HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus enjoys the blank canvas he sees when trying to make it to an opposing quarterback.
“You have to be creative,” Mercilus said. “If you’re going to be a pass rusher, you just have to go out there during practice and try new moves whether you’re going to get yelled at by the coach for trying something stupid. Essentially, that’s how you become a better pass rusher in the game.”
Coming off a 52 tackle, twelve and a half sack campaign I 2015, Mercilus has certainly caught the eye of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. In a conference call yesterday, Pagano insinuated that Mercilus is costing him sleep.
“He’s a threat. (Mercilus) sets the edge in the run game and he’s a nightmare off the edge. He’s got a couple great moves that he’s mastered as far as press rush technique goes. He’s athletic and relentless.”
The Texans will need Mercilus to be. Indianapolis comes to Houston averaging 27.4 points per game, good for seventh in the NFL. Yet, the opportunities to get to Luck should present themselves to the Texans. Entering Sunday, Luck has been sacked a league high 20 times. Conversely, the Texans are ninth in creating sacks at 2.6 per game. Houston’s edge seems clear.
Mercilus values the kind words, but knows that words not backed by action are hollow.
“I appreciate the compliment. Now if I can’t do it on Sunday, it doesn’t mean anything. I just have to continue to show that I can be that nightmare off the edge.”