has been battling all season.

Gary Kubiak initially said the Texans would not shut Williams down. However, he also professed to be extremely worried about the defensive end. It has been an up-and-down season for the perennial Pro Bowler. Perhaps now we know why.

Williams’ absence will mean more snaps for pass-rushing specialist Mark Anderson. The speedy ex-Bear could get a second chance to prove his worth as an everydown player (something he failed to do in Chicago).

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Posted on: November 27, 2010 11:43 am
 

Week 12 injury news and analysis, part I

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Jaguars at Giants

Two of Jacksonville’s most important offensive players, WR Mike Sims-Walker and RB Maurice Jones-Drew, are questionable because of an ankle and an abdomen, respectively. Sims-Walker didn’t play last week because of his high ankle sprain, so it’s a bit surprising that he practiced at all this week (high ankle sprains tend to keep players out at least three to four weeks). Sims-Walker was limited Thursday and Friday, which tells us one of two things – either he’s an unbelievably fast healer or coach Jack Del Rio is using a bit of gamesmanship to keep New York guessing.

Jones-Drew has been on fire recently – he’s accumulated 368 yards and three touchdowns in his past three games (he’s also added 123 receiving yards) – and he’s more likely to play than not. If not, look for Rashad Jennings to get more opportunities.

Though he’s been awfully entertaining on his Twitter account since he was admitted to the hospital with back pain (he was released from the hospital Saturday morning), New York G Shawn Andrews is doubtful (Will Beatty will take his place). CB Will Blackmon is questionable with a chest injury.

Steelers at Bills


Once again, LB Shawne Merriman (who still hasn’t played a game since signing with Buffalo) is out with an Achilles tendon injury. RB C.J. Spiller is questionable, but considering Fred Jackson (249 yards, three touchdowns) has been so good the past two games, Spiller’s absence shouldn’t have a huge impact on the offense (special teams might be a different story, though). The team doesn’t want to play Spiller until he’s 100 percent healthy, which he almost surely is not.

Pittsburgh only has four players on the injury report – WR Antonio Brown and DE Aaron Smith are out, TE Matt Spaeth (concussion) is doubtful and S Troy Polamalu (ankle) is questionable. Polamalu most likely will play. He played last week despite the injury, and the Steelers plan was to rest him early in the week and let him play Sunday (he was limited Wednesday and Thursday but had full participation in practice Friday).

Titans at Texans

If you formed a flag football team just out of the players that are listed as probable on Houston’s injury report, you’d have a pretty good chance to win an intramural title. Those players include QB Matt Schaub, WR Andre Johnson, LB Brian Cushing and DE Mario Williams. Unfortunately for your beer-league dream team, all will be playing NFL football Sunday.

For Tennessee, Randy Moss still isn’t listed on the injury report, which confuses me. If he’s active and playing, how come nobody is throwing him the ball? If he was hurt, then it would make sense. Speaking of players who don’t throw the ball to Moss, backup QB Kerry Collins – who will be the starter once again at some point – is questionable. But rookie Rusty Smith still is slated to the start at QB.

Also for the Titans, DT Jason Jones is questionable with a knee injury. DT Tony Brown (knee) also is questionable, but he’s more likely to play.

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Posted on: October 17, 2010 11:53 am
Edited on: October 17, 2010 12:10 pm
 

AFC Inactives, Week 6

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here’s who IS active: Texans DE Mario Williams, Texans WR Jacoby Jones, Chargers LT Marcus McNeill, Browns QB Brett Ratliff (psst, he’s Colt McCoy’s backup), Browns RB Peyton Hillis (he’ll start), NT Haloti Ngata.

On to the inactives:

Chris Chambers, WR, Chiefs:
He was a late addition to the injury report, after hurting his finger late in the week. Without Chambers, Terrance Cooper could get more work, and don’t forget that QB Matt Cassel still has TE Tony Moeaki.

James Sanders, S, Patriots: He originally replaced an injured Brandon Meriweather a few weeks ago, and now, Sanders has a hamstring problem. Look for Jarrad Page to move into Sanders’ role.

Terrence Wheatley, CB, Patriots: He returned to practice this week for the first time this season, and New England was hoping he could contribute this week to a young secondary. He won't.

Jared Odrick, DL, Dolphins: His rookie season is quickly becoming a disaster. He played in Week 1, but he’s been set back by a hairline fracture in his leg ever since. There was some thought he could play this week, but obviously, he’s not.

Legedu Naanee, WR, Chargers:
Patrick Crayton will get the start in place of Naanee.

Josh Wilson, DB, Ravens: He’s been bothered by a sore hamstring, but it was thought he could play today. The big loss for Baltimore is his kickoff returning ability. Expect Jared Parmele to take his place.

Charlie Batch, QB, Steelers: With Ben Roethlisberger's return, Byron Leftwich officially takes over the Steelers backup job.

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Posted on: September 20, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.20.10 Some box score tidbits

Posted by Andy Benoit

In this week’s 10 Stories That Deserve Your Attention, we focused on how LaDainian Tomlinson appears to be handling a much heavier load than expected for the Jets. This is supposed to be Shonn Greene’s backfield. Well, the man Tomlinson essentially replaced, Thomas Jones, is doing the same thing in Kansas City. Jones carried the ball 22 times against the Browns Sunday (83 yards). Jamaal Charles, who is coming off the bench, had 11 carries (49 yards).

Third-round rookie tight end Tony Moeaki led the Chiefs with five catches for 58 yards.

Ndamukong Sun flashed dominance for the second week in a row. Suh recorded a sack against Michael Vick (he may have gotten away with a facemask on the play) and consistently pushed the interior pocket.

How about these rushing statistics for the Cowboys: Marion Barber 11 carries for 31 yards; Felix Jones 7 carries for 7 yards; Tashard Choice 1 carry for -1 yard. Somehow, you can’t help but think this is Tony Romo’s fault.

Trent Edwards was 11/18 for 102 yards and two picks against the Packers. When Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards to end the first quarter, that brought Buffalo’s net yardage on the day back to zero. C. Matthews (US Presswire)

Jermichael Finley has his second career 100-yard game. Expect at least five more this season for the best tight end in the NFC.

Should we just go ahead and vote for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award now? Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had three sacks for the second week in a row. This for a guy who sat out virtually the entire preseason with a hamstring injury.

Actually, we’d better not crown Matthews yet. Mario Williams followed his stellar Week 1 performance with a shimmering outing against the Redskins. Williams recorded three sacks, two tackles for a loss and two pass deflections. It’s safe to say the Texans probably don’t win that game without him.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 145 yards on 28 carries against a fairly-staunch Dolphins D. There wasn’t a cheap yard in the bunch. Peterson put on an absolute show late in the second half, showing his familiar powerful burst and uncanny change-of-direction prowess. However, his show came to an abrupt end on the second to last drive, when the Dolphins kept him out of the end zone on four-straight plays from inside the 10.

Chris Johnson had his streak of 100-yard games snapped at 12 by a Steelers D that has given up just one 100-yard rushing performance in its last 36 outings. Johnson managed just 34 yards on 16 carries. He had an 85-yard touchdown called back because of a Eugene Amano holding penalty (even with nose tackle Casey Hampton out, the Titans center had a rough afternoon).

A week after his impressive return to the NFL, Seahawks wideout Mike Williams had just one catch for seven yards against the Broncos.

Wes Welker and Randy Moss were both held to 38 yards receiving.

The Chargers held Maurice Jones-Drew to 31 yards on 12 carries. Rashad Jennings actually got nine carries, producing 38 yards.

Philip Rivers 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and an unofficial 3 screams at his offensive linemen against the Jaguars.

Shawne Merriman got on the field for the first time all season and recorded three tackles.

Tim Hightower was the lone bright spot for the Cardinals. With Beanie Wells still out with a knee injury, the third-year running back carried the entire load Sunday. Hightower rushed for 115 yards on 11 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown scamper in which he showed newfound quickness and acceleration.

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 1:56 pm
 

Trent Williams might need some help

T. Williams struggled against Baltimore's pass rush Saturday (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Trent Williams will face numerous pass-rushing specialists this year – some of the best defensive ends and linebackers in the game. Sure, he’s a rookie LT, but he also was the fourth pick taken in the NFL Draft and the Redskins are expecting him to keep QB Donovan McNabb’s blind side safe.

That’s why Saturday night’s game against the Ravens was so disheartening.

Baltimore’s Terrell Suggs – who’s more of an all-around LB rather than a monster pass-rusher – owned Williams, who gave up a sack and numerous pressures to Suggs in the Ravens win. As the Washington Post points out, that means the Redskins might need to give Williams more help, especially when he has to face the likes of DeMarcus Ware, Mario Williams, Trent Cole and Dwight Freeney this season.

Jason Reid writes:

On Suggs's sack of McNabb in the second quarter, Williams was beaten so badly off the ball that he never had a chance to set up and get into his technique. For that matter, McNabb didn't have a chance, either. And the big play illustrated why premier rush ends/outside linebackers are valued more in the NFL than any position except quarterback and lock-down corners.

(After a Baltimore fumble), on Washington's first play, Suggs raced past Williams and brought down McNabb for a five-yard loss. The Redskins attempted two deep passes that fell incomplete, punted and did nothing on offense for the remainder of the blowout loss.

Late in the first quarter, with Washington facing third and 1, Suggs drove Williams into the backfield and brought down running back Larry Johnson for a three-yard loss. Williams also was called for a false start.

Of course, it was only a preseason game. Suggs has won many individual battles throughout his career against some of the game's most experienced and talented left tackles. And the Redskins had other major pass-protection issues against Baltimore, especially in blitz pick-ups.


But still, not a great start for a tackle who’s very athletic but was also known as a devastating run blocker and just a pretty good pass protector while in college.

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 5:44 pm
 

Texans get good news about Mario Williams

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Houston Texans can breathe easy. The second opinion on defensive end Mario Williams’s hip offereM. Williams (US Presswire)d good news. Williams hurt his hip on the third day of practice. The injury became inflamed and the soreness spread to the pelvic and groin regions. Williams did not respond well to treatment, so today he visited Dr. William Meyers, a sports hernia specialist in Philadelphia.

We’ll let Gary Kubiak take over from here:

 “Great news on Mario,” Kubiak said after the morning practice. “He went up there for a second opinion, and all of the reports were good, and we expect him to get back here and get back on the field here shortly.

“All I know is that it reconfirmed everything we thought with our group. We’ll bring him back, and see how he recovers.”


According to John McClain of the Houston Chronicle, Williams will still continue to receive treatment from Texans doctors.

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