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Old 05-24-2016, 11:20 AM   #1
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Mercilus planning encore for breakout season

In each of the last four season, the Houston Texans leader in sacks has been J.J. Watt. He's also finished in the top ten in the NFL in each of those seasons.

Last season, for the first time, Watt had a teammate join him near the top of league in sacks when outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus erupted for 12 sacks.

That total was good enough for 5th best in the NFL, easily the highest finish for a Texans player not named Watt in the team's history.

What's more is Mercilus began the season with no sacks in his first five games. Including his 3-sack performance in the Texans lone playoff game, Mercilus had 15 sacks in his final 12 games.

So what happened to bring out all those sacks?

"I mean as a whole defense within the middle of the season, we got a little talking to by the coach, by OB (Bill O'Brien), and he said we need to get the thing going," Mercilus said.</p> </p> "So I just felt like personally as a player I've got to step up my game and try to help the team win. That's exactly what happened."</p>Mercilus had three games of three or more sacks and his 15 sacks over the final 12 games approached his previous career total of 18 sacks in his first 54 games.

He certainly plans on picking up right where he left off last season.

"Pretty much just continue to enhance the things that I did well, improve the things I didn't," he said.</p> </p> "Just continue on the type of work ethic that I had last year and in the ways that I excel."</p>

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