It’s the age old question for a young athlete.
How will you respond when you don’t get the call? When you are sitting at home, watching someone else hoist the trophy. Will your anger and frustration translate into productive criticism and action? Or will you blame the circumstances and fade away?
The Houston Texans failed to enter the 2014 postseason, despite making great strides past their 2-14 2013 season. The one, shining light at then end of the tunnel for the team was Watt’s world-class performance last year, amassing 20.5 sacks, one interception returned for and 80 yard touchdown, 10 passes deflected, a safety and three additional touchdowns on offense.
Some speculated that if MVP was not awarded to Watt after such an incredible year, the league was practically setting a precedent to never reward a defensive player so long as a quarterback had an above average 16 games.
The question now is, how will Watt respond in the upcoming training camp and 2015 season?
Assuming that No. 99 remains the class act he has been since his rookie debut in 2011, he’s likely to not mention the snubbed award at all and to stay focused on the one trophy that he cares most about, the Lombardi silverware.
While the postseason is without a doubt, still a pressing goal that has yet to be met in Houston, the loss of Watt being recognized for his work was perhaps the biggest factor, leaving a bitter taste in the team’s mouth at the end of their schedule.
J.J. Watt has been the impact player and leader of the rebuilding Houston Texans team. His leadership and short memory are in demand now, more than ever.