A self-made guy.
That's how Bill O'Brien describes veteran outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus. Entering his fifth season, Mercilus is coming off a career performance in 2015, setting single-season personal bests in sacks (12.0), and tackles for loss (14), while tying his season-high in total tackles (50).
"He's made a ton of progress," O'Brien said. "He's a very hard worker, very diligent. You see him in here early every morning, watching tape, taking care of his body, doing different things to stretch out. He's in the weight room. He's in the cold tub after practice. He does a lot of different things for us on defense. He's really, going into our third year with him, a much improved player and a player that played very well for us last year. A very important player for us."
Mercilus, the Texans 2012 first-round draft pick, is entering his third year in Romeo Crennel's defense and finding his comfort zone. Named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December, he hopes to build on what he started last year. Mercilus even maintained his weight throughout the offseason so that he could practice and play faster.
In order to continue that success, Mercilus has one goal in this year's training camp.
"Being more consistent, being the guy out there that's showing up on film at practice," Mercilus said in an interview with Texans TV. "That's what the coaches are expecting and just doing all the right things. That's it."
Check out the best pictures from #TexansCamp practice no. 8.