Jan 13, 2013; Foxboro, MA, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) salutes after a sack of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (not pictured) during the first half of the AFC divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Greetings Texans Fans!
In 2010, Houston Texans fans watched, waited and hoped for success on defense lead by “Super” Mario Williams. This however ended with Williams on IR and fans dismayed. The ’11 season the Texans drafted a former pizza delivery man and were mocked as making a huge mistake by at least one writer who felt that the Detroit Lions pick Nick Fairely had many pro-bowls to come.
Texans fans didn’t have to wait long to see how J.J. Watt would turn out as “Super” Mario’s season ended early again on the IR. By the time the teams first play off victory over the Cincinnati Bengals had ended they were in awe. Watt had recorded a 29 yard interception from Andy Dalton thus setting the stage for the ’12 season. Williams accepted a rather nice paycheck from the Buffalo Bills to the tune of $100 million and the Texans put Watt right into the starting line up.
However ’12 started off with a scare, injured prior to the start of the season with a freak elbow injury that tore ligaments in his arm fans were concerned, did they lose one injury prone player for another? This however was an unfounded concern as Watt finished the season with 20.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 69 tackles. Those are just a few highlights of course, his signature “swatt” move accounted for 16 stopped passes.
All of this effort lead to several things, the most important for the ’13 season is the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans all loaded up their lines with one thing in mind, “Contain No. 99.”
Oh and he also landed a small personal award; Defensive Player of the Year. These are all good things, and with the return of ILB Brian Cushing the Texans have their captain back. Bringing in Ed Reed and drafting DJ Swearinger to help cover receivers and of course more help in the person of Whitney Mercilus bringing his own pressure on the other side of the line 2013 is setting up to be amazing.
Opposing teams might try to focus on Watt, he’s fine with that. Because of the other players available to Wade Smith it’s a catch 22, defend Watt and watch as Wade sends people through or leave Watt in one-on-one situations… Not something you want to face.
This offseason Watt spent time with the troops in Afghanistan, and as a Veteran I want to say “Thank you Mr. Watt”. When you’re on the Tip of the Spear, that sort of thing really helps. He also proposed to a young lady, participated in numerous charity events and basically showed why character matters and exemplified what “All American” in an athlete is about. This offseason has been tumultuous for the NFL, but JJ Watt has been a very bright spot.
Expect him to go for topping his ’12 performance this season, but individual accolades are not the prize. The Lombardi Trophy is and JJ Watt is set to be a very big part of making a run for that again this year as the Texans look to three-peat in the AFC South on their way to the big show.
Keep your browsers here to the Torotimes as the Texans kick of training camp and begin the quest in earnest for a championship.