Mario Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills today after six seasons in Houston. One of the most heavily criticized No. 1 overall draft picks in NFL history – and possibly in the history of all professional sports – he left the Texans with a franchise-record 53 sacks in 82 games.
The top pick in the 2006 draft, Williams also was the first draft pick of the Gary Kubiak era in Houston. He started 77 consecutive games before landing on injured reserve with a sports hernia injury in the final month of the 2010 season. He missed the final 11 games of 2011 with a torn pectoral muscle.
Williams played through plantar fasciitis as a rookie, when he was routinely blasted by media and fans who had wanted the Texans to draft Reggie Bush or Vince Young. He had 4.5 sacks and 47 tackles in 2006 – solid numbers, but not No. 1 overall pick numbers.
The following season, Williams exploded with a team-record 14.0 sacks. He did not make the Pro Bowl, but he did in 2008 after recording 12.0 sacks and four forced fumbles.
“Super Mario” played through a painful shoulder injury in 2009 and started all 16 games, recording 9.0 sacks and making his second consecutive Pro Bowl. He had 8.5 sacks in 13 games in 2010. He moved from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker in 2011 and had 5.0 sacks in five games.
Whatever numbers Williams puts up from now on will be with the Bills, who play the Texans at Reliant Stadium in 2012.
Tags: Bob McNair, Free agency, Gary Kubiak, Mario Williams
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