Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus mentoring younger players makes for better team in 2020

Whitney Mercilus and Jacob Martin of Houston Texans (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
Whitney Mercilus and Jacob Martin of Houston Texans (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans have Whitney Mercilus for his ninth season which is great for the younger players on the roster.

Having outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus on the roster for his ninth season — all with the Houston Texans — the defense should be great with leadership and mentoring for the 2020 NFL season.

The Texans will need both of those traits from their veteran players after the wacky offseason that has happened thus far for the NFL due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Mercilus is one of those players who is a leader on the Houston Texans defense.

Mercilus has been with the Texans ever since he was drafted 26th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, and since that time he’s been a mainstay on that defense through a variety of changes and coaches with 115 games played and 88 starts.

In that time Mercilus has accumulated 50 sacks, 216 solo tackles, 105 QB hits and 63 tackles for loss. Even better than that the outside linebacker has made double-digit starts in five of his eight previous NFL seasons, including 16 starts last season.

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Mercilus is coming off a season where he nine tackles for loss, 16 QB hits, and 7.5 sacks. Also last season in his pass rush abilities, Mercilus totaled six QB knockdowns, and he was sent on a blitz 89 times, collecting 11 QB hurries along the way.

Houston Texans: Whitney Mercilus on being a mentor for younger players

The style of play was solid last season, but for the Houston Texans to get better in 2020, Mercilus ability to be a mentor to the younger players is just as important.

In a press conference this past week with the Houston media, Mercilus — in quotes proved by NFL Communications — spoke about if he likes mentoring the younger players. Mercilus had the following answer about being a mentor and helping the younger players of the Houston Texans defense in 2020:

"“I love it. Going into my ninth year, I’ve seen a lot of football, played a lot of football. Just seeing the young guys within me just like it was my rookie year just yesterday. Coming in fresh and not knowing exactly the expectations. Now, this is a different type of expectation really with everything going on, so just trying to do the best we can as far as when we get a chance to see them on the field and just trying to guide them as best we can during this time.”"

That is such an excellent answer and comment from a veteran player, especially from one who last year signed a $54 million, four-year contract extension to stay with the Houston Texans for the foreseeable future.

The Texans in having Whitney Mercilus on their roster have such an outstanding teammate that it should bring a smile to fans of the team. Not only will Mercilus provide his talents on the field with his skills of rushing the opposing quarterback, but he’s the leader of the linebackers. He’s going to help make the defense a better overall unit with his play and his mentoring of the younger players.

This upcoming season is going to surprise many who are overlooking the Houston Texans in 2020. The franchise has been the underdog before, and this season is no different, so it will be fun to watch not only the play of Mercilus stand out, but his leadership skills as well.

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It will be a positive to see the outside linebacker help make his teammates better players this season, and the mentoring Mercilus provides will go a very long way in the success of the franchise in 2020.