Texans fans still stuck in the past with new season set to open this Sunday

Opening weekend for the NFL starts this Sunday, and locally there is much optimism for the two in-state teams. In Dallas, there are Super Bowl aspirations with new head coach Wade Phillips, an improved offensive line and a quarterback ready to show that one botched snap won’t define his legacy. While in Houston new starting quarterback Matt Schaub and running back Ahman Green have created the perception that this may be the franchise’s first winning season.

However, for some in Houston, the talk isn’t necessarily about who is on the roster but rather who isn’t. Two pre-seasons and 16 months after the selection of Mario Williams over hometown hero and perceived demi-god Vince Young, fans still talk at sports bars, message boards and call-in radio programs complaining that number 10 isn’t in Texans’ blue, going so far as to criticize Williams’ faults both on and off-the-field. For those of you out there, I have a message for you; “Let it go.”

Young’s selection, from a public relations standpoint, would have been the right move. The team had their worst season and needed something to revitalize the franchise’s fan base. Young was viewed as the future leader of the franchise; he came in riding a burnt orange horse, seen in events around Houston, donating money to his former school and doing charity events. He was the man a city could rally around, being the face of the franchise. Everything David Carr wasn’t both on and off-the-field. As we all know, the selection wasn’t made and the city had a new enemy; Mario Williams. However, all of the complaining and bickering won’t bring Vince Young to Houston.

The “other guy”, Mario Williams, still has a chance to become an outstanding player. He’s only 22 years old, his size (6-7, 291lbs.) and speed is something only seen once before in a defensive end prospect, which was why in part he was the unanimous top defensive prospect by NFL personnel going into the 2006 draft. But the NFL is a production based industry and averaging only one sack every four games wont cut it for a first round pick, much less the first overall. Needless to say, Mario needs to play better.

Bruce Smith, the number one pick in the 1985 draft, had a slow start to his career but bounced back to become the all-time sack leader. This is in no way inferring that Mario is Canton-bound, making assumptions that Mario will turnout to be an all-time great, but let’s also not put him in the same sentence with Courtney Brown and Ryan Leaf as a colossal draft bust after just 16 games.

Mario could turn out to be an outstanding player. All you need to do Is quit the “I Heart Vince Young” fan club, give Mario a chance and please stop the Vinsanity.

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