On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Oct. 26, 2014 12:00 PM CDT Texans at Titans The Texans travel to face the Titans.
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CDT Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet Texans free safety Kendrick Lewis and nose tackle Jerrell Powe at the Verizon Stadium Store, 8505 S. Main St., Houston, TX 77025.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Tue., Oct. 28, 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
  • Tue., Oct. 28, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT Player Signing at Academy Sports + Outdoors

    Meet Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus and 2 Houston Texans Cheerleaders at the Academy Sports + Outdoors located at 2404 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77098.

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Sat., Nov. 01, 2014 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT Battle of the Piney Woods presented by YP

    A nearly century old college football rivalry returns to NRG Stadium on Saturday, November 1st  as the SFA Lumberjacks take on the Sam Houston Bearkats in the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by YP. Seats start at just $15.

    Secure yours today by calling 832-667-2390 or at BOTPW.com.

  • Sun., Nov. 02, 2014 12:00 PM CST Eagles at Texans The Texans host the Eagles.
  • Mon., Nov. 03, 2014 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM CST Taste of the Texans presented by BP

    Wine and dine with the Houston Texans players, Cheerleaders and Ambassadors at the sixth annual Taste of the Texans presented by BP, Monday, November 3rd in NRG Stadium. 

    Fans can sample signature dishes from more than 25 of Houston’s finest restaurants.  Proceeds benefit The Houston Texans Foundation, Houston Methodist and the Houston Food Bank. 

    Be sure to secure your tickets today at HoustonTexans.com.

  • Tue., Nov. 04, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CST Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet Texans Ambassador and former linebacker Danny Clark at the Verizon Cinco Ranch Store, 6645 S. Fry Rd., Katy, TX 77494.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

  • Tue., Nov. 04, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST 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
  • Tue., Nov. 11, 2014 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM CST Verizon Texans Players Show

    Meet Texans center Chris Myers and guard Xavier Su’a-Filo at the Verizon I-10 East Store, 13740 East Fwy., Houston, TX 77015.

    Lots of Texans prizes & giveaways!

    Player(s) subject to change.

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.