Houston Texans: most likely award not given to J.J. Watt


The Houston Texans made a heck of a selection in 2011 when they took Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt. He has single handedly changed the defense for Houston while becoming the only player in NFL history to have 20 or more sacks in a single season twice.

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For his efforts he has twice won the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, in 2012 and 2014, while also receiving votes for the NFL MVP in 2014.

With that in mind, it is easy to think that if any player, coach or executive in Houston were to win an award after the 2015 season is in the books, it would be Watt. But if someone besides J.J. were to step up and get themselves noticed, who would it be and for what?

The candidates

Bernardrick McKinney, inside linebacker, Rookie of the Year

McKinney gets his name on the poll question simply because he has the best chance to start of any of the rookies picked during this draft. He is a sure tackler and has a nose for the ball. I expect him to be on the field more than any other rookie on the team, making him a player to watch for this award.

Whitney Mercilus, outside linebacker, Most-Improved Player

Mercilus just inked a new four-year deal this offseason, which was a little surprising given the fact that he hasn’t seemed to live up to his first round status for Houston. A contract paying more than $6 million a year for a guy coming off a 50 tackle and five sack season seems a bit high.

Still, Houston must believe in the linebacker and perhaps they will be rewarded for their faith. With former teammate and linebacker Brooks Reed heading to Atlanta and fellow starting linebacker Jadeveon Clowney heading to the PUP list, the Illinois product will have a lot put on his shoulders. If he is able to handle the pressure and thrive, could his name wind up on the watch list for this award?

DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Offensive Player of the Year

Wouldn’t it be nice to see this award go to the young wide out after he broke out in 2014 for 1,210 yards? Hopkins has emerged as a real threat and now he is by far the top guy on this depth chart. With the rest of the receiving corps featuring free agent additions, rookies and players who have been less than stellar, look for Hopkins to continue his rise to the top of the receiving list in the NFL.

Bill O’Brien, head coach, NFL Coach of the Year

It seems as if this team got better as soon as coach Bill stepped on the sidelines. Players improved, games were won and the young guys saw the field a lot. Look for even more youth on the field as Houston made several moves away from veterans this offseason. If the draft picks and youth movement pans out, look for O’Brien to be on the short list for this prestigious award.

Toro Times is committed to giving a fan’s take on all things Houston Texans. And we believe it’s our staff’s unique and varied perspectives that makes us different than any other sports site on the internet. With that being said, getting our readers’ perspective on various Texans-related topics is essential for us to be successful.

Therefore, we’ll often use poll questions to gauge how our readers feel about a specific topic. Their answers not only influence our articles, but they also keep us in touch with what our fans actually think and feel about their beloved team. So, please considering giving your answer in the above poll and participate in the conversation below in our comment section.

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