Scouting The Opponents: Houston Texans

While the Eagles are looking at the start of the career of Brodrick Bunkley on their defense, the Texans are ushering in the Mario Williams era on their defense. The controversial first overall pick in the draft is looking forward to getting it all started.

The official beginning to defensive end Mario Williams' career will start Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. The first overall pick in the 2006 draft says he is ready.

"Obviously, I will be excited, but I'm not really nervous about messing up or anything like that. I'm just going to try to do what I can to help the team."

Williams knows all eyes will be on him when the defense hits the field in the sold out Reliant Stadium. Williams has been a hot topic ever since the Texans decided to bypass Reggie Bush in favor of Williams in the April draft.

Williams will start at right end for the Texans after spending much of the preseason at left end. He was moved around during each preseason game, and played inside in pass-rushing situations.

Williams rarely made highlight-reel plays, but he did impress his coaches by tying up blockers and opening up opportunities for his other teammates to make plays.

Williams' focus this week will be on helping the Texans pressure Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb - a player with whom Williams is somewhat familiar.

"Well I play with him on Madden so. ... " Williams said. "But he's a great player, and it's going to be a challenge, a challenge that we all, as a unit, try to contain or try to stop him, or slow him down at least."

When asked how Williams fared against McNabb in the video game, Williams admitted he hopes Sunday goes better.

"I could never get to him," he said.


  • RB Ron Dayne remains probable for Sunday's game because of a foot injury that has limited him in practice this week. Dayne is the Texans' third-string running back.
  • FB Jameel Cook will start in the backfield for the Texans against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
  • DT Alfred Malone will see significant playing time against the Eagles. He moved up on the depth chart when the team decided to release Robaire Smith. Malone will be the top backup to Seth Payne and Travis Johnson.
  • WR Derrick Lewis didn't make an NFL roster last season, but has earned himself the No. 4 receiver position with the Texans this season.
  • DT Thomas Johnson, who played in two games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2005 making three tackles, was signed.

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