HOUSTON - Mario Williams discouraged his mother from playing the newly launched North Carolina lottery when she brought it up a couple of weeks ago.
On Friday night, he gave her an overwhelming reason not to try her luck.
“I’m going to be your lottery,” Mary Williams said her son told her.
It was his clever way of telling her that he’d signed with the Houston Texans to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. On Saturday, the Texans completed one of the biggest shockers in draft history by snubbing Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush and picking the hulking North Carolina State defensive end.
Williams arrived in Houston on Saturday night with his mom and brother in tow and a huge smile planted firmly on his face, recalling how reality hit him as he signed his contract.
“When I saw the paperwork, I was overwhelmed,” he said. “I was excited to be a Texan. I was excited about an opportunity to be here, to help the team to go to the playoffs and Super Bowl and things like that.”
Houston signed Williams to a six-year, $54 million contract, with $26.5 million guaranteed. San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith, the top pick in last year’s draft, got a six-year, $49.5 million contract from the 49ers, with $24 million guaranteed.
“It’s a tough decision,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “You have to do the hard things sometimes, but when you know it’s the right thing you’re OK with it.”
Texans defensive coordinator Richard Smith seemed giddy about Williams and said he appreciated Houston putting a premium on defense.
“When you have the No. 1 pick in the draft ... there can’t be any doubts, there can’t be any questions and in our mind,” Smith said. “There were no questions with this young man. There’s no flaws in this guy’s abilities as a player and a person.”
Kubiak, a longtime offensive coordinator, knows well what a disruptive pass rusher like Williams can do to an offense.
“This young man is special, what he brings to the game,” Kubiak said. “He can change a game the way he rushes a passer and the problems he presents for an offensive football team.”
The Texans stayed with defense for the first choice in the second round, picking Alabama outside linebacker DeMeco Ryans with the 33rd selection.
With the top two picks in the third round, Houston brought in some help for oft-sacked David Carr by drafting Eric Winston and Charles Spencer.
Houston started negotiating with Williams and Bush this week. Many were stunned that the Southern California running back wasn’t the Texans’ choice, but Williams and Casserly both said they shouldn’t be.
“I was never surprised,” Williams said on a conference call from New York. “I always knew I had a chance. ‘Why not me?’ That’s how I felt.”
CSN: Brian Urlacher, who played 13 seasons for the Bears, announced his retirement from football Wenesday on his personal twitter account.
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