Deacon Jones: Texans can't let Mario go

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
12:22
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Hall of Fame defensive lineman Deacon Jones told Nashville’s “Midday 180” he thinks Mario Williams could be the second-best defensive end in the history of the league, behind only Jones himself.

[+] EnlargeMario Williams
AP Photo/Dave EinselHall of Famer Deacon Jones said Mario Williams "potentially can be the best in his era."
Following up the piece of the interview I was part of, I had to have more. Once his headset was off I asked him to flesh out his thoughts on Williams, who actually worked as an outside linebacker in 2011 in the Texans’ new 3-4. He had five sacks in five games before suffering a season-ending chest injury. He's got a prohibitive franchise tag price and is heading for unrestricted free agency.

“There is a lot about this business youngsters have to learn. You have to learn to be tough. You think you’re tough, but you come up here and you’re playing against All-Pros, not All-Americans,” Jones said.

Does Williams stand to be second only to Jones?

“I said that and I see you got your [tape recorder] out,” he said. “Well I am the best, there ain’t no damn question about that. I don’t know who No. 2 is. I’ll say he is potentially. He potentially can be the best in his era. He has the ability, he has the size, and all he needs is to get his head straight and make that commitment.

“They’d be stupid to let him go. He’s the No. 1 pick. Sure he’s had some injures. Everybody gets injuries. You can’t let a guy like that go. He’s a hell of a football player. If they do let him go, come to the Rams. Tell him don’t do nothing until he comes to the Rams.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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