Mario Williams Loves Wearing Red

For one home game each year the NFL’s Houston Texans’ deviate from their primary uniform colors of blue and white to wear special ‘Battle Red’ jerseys. In Houston, the game is looked upon with excitement as something different and, in most years, it seems the struggling Texans’ franchise rises to the occassion and submits one of their better performances.

One player who REALLY seems to rise to the occassion in someone who is very accustomed to wearing red — NC State’s Mario Williams

Earlier this week on the national state of Monday Night Football, Super Mario racked up three big sacks including this one that obviously forced a fumble that the Texans recovered. Williams now has eleven sacks for the season and only two other players have more sacks since Williams entered the league as a rookie three years ago.

I find it very interesting that Williams’ best game of last year was a 3.5 sack performance against Denver; also on a night that the Texans wore their Battle Reds. We even blogged about the observation at the time!

The following is from an article in the Houston Chronicle:

Off the field, Mario Williams hates having the spotlight on him. Post-practice group interviews at his locker especially unnerve him. But put him under the lights in prime time and he strides straight to the center of the stage.

Denver found this out last year, when Williams posted 3½ sacks in the first night game of his NFL career. Then, against Jacksonville on Monday evening, the once-maligned top pick in the 2006 draft added three more while also forcing a fumble on the last one that set up an insurance touchdown in what became a convincing, last-place escaping 30-17 Texans victory over the Jaguars.

“We finally got a chance for the whole world to see us,” Williams said, “so you’ve got to take advantage of it.”

His dominance was a conspicuous difference for the Texans over their early-season 30-27 overtime loss to Jacksonville. And the Texans have won two in a row now because they have started taking the ball away. Williams separating David Garrard from the football, which immediately preceded a seven-yard touchdown run by Steve Slaton that gave Houston a 23-3 lead, was the eighth turnover the defense has forced in the last two games.

That’s one fewer than they managed in the first 10.

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14 Responses to Mario Williams Loves Wearing Red

  1. burnbarn 12/04/2008 at 9:33 AM #

    I believe the guy blocking him (or trying to)also had 2 false starts.

  2. SEAT.5.F.2 12/04/2008 at 10:25 AM #

    Imagine the royalties the guy who wrote the “Super Mario” jingle for Nintendo has recieved.

    Mario is in the dubious position of being a super star athlete playing for an awful franchise. Hopefully they trade him and soon.

  3. Wulfpack 12/04/2008 at 10:31 AM #

    Yea hopefully Mario can end up with a contender in the near future. He won’t get too many more chances in the national spotlight as that MNF game was the least watched MNF game on record, I believe, and the Texans don’t appear to be getting better any time soon with Tennessee and Indy in their division. Regardless, he has a ton of years remaining so hopefully he can wait it out before the Texans get good, or get picked up by a winning franchise. He has to be the best DE in the game IMHO, and represents NCSU well.

    SFN: The NFL changes SO FAST and the Texans are both young and have battled key injuries this year (including starting QB, Matt Schaub for about half the year). Next year is probably going to be Kubiak’s last chance, but the team sets up nicely for them.

  4. Noah 12/04/2008 at 10:32 AM #

    Mario Williams has been one of the better DEs in the league far longer than he has been “maligned,” so I’m curious why the writer threw that adjective in there.

  5. wolfonthehill 12/04/2008 at 10:33 AM #

    “Mario is in the dubious position of being a super star athlete playing for an awful franchise. Hopefully they trade him and soon.”

    I’m starting to know the feeling.

    Philip Rivers

  6. McPete 12/04/2008 at 10:57 AM #

    “He has to be the best DE in the game IMHO, and represents NCSU well.”

    he’s great, but Jared Allen in Minnesota is the best.

  7. BJD95 12/04/2008 at 11:12 AM #

    The Texans’ core is really quite good, especially with Slaton’s emergence (thank God they are no longer counting on Ahman Green’s ghost to carry the running game anymore). I could see them in the playoffs next year.

  8. Texpack 12/04/2008 at 12:09 PM #

    The Texans are allowed to wear the Battle Red attire twice a year. Most project that they will wear red again in two weeks for the game with the Titans.

    The Texans have the 4th or 5th rated offense in the league in terms of yardage, but they are around 18th or 19th in points. Turnovers have killed this team for the past two years. The defense has spent way too much time on the field with way too little margin for error due to short fields provided to the opposition. Everyone here in Houston expects the DC to be fired. If he is, it’s quite possible that Wolfpacker Frank Bush will become the DC. He was Kubiak’s first choice for the job when he became the HC but Arizona wouldn’t let him out of his contract at that time.

    I really thought that this would be the season for the Texans to win 9-10 games and challenge for a Wild Card, but the turnovers have shot that down. Kubiak better make big time progress next season if he wants to keep his job. Don’t rule out his dismissal if they totally crater down the stretch this year.

  9. wufpup76 12/04/2008 at 12:34 PM #

    ^ *IF* the Texans can stay healthy and stop turning the football over they’re actually not too bad at all

    They probably should’ve beaten the Jaguars the first time they played them, and gave away a game earlier against the Colts

    Kubiak is a very good offensive coach, their special teams play is pretty good, and they have a lot of weapons on the defensive side of the ball

    I didn’t see the game, but I would’ve been interested to hear what that pompous Kornheiser had to say about Williams’ performance … When Reggie Bush returned 2 punts for TD’s earlier this year on MNF, Kornheiser couldn’t stop gushing about Bush and said “This is why you take Bush at No. 1 overall” etc., etc., etc. … I don’t even think he could remember Mario Williams’ name …

    That’s probably the biggest problem I have w/ a lot of the personalities at ESPN, the glaring conflict-of-interests they create by be-friending and backing certain players and not providing unbiased, fact based reporting … Bush has had his moments, but it is hardly reported by the people that maligned both the Texans and Williams that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the Texans made a good pick on Mario Williams …

    ESPN personalties 1 and 1A on this front are Chris Berman and Tony Kornheiser … These guys can’t admit that they may actually be wrong, so they just keep pumping Bush up and ignoring Williams’ now 25 + sacks over these last 2 seasons

    For the players’ part, I saw a story where Williams and Bush actually get along just fine and don’t really care about the draft … Each has worked hard to improve themselves and they respect each other … Just don’t tell anyone at ESPN

  10. lush 12/04/2008 at 12:43 PM #

    ^ if you had watched the monday night game you would have heard tony kornheiser admit he was wrong about the pick, and mario is a beast. in fact it was right after the play form the clip.

  11. Scooter 12/04/2008 at 12:58 PM #

    Tony Kornheiser has to be one of the worst personalities to ever sit in the booth for MNF. He’s not even that good on PTI. He’s kind of like the Mike Hogwood of the NFL.

  12. spanky 12/04/2008 at 1:23 PM #

    One of the main reasons I despise Kornheiser is his thrashing of Super Mario and pumping up Reggie Bush. During the game discussed he was talking about how Mario Williams was a brilliant pick because Bush has been injured and Vince Young hasn’t played significant minutes since the first week. He never admitted he was wrong he just completely changed his story…

  13. smithdl4 12/04/2008 at 4:42 PM #

    Actually Mr. Kornheiser was complimentary. He said something along the lines that Mario had proven based on the three years of play that Houston had it right when they drafted him first. I was really surprised to hear this kind of talk from him considering he was one of the big “Bush” supporters that year.

  14. Otis 12/04/2008 at 9:03 PM #

    Reggie who?

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