By Mark Lane
Linebacker Whitney Mercilus has been a part of the Houston Texans’ vaunted pass rush, but he has not recorded even half of one through five games in 2018.
With the Texans sitting at 2-3 and tied for 13th in the NFL with 13, more than half of them provided by defense end J.J. Watt’s six, it leads to wonder if Mercilus needs to make more plays for the Texans defense.
“No,” said defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. “Whitney, one, he doesn’t get as many opportunities as he used to get because we got him in a rotation. So, I think that sometimes that hurts a player, but Whitney understands what I’m trying to get done, and why he’s not in there quite as much and he goes in there and he performs when he’s in there.”
That answers that. So far through five games, Mercilus’ nine tackles, one tackle for loss, and three quarterback hits aren’t the result of a decline or poor production, but rather a part of Crennel’s philosophy to get more guys involved, such as rookie sixth-round linebacker Duke Ejiofor, who does have a sack on the...