Whitney Mercilus could see his role in the Texans defense evolve in 2019.
On Monday, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel discussed the possibility of moving Mercilus around more, giving the veteran outside linebacker more opportunities to rush the quarterback.
"Whitney is one of those guys that – he 12 sacks a couple of years ago," defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said. "He's an ultimate team guy. He'll do whatever we ask him to do, and I think that we're going to try to move him around a little bit more this year than we did last year, and see what that does for him."
After a 2017 campaign cut short by a season-ending pectoral injury, Mercilus is coming off a healthy 16-game season where he had four sacks, 39 tackles, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Mercilus, who ranks third in franchise history with 42.5 sacks, also added 14 quarterback hits with multiple hits in four different games in 2018.
Senior defensive assistant and outside linebackers coach John Pagano says Mercilus is a great rusher and does well setting the edge. The Texans hope to use the outside linebacker's playmaking abilities and experience to focus on making life uncomfortable for opposing quarterbacks.
"Having a better understanding of the defense and really setting the tone of understanding what the offense is doing - Whit has grown in that role," Pagano said. "I think his biggest challenge is always he keep finding ways to create those moves to be so athletic and I think he does a really good job of getting on the edge and going."
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