Last month, yours truly interviewed Houston Texans Defensive End Mario Williams for a feature in the November issue of Sports Illustrated Kids. The issue with the story is on newsstands now (aka... go buy one if you haven't already!), but Mario and I ended up having such a good back-and-forth, I ended up with a lot of stuff that didn't make it into the magazine.
Keep reading for Mr. Williams' thoughts on naysayers, growing up in a town thisssssss big, and being dubbed a "Peyton Manning-stopper"...
It feels good. But at the same time, you try to go out and get better every day. All the greats — Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Lawrence Taylor — one day I want to be past them. That’s how I approach it. And 20 years from now, I want a kid coming out of college to say, I want to be better than [Mario Williams]. When good things are said about you, you just try to keep it going. Keep it building towards that goal.
DNJ: Part of the reason you were drafted was to be a Peyton Manning-stopper. How do you feel you’ve managed that responsibility so far in your career?
Mario: It’s something I keep in mind. Even if Peyton didn’t have an offensive line, he’d be hard to sack. He’s so smart. He sees a coverage and knows exactly what to do. It’s a challenge. You just have to be up for it.
No matter how well I did on a pass rush, how hard I thought I hit someone, there’s always a possibility to do it better. You have to [think that way]! There’s no way you can improve otherwise. The way football is constantly evolving, you can always look back and figure out a way to do something better.