Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 4/27/12
About 24 hours into Whitney Mercilus' tenure with the Texans, two things are already clear: The 6-3, 261 pound pass rusher is motivated to prove that he was not a one-year wonder at Illinois and he has a sincere desire to be a benefactor to his family. Those two themes were prevalent during Mercilus' press conference at Reliant Stadium Friday afternoon, when he was formally introduced to the media and Texans fans. Mercilus has been asked repeatedly about the criticism that he simply didn't have a large body of work or longevity as a starter at Illinois. "I want to prove I'm not a one year wonder," said Mercilus. "The thing is, when I was given the opportunity to be the starter I took advantage of it and broke out in 2011.Now coming to this level, I feel like I can do the same thing and I'm looking to prove my worth and get started right away to prove those negative stereotypes wrong." Whitney did not become a starter for the Illini until his junior season in 2011. But he did make the most of the chance, leading the nation in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (9). The lack of a substantive track record, however, is of no concern to Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. "People talk about one year wonder and he's heard that a million times already," said Phillips. "But if he had stayed (at Illinois) and played again this year and did the same things he would be a top five pick. I don't foresee that he can't do those things. What I saw is that he can do those things, whether for one year or five years." Whitney has sited finances as among the reasons he decided to enter the draft as a junior. And he touched on that topic during the media session. "(My parents) have worked hard all their life to put food on the table for my brother, my sister and myself," said Mercilus. "(This is) a way to return that favor to them and show them how much I do love them." Wilner Mercilus said that gesture is what his son is about. "He has that attitude," said the elder Mercilus. "He got it from us. Not only him, all the children were taught to do that. They see us, no matter how little we have, we help others. That's where he got that from. He's very easy to get along with. He's a hard worker and he likes to listen to what you have to say. And he doesn't like people telling him one thing a trillion times. He says, 'Mom, dad I got it this time. You don't need to worry about that.'" Whitney's parents, Wilner and Yvrose Mercilus, were childhood friends in Haiti and there are family members still in the Caribbean country. The other element that Mercilus has already made clear just a few hours after becoming a Texan is his passion for rushing the quarterback. "I love doing it," he said. "When you tell me just to godefinitely I'm going to get there, no doubt. " Phillips said that while Mercilus may begin his NFL career in a three-point stance as an end, he will eventually be utilized as linebacker. Mercilus is the new guy. But so far what we know about the new guys is all good.
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