Part 2: Williams, Casserly talk '06 draft

3312.jpg


Before last year's NFL Draft, defensive end Mario Williams sat down with former Texans general manager Charley Casserly to discuss their once criticized, now hailed 2006 draft experiences when Williams was selected as the No. 1 overall pick over running back Reggie Bush and quarterback Vince Young.

Below is a transcript from the second segment of the three-part interview. For the transcript of Part 1, click here.

Charley Casserly:OK, let's go back a year from now. Year by year. You're getting ready for year two. Where is your mind as far as what are your goals going into year two? What do you want to get accomplished?

Mario Williams: I just wanted to be able to be healthy was the number one thing. I knew that I felt like the year before wasn't – obviously, because I didn't even practice – really wasn't me out there. So I knew that as long as I could stay healthy, as long as I could take care of my body and go out and just work hard and perform, things would get better. And that's all I wanted to do, was just be better for my team and help us win more games. So my whole mindset was just stay healthy, try to stay healthy, just try to do the right things and be careful with what I do during practice, when I'm lifting weights, things like that, just so I can go out and perform on Sundays.

Charley Casserly:OK, opening day. Kansas City Chiefs. Beginning of the game, ball's on the ground, you pick it up and now you're running to the goal line. What's going through your mind? You're running to the goal line.

Mario Williams:Run faster, because I felt like I was going nowhere. I mean, I felt like I was seriously in quicksand. But everything happened so fast, it was just a lot of excitement. It was just crazy. And after I got the touchdown, it was like, "Did it count? Is it going to count?" So, I would've been really depressed if it hadn't counted. (But) they reviewed it and it counted, and after that I was really excited.

Charley Casserly:OK, so you're in the end zone now, you're coming to the sideline. Everybody's patting you on your back. How do you feel then?

Mario Williams:It's just like, for it to be the beginning of the season and, like you said, coming off of the year before that, my rookie year – it was a way to start off, I'll put it that way. It was a way to relieve a lot of stress that was on me, as far as knowing what I can do and what I was capable of doing.

{QUOTE}Charley Casserly:A weight off your shoulders?

Mario Williams: Yeah – personally. Not anybody else, not worried about anybody else and what they say. Just for me and my teammates.

Charley Casserly:OK, in the locker room. Did you get the game ball?

Mario Williams:Oh, yeah. And I got the ball that I scored with.

Charley Casserly:Did you have to give a speech?

Mario Williams:Yeah, I had a little moment.

Charley Casserly:What'd you say?

Mario Williams:I was just thanking everybody. I couldn't do it without them. All the things I've been through, all the problems and things like that, them sticking behind me, I just wanted to thank everybody.

Charley Casserly:Did you call anybody after the game?

Mario Williams:No. Everybody called me.

Charley Casserly:Alright, let's go later in the season. Denver game, Denver Broncos. National television. Fourth quarter. I'm watching the game at home. I watched the first quarter from a restaurant; I was home for the fourth quarter. And you get your last sack of the night. You've got 3.5 sacks. The crowd – I'm getting choked up – the crowd starts chanting, "Mario! Mario! Mario!" how do you feel then?

Mario Williams:It was just… it was just… goose bumps all over. It's just one of those things where it's like you get choked up on the field; you've got something in your throat that you just can't swallow. There's so much excitement that it just really takes over. It's like you're flying, almost. Seriously, it sounds funny, but I've never had anything like that. I mean, I've had situations in college where people were chanting things or whatever, but to do it on an NFL level against coach (Gary) Kubiak's (former) team and then be on primetime TV, it was just unbelievable. That had to be the most excitement I've ever had in my life. It was unbelievable.

Charley Casserly:Did you get a game ball for that one?

Mario Williams:Yeah.

Charley Casserly:How about a speech? Did you have a speech?

Mario Williams:Yeah, I did. I had another one then. (I said the) same thing. Actually, no, I really got choked up then. I almost started crying, but I held my own. I held tight; I held strong. But it was really emotional; it was really emotional.

Charley Casserly:You don't make the Pro Bowl. Your feelings at the time?

Mario Williams:Before it even happened, before it was announced, I was like, "If I go, great; if I don't, great." Because like I said, with everything that's happened since I've been drafted, I expect the worst just as far as other people's outlooks. Because it's just the way it is. It's just the way the business is, that a lot of guys don't go and a lot of guys do go. So it's just one of those things that I look at it like it's a plus, but if I don't go, then it's not going to set me back. Every year, I know I've got to work harder regardless. So pretty much the biggest thing for me that I focused on was just taking care of my business, and whatever happens other than that, happens. I can't control what everybody else says or who's selected for this or that.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising