Houston Texans Defensive End J.J. Watt Featured On Regional Cover of Sports IllustratedPosted: October 31, 2012
Perennially loaded on offense, Houston finally has a dominant defense to match: a manic swat patrol that makes life miserable on quarterbacks. The best team in football? No doubt about it says SI writer Austin Murphy. The issue will be on stands Wednesday.
In April 2011, J.J. Watt was the 11th round draft pick for the Houston Texans. The fans were not amused and the pick prompted some boos from Texans fans at the televised draft party. Fans didn’t care that Bret Bielema had described Watt as an athletic freak and the best defensive lineman he’d ever coached. They also weren’t impressed by Watt’s 37-inch vertical jump or by his giant hands or by his 83-inch wingspan or by the fact that the NFL Network draft guru Mike Maycock had called him the best five-technique end he’d ever seen. “I think [the boos] hurt him,” recalls J.J.’s father, John Watt, “but we knew that was probably the best thing that could’ve happened” (page 40). Yes, the boos were like rocket fuel for an already overcharged Megawatt. One year later, the Texans have improved to an AFC-best 6-1, and they have done it by spanking a team they’d never beaten in their 11-year history, the Baltimore Ravens — and it wasn’t even Watt’s best game.