Houston Texans – Jadeveon Clowney 3.0
By Bob Dove
Meet the new and improved Jadeveon Clowney 3.0.
In his first season as a Texan Jadeveon Clowney had sports hernia surgery, then a concussion, then micro fracture knee surgery which ended his season. He started his second season rehabbing the knee, then protected as he worked his way back into shape. Just when he started looking like the player the Texans thought they drafted he sprained his foot finishing the season on the sidelines again.
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That was Jadeveon Clowney 1.0 and 2.0. Those first two versions were described by many words and phrases – “Bust”, “Soft”, “Injury Prone”, “No Motor”, “No Heart”, “Wasted Draft Choice”. Fortunately he was none of those things. What he was was injured. All the injuries were legitimate, all well chronicled, all serious. No one could have played through them, but that didn’t quiet the critics.
So now Clowney is deep into season 3. For the first time he is healthy, nicked like most players at this point of the season, but functionally healthy. The descriptors applying to Clowney 3.0 have changed along with his health. “Stud”, “Disruptive”, “Run Stopper”, “Game Changer”, “Heart of the Defense”, that’s how he is now described by opponents and many of his previous detractors.
How well has Clowney played this year? He is the defender that opposing teams game plan against. He is the lineman they run away from, often only to have the play chased down from behind. Clowney is the lineman teams chip, cut, double team and fear.
In spite of all the attention he has more than twice the tackles of any other Texans defensive lineman. He has more tackles than Antonio Smith, Joel Heath, Devon Still, Brandon Dunn, D.J. Reader and Christian Covington combined…yes, “combined”. All this despite the fact that he is undersized for the position and spent the off-season preparing to be an outside linebacker.