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  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Houston Texans at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Houston Texans Stampede Tour pres. by Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Stop by Academy Sports + Outdoors (8453 Memorial Blvd., Port Arthur, TX 77640) from 4-5 PM to meet the Houston Texans!

    Stop by for autographs and pictures with:

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER #56 JAY FOREMAN*

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS KICK RETURNER #84 JJ MOSES*
    HOUSTON TEXANS CHEERLEADERS
    AND TORO!

    Houston Texans Giveaways!

    Autographs not guaranteed for everyone and signings strictly limited to times listed per appearance. *Celebrities subject to change.

  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT Houston Texans at Buffalo Wild Wings

    Houston Texans Stampede Tour pres. by Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Stop by Buffalo Wild Wings (3939 Dowlen Rd., Suite 11, Beaumont, TX 77706) from 8-9 PM to meet the Houston Texans during the first half of the Texans vs. Broncos game!

    Stop by for autographs and pictures with:

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS LINEBACKER #56 JAY FOREMAN*

    FORMER HOUSTON TEXANS KICK RETURNER #84 JJ MOSES*
    HOUSTON TEXANS CHEERLEADERS
    AND TORO!


    Houston Texans Giveaways!

    Autographs not guaranteed for everyone and signings strictly limited to times listed per appearance. *Celebrities subject to change.
  • Sat., Aug. 23, 2014 8:00 PM CDT Texans at Broncos The Texans travel to Denver to face off against the Broncos.
  • Sun., Aug. 24, 2014 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Back To Tailgating The Houston Texans are Back to Football so it’s time for you to get Back to Tailgating at the Academy Sports + Outdoors in Pearland on Sun., Aug. 24 from 3-5 PM. Join the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO & Deep Steel Thunder for this free event.  Also, get tailgating tips for the 2014 season from former H-E-B Tailgaters of the Year!
  • Tue., Aug. 26, 2014 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM CDT Houston Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas The Houston Texans Team Luncheon presented by Amegy Bank of Texas is Tuesday, August 26 at 12 noon.  It’s your chance to have lunch with the entire Texans team, as well as hear from new head coach Bill O’Brien as we get Back to Football and prepare for the 2014 season. 
  • Thu., Aug. 28, 2014 7:00 PM CDT 49ers at Texans The Texans host the 49ers at NRG Stadium.
  • Sat., Aug. 30, 2014 8:00 PM - 11:00 PM CDT AdvoCare Texas Kickoff

    Celebrate the return of college football with a Big Ten and SEC showdown at NRG Stadium, as the LSU Tigers and Wisconsin Badgers square off in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff on Saturday August 30 at 8pm. Secure yours today by calling 832-667-2390 or at advocare texas kickoff dot com.

  • Sun., Aug. 31, 2014 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Kickoff at Kemah Boardwalk Join the Houston Texans Cheerleaders, Ambassadors, TORO, and the Battle Ready Band at the Kickoff at Kemah Boardwalk on Sun., Aug. 31 from 1-3 PM. Bring the entire family for autograph signings, live music, & prize giveaways!
  • Sun., Sep. 14, 2014 8:15 AM - 10:30 AM CDT Houston Texans Running of the Bulls 5K Run/Walk presented by H-E-B Houston Texans Running of the Bulls 5K Run and Walk presented by H-E-B is Sunday, September 14 at NRG Park.  The 5K run/walk and TORO's Kids 1K presented by Aramark will both finish on the floor of NRG Stadium, where the post-race party is with the return of pizza and beer! Also, there is a new course for 2014. Secure your spot before Sept. 8 at 5 PM at HoustonTexans.com.
  • Wed., Nov. 12, 2014 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM CST Bulls & Birdies Golf Tournament supported by Bud Light

    Have you ever dreamed of playing a round of golf with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders cheering you on?  Now’s your chance!  Sign up today at HoustonTexans.com for the annual Bulls and Birdies Golf Tournament supported by Bud Light at Wildcat Golf Club on Wednesday, November 12.

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First-round pick Whitney Mercilus improving in limited role

Posted Sep 28, 2012

Rookie Whitney Mercilus is contributing on special teams, and hoping to soon make a bigger impact on defense as well.


Week by week, repetition by repetition, rookie linebacker Whitney Mercilus is adjusting to the NFL.

Mercilus, the Texans’ 2012 first-round draft pick, has mainly contributed on special teams in the first month of the regular season. He has played sparingly on defense through three games, earning about 10-12 snaps per week behind Connor Barwin and Brooks Reed.

“I just gotta prepare harder week to week,” Mercilus said Thursday. “I’m just trying to earn more snaps so that I’m able to help out Connor and Brooks, so they can get some rest.”

There is no sense of entitlement with the Illinois product, who led the NCAA with 16 sacks and nine forced fumbles as a junior last season. Mercilus didn’t get much time on special teams in the preseason, but that changed once the real games began.

“Not playing in the preseason and being his first game playing special teams against Miami in Week 1, he’s gotten better and better and better,” Texans special teams coordinator Joe Marciano said. “He’s very willing. He understands. He just needs more repetitions.”

With two special teams tackles last Sunday, Mercilus made his presence felt in the victory at Denver. One memorable hit saw a Broncos returner leap into the rookie’s grasp only to be driven quickly into the turf.

“They were trying to do a couple twists or whatever, double blocks or blind-side blocks,” Mercilus said. “I was able to read it fast and then kind of juke the guy and get down and make a special hit on the returner. I’m just trying to do more of that and eventually, hopefully I do the same thing in this game.”

Mercilus has embraced his role on special teams despite his first-round status and despite leading the Texans with 3.5 sacks in the preseason. And his coaches and teammates have taken notice.

“It’s tough; when you’re a first-round pick, you’re expected to do all that, and it’s hard to get on the field for us right now,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s doing his job and he’s working hard. The time is coming and our depth will be tested, but he’s coming along fine.”

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips echoed that, and pointed out that Reed was in a similar situation last year as a rookie.

“Whitney is doing fine,” Phillips said. “We’re trying to bring him in slowly. We tried to do the same thing with Brooks Reed last year and all of the sudden, he had to play all the time. I think Whitney is getting ready to play, and we’ll play him more and more as we go.”

Defensive end and captain Antonio Smith, who is also encouraged by Mercilus’ potential, agreed that it’s just a matter of time.

“He has a lot of upside he has to tap into,” Smith said. “The only way you can do that is to get game-time experience. You need game-time experience. You need game reps to learn how to rush. You can’t always get it in practice.”

Those reps will come for Mercilus as this season progresses. In the meantime, the talented rookie will look to make the most of his reps on special teams and limited snaps on defense.

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