Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt put a scare into fans when he mentioned retirement earlier this offseason, and he brought it up again with Peter King
Defensive end J.J. Watt earned his third NFL Defensive Player of the Year award after his 2015 season in which he recorded 76 tackles and 17.5 sacks. His stellar play was one of the biggest reasons the Houston Texans recaptured the AFC South title and made it to the post season.
However, this season came with a cost as Watt spent the entire season battling injuries, which included a broken hand as well as five torn muscles.
The injuries brought up the question about the star players longevity in the league and waves were made when he hinted retirement could be closer than people think. Fans may have finally calmed down from hearing Watt speak about hanging up his cleats in the not-so-distant future, but now he is discussing it again.
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In a piece by Peter King of the MMQB Watt discusses his painful 2015 season and goes on to once again discuss the possibility of retiring from the game.
"“I have no idea when it’s going to be, when I’ll retire,” he said. “I’m not saying it’snot going to be two, three, four years. But I’m also not saying it’s going to be nine, 10, 11 years. I literally do not know the answer. What I do know is I’m going to continue to train my ass off. I’m going to continue to work to be the best player in the world, and whenever that doesn’t sound fun to me anymore, that’s when it’s over.”"
Fans surely won’t like hearing that, but the truth is Watt plays an incredibly demanding position for the Texans in their three man defensive line. He often faces two and three blockers in a scheme that’s designed for the outside linebackers to get freed up by the block eating ends like Watt and the recently departed Jared Crick (now of the Denver Broncos).
That kind of beating takes a toll for any lineman in the NFL. When you’re the best in the league at it like Watt is, it becomes even harder.
Teams focus their offense on hitting Watt and taking him out of plays. It doesn’t stop him, but as fans saw this past season, it can take it’s toll.
As for him retiring soon, fans shouldn’t panic. Watt will continue to work as hard as anyone and give everything he has. He knows however that the potential for him breaking down is there and is simply talking out loud about it.