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Whitney Waves Goodbye | Daily Brew

It's funny how we were just reminiscing about draft parties yesterday and how the night Whitney Mercilus was selected by the Texans stands out in my mind.

Now that the Texans 2nd leading all-time sack man is calling it a career, let's look back some more.

The 2012 Draft Party was in the East Club, the only time it would be held there. The excitement coming off the first ever playoff appearance and the fact the Texans had so many players back from that team had everyone in attendance at fever pitch.

When the 2011 NCAA sack leader appeared in Houston's cross hairs, they grabbed him and the fans erupted. Mercilus was a Texan.

I still remember his first appearance in the preseason. He split a sack at Carolina and got his NFL journey off to a fast start.

John Harris has been quizzing me on Whitney's best moments. There were many. Personally, what stands out to me is him being part of two top three defenses in 2015 and 2016, setting the edge, getting sacks and making game turning plays.

He erupted with 12 sacks in '15 including three and a half in a tide-turning win against Tennessee when the Texans were desperate at 2-5. In '16 he had a huge high-degree-of-difficulty fumble recovery at Indy to stop an Andrew Luck drive and help the Texans win and take control of the division.

His first pick came in '19 when he snatched a pass from Drew Brees to get the Texans revved up at New Orleans. And later that year, he rumbled into scoring territory after picking off a deflected pass in Nashville to seize momentum in a crucial win against the Titans.

Perhaps the best moment was a strip sack against Buffalo in the playoffs a few weeks later - part of the big comeback from being down 16-0.

But Whitney's contribution was about more than on-field plays. He was huge in the community and has made his mark as a local businessman as well. We always enjoyed having him on the Texans Players Show to talk ball, business and his outstanding work giving back to Houston.

He may have finished his career as a Packer but he'll always be a Texan and we look forward to seeing a lot more of him.

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Whitney Mercilus retired from the NFL on Wednesday, and his time with the Texans is remembered fondly.

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