Texans aware of holding issues with J.J. Watt


Oct 5, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) in action against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Has J.J. Watt been the victim of uncalled holding penalties?  This question, to which any Texan fan or even honest observer would be moved to say “Yes!” with much enthusiasm was asked of Texans Head Coach Bill O’Brien today. He artfully dodged the question, mostly because the NFL tends to frown upon coaches being critical of the officials. His answer is as follows: I’m telling you, it’s an interesting question again that you bring because when you go back and you watch the film every Monday or this past Friday of the previous day’s game, because of how difficult he is to block in one-on-one situations, the offensive lineman that are blocking him end up in some precarious situations. You do the best you can to mention that at times maybe in your pregame meeting with the officials. I think the officials do the best they can at trying to see it fairly and call it fairly. But again, he is just such a difficult guy to block that those guys end up in some different positions trying to block him.”

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Quite the verbal dance! The translation is easy fortunately. “Yes, he has and we’re gonna bring it up in every productive situation we can. You can’t blame the offensive lineman, just the thought of blocking Watt causes them nightmares.” At least, that’s how I read it. Watt has been overly held, double teamed, tackled and to the annoyance of Texans everywhere called for some pretty nit-picky hits. See the calls on him for roughing the passer during the Bills game. I do know there is some national media attention being paid, let’s see how things go on Monday Night in front of the whole country. I don’t the the NFL will get away with hiding blatant holding on Watt in front of the world. It’ll be interesting to see.

In other news, Coach O’Brien made it clear that if Jadeveon Clowney were to play Monday night, it’ll be on a snap count similar to Brian Cushing earlier in the season. “It would be for a certain amount of plays and that’s what we have to determine as a staff with our trainers, our medical people and our coaching staff before Monday night.” Prudent to be sure however I’m not sure who wants Clowney out there more, him or the fans. Taking it slow now is the smart move, and every snap will get lots of attention.

Monday night will be here before we know it Texans fans! So make your shopping list and be ready for a Monday night rumble in Pittsburgh!

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*Quotes provided courtesy of the Houston Texans PR Department.