Saturday, December 15, 2007

Super Mario's Revenge

Super Mario and his brother Luigi sack Jay Cutler. (, what a dumb graphic.)

Two years ago the Houston Texans shocked the sports world with a stunning display of idiocy when they used their #1 overall draft pick to select not superstar USC running back Reggie Bush but rather, a UNC defensive end named Mario Williams.

The general consensus was that the multi-talented offensive threat Bush was the greatest thing since sliced bread and swimsuit calendars. I'm happy to note that I sounded the cautionary alarm well before the draft, saying then:

"I'm just not sure he's going to be the huge-impact player in the NFL that he's projected to be. NFL defenses are a lot faster and stronger than any Bush has run against, and with him being a speed runner as opposed to a power runner, that could cause problems. Splitting carries with [LenDale] White at USC, Bush hasn't really had to be a workhorse before...I think [drafting Bush is] a risk and not in Houston's best interest."
Of course, at the time I advocated they draft Vince Young to satisfy their QB need, but a year later they have found both Matt Schaub and backup Sage Rosenfels can win games for their team. Meanwhile, Reggie Bush isn't Reggie Bust yet, but this guy was like Herschel Walker in college. While HW's pro career was a let-down, I think Reggie would be happy to wind up with numbers like that guy's.

This season, Mario Williams is second in the league wtih 13 sacks. He's forced a couple fumbles and scored a TD. His Texans, despite playing in the most difficult division in the NFL (two games each against the Colts, Jaguars, and Titans), are still 7-7.

Reggie Bush has struggled this year, especially with the loss of his power-running complement Deuce McAllister to injury, and Saints fans are wondering whether Aaron Stecker might be a more effective option. Bush himself may be done for the year with his own injury, and the numbers he put up were not impressive: 581 rushing yards on a 3.7 avg (though he did have 417 receiving yards), 7 fumbles, and a then-league-high 10 drops.

So far, advantage: Texans.

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