Whitney Mercilus stepping up with Clowney out

Whitney Mercilus is starting again.

With outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney out the next four to six weeks because of Monday's arthroscopic knee surgery, Mercilus steps into the void at the "Jack" outside linebacker position.

And he's not changing how he prepares.

"Just doing the little things right and paying attention to details like the coaches ask," Mercilus said. "Just pretty much just doing extra things after practice. Make sure that my technique is right. Make sure that I stay consistent throughout the game and I try to make sure that I do that at practice, too."

Head coach Bill O'Brien wants to see more from the 2012, but was complimentary of what Mercilus against Washington, as well as today in practice.

"Whitney played a solid game," O'Brien said. "He went in there and has improved a great deal since we've had him. He's being coached very well by Mike Vrabel. If he continues to work like he did today, he'll get better.

Mercilus said he's been able to play faster, and not have to think as much as he was having to during OTAs and the early part of training camp.

He and the Texans will practice again on Thursday and Friday before leaving for Oakland on Saturday afternoon.

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