It's a testament to coordinator Wade Phillips and his players that the Texans boasted the NFL's No. 2-ranked defense, despite playing most of the 2011 season without two-time Pro Bowl pick Mario Williams.
Now the star linebacker says he's fully recovered from the torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 5 and has been working out daily at Reliant Stadium. But before Williams can fully turn his attention to steering the Texans to their first Super Bowl, he must take care of some business.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick is set to become an unrestricted free agent March 13.
"Well, you know, I mean, I love it here," Williams said Thursday when asked about his future, according to the Texans' official website. "We've got everything we need here. The team is obviously right where it needs to be at, and we were a couple plays away from getting to the Super Bowl, I feel like. So I definitely -- the pieces fit, but once again, you know, it's part of the business, so whatever happens, happens."
It was the type of answer an agent would appreciate. Williams pledged his love of his current home but made it clear he's looking for fair compensation. Speaking of that, Williams was asked if he wants to be the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
"I'm not worried about that," Williams said. "Money is money at the end of the day, and it's really not that big of a deal for me. ... You know, I was the first pick, so I've had everything I've ever really wanted already, so my biggest thing is just being in a good position, being in a good fit, being in a good scheme or system and just being able to continue my career and progress."
Williams made $54 million over the course of his six-year rookie contract, and it's refreshing to hear an obscenely wealthy professional athlete admit he has enough scratch not to become a mercenary of the highest bidder.
Of course, this is the type of answer that makes an agent scowl.