On Now
Coming Up
  • Tue., Sep. 02, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet Texans Ambassador Chester Pitts at the Verizon Greenway Store, 3817 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77027.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Tue., Sep. 02, 2014 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT Duane Brown Live at Houston Texans Grille

    Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX 77024), then stay Texans Live from 7-8pm.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways

  • Fri., Sep. 05, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT Texans Friday: Sonic Drive-In

    Friday, September 5
    Noon-1pm – Sonic Drive-In, 8504 Main St., Houston, TX 77025

    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get a FREE All-American Hot Dog (1/person) for this hour at this location
    Enter for possibility to win a pair of tickets and parking pass to Texans vs. Redskins game on Sept. 7

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures

  • Fri., Sep. 05, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Texans Friday: Go Texan Store

    Friday, September 5
    6pm-7pm – Go Texan Store at NRG Stadium

    Stop by for a 20% discount on white gear for this hour in preparation for Liberty White Out on Sept. 7

    Enter for possibility to win a pair of tickets and parking pass to Texans vs. Redskins game on Sept. 7

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures

  • Tue., Sep. 09, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT “Player Inspired: Kareem Jackson Fly Guy” Apparel Line Launch Party

    Visit the Go Texan Store at NRG Stadium on Tuesday, September 9 from 6 to 7 PM for cornerback Kareem Jackson's new Player Inspired Fly Guy apparel line launch party. Stop by to meet Kareem, get light refreshments and to pick up some of his new apparel.

  • Tue., Sep. 09, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Duane Brown Live at Houston Texans Grille Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX 77024), then stay Texans Live from 7-8pm.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways
  • Fri., Sep. 12, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT Texans Friday: Pappadeaux

    Friday, September 12

    Noon-1pm – Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, 13080 NW Freeway, Houston, TX 77040

    Proudly wear your Texans gear to get a FREE cup of Shrimp Gumbo (1/person) for this hour at this location, dine-in only

    Houston Texans Cheerleaders signing autographs and taking pictures

  • 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.
  • Tue., Sep. 16, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Player Signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Meet Texans defensive back D.J. Swearinger at the Academy Sports + Outdoors located at 16610 US Hwy 59, Sugar Land, TX 77479.

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Tue., Sep. 16, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Duane Brown Live at Houston Texans Grille Join Texans offensive lineman Duane Brown every Tuesday from 6-7pm at the Houston Texans Grille (12848 Queensbury Ln, Houston, TX 77024), then stay Texans Live from 7-8pm.  Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways

News

Print
RSS

Whitney Mercilus has simple plan for first-career start

Posted Nov 30, 2012

Rookie Whitney Mercilus will start on the weakside at outside linebacker against the Titans, and he plans on taking a simple approach to the task at hand.

Now more than ever, it’s time for Whitney Mercilus.

The rookie outside linebacker gets his first NFL start on Sunday at Tennessee, taking over on the weakside for Connor Barwin. Barwin has moved to the starting strongside spot to replace the injured Brooks Reed, and Mercilus now slides into the starting rotation.

“He’s ready to go,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “He’s working at it. The best thing is he’s getting a ton of reps (in practice), so that’s been a most important thing this week.”

Mercilus enters the Week 13 matchup with three sacks and a pair of forced fumbles on his young NFL resumé. The 2011 NCAA sack leader at Illinois has a simple mantra when he takes the field.

“See ball, go get ball,” Mercilus said. “That’s it. That’s basically what the defense is. I’m just excited to get my shot.”

Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said Mercilus played “about 70 snaps” in the Thanksgiving Day victory at Detroit after Reed injured his groin in the first half. Phillips described how Mercilus will be utilized on Sunday in relation to Barwin.

“They’ll be on different sides,” Phillips said. “On base defense, you don’t know which side they’re going to be on because you don’t which side the tight end is going to be on. Connor normally rushes from the right side, our defensive right, in third downs.”

For Barwin, Mercilus’ appearance is part of opportunity in the NFL: Being ready to contribute when injuries occur.

“He’s going to have to step up,” Barwin said. “He’s going to have to play probably about 90 percent of the snaps on defense now. This is what happens. You never know when your opportunity is going to come but at one point, somebody’s going to get hurt and you’re going to have to step up.”

Mercilus picked up the first sack and forced fumble of his career in the Texans' Week 7 pummeling of Baltimore when he strip-sacked Joe Flacco inside the Ravens' 10-yard line. He’s taking the simple approach to his new responsibility.

“Bascially, don’t think a lot,” Mercilus said. “Just do what you’re coached and go make plays.”

Both Reed and second-year defensive end J.J. Watt are confident that Mercilus will take advantage of his chance to start. Both players complimented Mercilus’ work ethic, and Reed looks forward to seeing what’s next.

“He works very hard, and now he’s going to get his chance to show why we drafted him in the first round,” Reed said. “I think it will be fun to watch to see what he can do.”

If Mercilus plays like he did in late October and early November, Reed won’t be the only one having fun watching the rookie perform.

Twitter.com/DoughertyDrew

Recent News

Content on HoustonTexans.com does not necessarily represent the views of the Houston Texans front office staff, coaches or executives.