Whitney Mercilus, college All-American and star outside linebacker for the Houston Texans, joined The Houston Mortgage Bankers Association as keynote speaker for the monthly luncheon meeting at Maggiano’s restaurant on April 12. Introduced by HMBA President Bill Dawley, Mercilus gave the sold-out audience an update on the Texans and made a few predictions for the team’s success in the coming season.
“We didn’t finish like we hoped to last season but Coach O’Brien has really brought the team up,” Mercilus said. “I blame it on ‘hard knocks.’ Our defense held in there last year and now our offense has become much more efficient. We start back on April 18 and no slack will be tolerated. It’s going to be a winning season and we will bring home the championship.”
Responding to questions from the audience, Mercilus shared that his favorite thing about being a Texan was “hotel cookies” and his least favorite was “when O’Brien was not happy.” When asked about the new NFL contact rules, Mercilus replied, “Some I agree with, some I do not. As a defender trying to sack quarterbacks, it’s hard not to hit a guy in the forbidden zones.” A follow-up question about which quarterback he’d like to sack or sack again elicited a quick answer: “Tom Brady - again. And I look forward to sacking Cam Newton a few times in Super Bowl 2017.”
After his speech and Q and A, Mercilus accepted a donation from HMBA on behalf of Houston-based charity The Sunshine Kids.
“We were so thrilled when Whitney acknowledged he would be our April luncheon speaker,” said Dawley. “Once Whitney committed, and we sent out the announcement, the event was sold out weeks in advance. Houston is a huge sports town and football is still king. The HMBA would like to thank Whitney and the Houston Texans for supporting our association. And we were honored to be able to provide a donation to his favorite charity, The Sunshine Kids.”