RTC: Mercilus weighs in on Clowney

April, 14, 2014
Apr 14
Reading the coverage of the Houston Texans ...

Texans outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus hasn't had a lot of time for in-depth conversations with the new Texans coaches about what his role will be in their defense, but he likes what he's heard, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. He also said this: “I wouldn’t be opposed to having a great addition to the defense in Clowney. The guy seems like he’s an animal and if we do happen to get him onto the team, he’s just a great addition to the 3-4 package that we have.”

If former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel succeeds as a professional football player, he could become the face of the NFL, supposes Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle:
Manziel's teenage-like face and relatively small frame have dominated ESPN's "SportsCenter" for two highlight-filled, controversial years. His shoulder-pads-and-helmet statement became a pro day trendsetter. His Wonderlic score was a national Twitter trending topic Friday. And while Adidas, Under Armour and New Balance attempted to lure in the biggest name in the 2014 NFL draft, only Nike, with its multiyear promotional contract at an undisclosed sum, was awarded the right to attach its worldwide brand to Manziel.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com wonders if former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is broken beyond repair. He details why Schaub imploded last season, but begins in 2012.
His struggles began shortly after uncorking a whopping 103 passes in back-to-back overtime victories over a five-day span in November. Schaub soon began playing without confidence in his arm or in his pass protection.

Check out the two underthrown play-action bombs in the video to the right. After Vontae Davis intercepted a dying quail intended for James Casey in Week 17, that weapon left Schaub's arsenal rarely to be seen again.

No longer standing in against the pass rush, Schaub started bailing in the pocket while falling into the habit of checking down horizontally as opposed to testing defenses vertically.

Entering his first career playoff game against the Bengals in early January, Schaub acknowledged to sideline reporter Alex Flanagan that he had been pressing, thinking too much and afraid to make a mistake. "His goal today is just to cut it loose," Flanagan summarized.

That theoretically renewed, aggressive Schaub never materialized.

Reminiscent of an obviously injured Carson Palmer in his last years with the Bengals, the postseason version of Schaub proved incapable of consistently moving his offense outside of garbage time against slackening defenses.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter



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