Former Houston Texans player takes part in military exercise alongside trained canines

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Thursday, July 27, 2023
Former Texans player takes military dog exercise, speaks with ABC 13
Former Texans All-Pro Whitney Mercilus experiences a day-in-the-life of a military working dog unit at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KTRK) -- For nine seasons in Houston, Whitney Mercilus suited up on Sundays for the fast, physical and dangerous life of an NFL linebacker.

This week at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, the former Houston Texans All-Pro linebacker put on the pads for a different confrontation: the takedown of a military working dog.

Mercilus partnered with USAA, the Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, to experience a day-in-the-life of a military working dog unit. He was joined by soon to be Hall of Fame Inductee Joe Thomas for a fun day learning about what training the dogs and their handlers do on a daily basis, and what their missions entail. They even got to put on the dog training suits running a "K-9 40", for an epic takedown!

Mercilus talked live with ABC13 about the experience and the impact of military service members and their hard-charging K-9s!

"I've been the heat seeking missile before, chasing down be on the other end of it wasn't as fun," Mercilus joked. "But it was the experience of a lifetime to be a part of this, to see what the military does and executes on a daily basis to be able to protect people."

Mercilus talks about what inspired him to get involved, the inner workings of the training experience, and the beginning DeMeco Ryans era in Houston. Watch the special video from the day in San Antonio and ABC13's conversation with Mercilus in the video above.