Mario Williams OLB?

So most of us know that the Houston Texans have a new defensive coordinator in one Wade Phillips. Of course we also know that Mr. Phillips has forgotten more about NFL defenses that most of us will ever know, but I really got to wonder about his plan to use DE Mario Williams as an OLB? Sure the 3-4 defense has been known to produce a lot of tweeners, guys who can play both DE and OLB, but I do not think any of them are the size of Williams.

Williams is six foot six and 290 pounds, and that size makes him optimal as a DE. However, as a OLB, he would be about 45 pounds and three inches larger that the NFL optimum for that position. Of course the size combined with a running start may well send terror into the hearts of opposing offensive linemen, but I really have to wonder about this one.

For one the Texans already have a solid group of linebackers with Brian Cushing, DeMeco Ryans, Darryl Sharpton, and Conner Barwin. It also appears that they selected DE JJ Wyatt specifically to free Williams up. While I can see the wisdom in pairing Barwin (who must prove he is healthy after spending 2010 on IR) with Williams at the two OLB spots, I would rather see Williams and Wyatt causing havoc in the backfield from the end positions.

I don’t view NFL positions as plug and play. Just because a guy can play end and play it well, I don’t know if those skills transfer well to another position. Especially since as an end he is a down lineman and as a LB he would be standing up. That of course is just my two cents.

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