Behind Enemy Lines, Part 2

To get the lowdown on the Dolphins' next opponent, the Houston Texans, we turned to Texan Blitz publisher J.P. Crawford. Here is his take on 10 pertinent questions about the Texans.

Dolphin Digest: How has Mario Williams looked early in the season, and should the Dolphins be worried about him because of their pass-protection problems?

J.P. Crawford: Unfortunately, Mario has not lived up to half the hype that was generated about him. He has not made any significant contributions to the defense in any way up to this point. Williams is making young mistakes and has some work to do before his potential is realized. Given the right motivation and coaching I think he could go far in the league, but I'm not expecting to see the beast we were all promised he is this year. However, when there is raw talent possessed by a player like Mario there is always the possiblity that he'll suddenly "get it" against a particular opponent, so you never know.

DD: How bad has the fan disapproval over the selection of Williams instead of Reggie Bush gotten, particularly considering that New Orleans has gotten off to a 3-0 start?

JPC: It's out there. Of course to a certain extent, the Texans fans can't really be too surprised given that former general manager Charlie Casserly has an established history of making poor personnel choices. It is just too bad that this has the potential to be the worst move made by an NFL team... ever. Only time will tell. If Mario develops into the talent that fans were promised, it will never be an issue. Fact is, the Texans must be a defensive team if they ever hope to beat the Indianapolis Colts, and that is what Mario was drafted for. But if he continues to play at a sub-par level in future seasons I think Charlie Casserly and the Texans will become the "Can You Believe They Did That…" story of the NFL.

DD: Teams have been blitzing the Dolphins like crazy because the offensive line is a mess and Daunte Culpepper has little escapibility. Should we expect the same thing from the Texans?

JPC: I hope so. I think that will be the deciding factor for the Texans. If the defensive line can take some pressure off the secondary and put it on Culpepper I think the Texans could have a good shot at winning this game. I'm not sure what to expect though because the Texans put together very, very few blitzes against Washington and that turned into a record setting day for QB Mark Brunell. I think that if defensive coordinator Richard Smith wants to win, he has to blitz Culpepper this week.

DD: How has former Dolphins linebacker Morlon Greenwood been playing, and has he expressed any kind of extra motivation facing his former team?

JPC: Greenwood has been good to the Texans so far. He's been a big part of this defense contributing 23 tackles (2nd on the Texans), recorded one sack and even a fumble recovery. His past with the Dolphins hasn't been addressed yet, but I'm sure it will be brought up at some point in the week.

DD: Do the Texans have anybody on special teams, namely a kick returner, the Dolphins have to worry about?

JPC: They sure do. His name is Jerome Mathis and he went to the Pro Bowl last year as a rookie in that capacity. Unfortunately, he required foot surgery during training camp and is on the PUP list, so the Dolphins won't be lucky enough to get to see him this time. However, since Mathis is not in playing condition the Texans don't have a real threat on special teams. WR Edell Shepard has taken over the kick return responsibilities and has done OK, returning 6 kicks for an average of almost 26 yards. But without Mathis the Texans special teams is lacking.


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