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Bill Cowher Doesn't Exactly Give A Ringing Endorsement Of Mario Williams, Outside Linebacker

NFL.com's Pat Kirwan got a chance to sit down and talk to ex-Steelers coach Bill Cowher recently. Because "recently" is a time frame in which nothing of any substance has happened, thanks to the lockout and court proceedings, the two instead talked about the most overblown NFL story of the past month: Mario Williams' "move" to outside linebacker. Why yes, the lockout has made me rely on cynical sarcasm a lot lately! 

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Anyway, Cowher thinks that Williams could succeed in the role, but the way he speaks it, it seems to be more about Williams being a good enough player for the role rather than the role being a perfect fit for Williams:

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As Cowher pointed out, Williams will be rushing most of the time. So while Smith played end and Williams will now be a linebacker, it comes down to having other defenders who can be that Talley and drop back in coverage and do some of the dirty work as Williams goes full out after the quarterback. As far as the ground game, Williams is going to have to learn to protect his legs and understand on run plays he has a lot of surface area that blockers can get to as compared to coming out of a three-point stance over the tackle.

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While Cowher felt Williams can make the transition, I got the feeling he might not have done it himself, saying "I would be very careful about it."

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This will either be forgotten in three months, or will be a key backing point for how Gary Kubiak ruined the Texans and how they should have hired Cowher. Actually, I bet those people will call either way. 

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I get the sense that moving Williams to OLB wasn't exactly the first choice, but that the way the top of the draft played out, with the 49ers drafting Aldon Smith ahead of Houston, they felt there wasn't an immediate impact 3-4 rusher there at 11. 

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