Mario Williams: Maneater

The Houston Texans monster defensive end kills coaches dead. (Just kidding!)

You had a great season last year, with 14 sacks. How many would you have gotten if you weren’t held on almost every play?
I don’t know, I feel like I left a lot of sacks out there. If you’re playing a guy who’s all-world, because of his status, you’re not going to get the call. The ref’s going to say, “Aw, you could’ve fought through that!”

Who plays dirtier: defensive linemen or offensive linemen?
Being physical is just a personal trait. Doesn’t matter who you are. I don’t care, though. No one is going to intimidate me.

How much do you bench?
I don’t know, actually. It’s been a while since I’ve maxed out.

We don’t really max out. I’m not really sure, to be honest.

So there are no iron man competitions among players to see who’s the strongest?
There is no competition. I’m the strongest. Everyone knows that.

Do you ever worry that you’re really going to hurt somebody?
I’m not worried about it. Hopefully there is a point in the game when I touch you and you fall down. That would be fine with me.


Mario Williams mad our

2008 All-Maxim Defense

, why not see who else made the list? Don’t forget about the


, either!

What do you like to do off the field?
I’m rarely inside the house. I don’t watch TV at all. The other day I was in the store and somebody asked, “What do you think about you guys getting so and so?” and I was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And I didn’t. I just don’t watch TV. I like being outside. I like to be out on the water. I like to shoot guns. But not at people, at targets. [Laughs] I grew up in the woods. We learned how to shoot responsibly as kids. I love cars, too. I can think all day about things I would like to do to fix up my cars.

What kind of guns do you like to shoot?
I’ve got a .50-cal, the big sniper rifle, some little assault rifles.

Do you miss small-town life?
I do. I grew up in a town that had as many people in it as I have on my block. I know that when I leave my house, I’m going to see someone within a couple of seconds. Back home, I might not see someone within a couple of days. I’m blessed to be doing what I’m doing, but sometimes I miss not being scrutinized all the time.

OK, let it all out.
There was that one incident, right? [A clip of Williams speeding in his Lamborghini was posted on YouTube.] How many people who drive have never been caught speeding? Joe from down the street does it, and no one even knows. No one got hurt. I don’t do the crazy parties, none of it, yet something like that still happens. They’ve got a video of [University of North Carolina center] Tyler Hansbrough jumping out of a second floor into a pool. Why? Who cares?

Sorry, we were just watching a video of five kids humping an ottoman. Have there been other instances that have been blown out of proportion?
Recently I did an interview with The Houston Chronicle. The writer asked about my relationship with my coach, Jethro Franklin. I said, “Sometimes, I feel like strangling him.” I was laughing when I said it. Then I said, “I love Jethro. He’s a great coach. He’s always yelling, but it’s to get the best out of us.” The next day, Jethro calls me. The big story in our hometown paper is the hate-hate relationship between Mario Williams and his coach. I still haven’t talked to The Chronicle since that.

Are you guys serious playoff contenders this year?
Oh, without a doubt. Look at the Giants. Last year they won the Super Bowl, and they were 10–6. They only won two more games than we did. When you see that, you know that you don’t have to be 18–0 to win the Super Bowl. They proved that. I think everyone feels like if they can do it, we can do it.