J.J. Watt knows what Texans fans want to see, namely he and Jadeveon Clowney wreaking havoc next to each other.
The duo continues to line up on the same side of the line often this training camp and preseason, but Watt said all the attention isn’t warranted just yet.
“We didn’t really run any games together or do any stunts, so it was really just more me rushing on my guy and him rushing on his, so that’s how it worked out,” Watt said.
“Everybody makes a real big deal of it, but I didn’t even notice he was outside of me.”
Watt has certainly been active along the whole line, which he said is how he feels most versatile.
“It’s always nice to have the opportunity to move around a little bit and rush from different places,” the two-time All-Pro said. “… I’ve moved around pretty good, so I don’t know that it’s terribly different. I’ll do some moving again. How much, you’ll have to wait and see.”
Watt earned a sack on the first series during the 32-0 loss to the Cardinals, helped by Arizona choosing to single cover he and Clowney, who was upright against a left tackle. While Watt got to Carson Palmer, Clowney promptly pushed his man well into the backfield.
For the combo to keep flourishing like that, Watt said edge rushing is imperative and the rest of camp is when Clowney will most hone the tactical skills necessary to outmaneuver, not just overwhelm, seasoned tackles.
“It definitely does take some time, but that’s something you can really focus on this time of the year — because you get so many reps 1-on-1 in practice, so many opportunities to pass rush — you need to learn how to handle yourself and strategize against an offensive lineman.
“When you get to the level where you can do that, that’s part of the fun. To get inside someone’s head and see what they’re thinking and see what they think you’re thinking and see what they think you’re thinking that they’re thinking. That’s the fun and then you go out there and execute. But you have to have the moves, too.”
Clowney wasn’t the only topic of discussion for Watt after Tuesday morning’s light practice, which featured pads but little contact and an early finish.
With the Falcons coming in this week for joint practices and Houston’s preseason home opener, there’s a lot to learn for everybody along the line.
“Just little things, like watching how an offensive lineman sets or his hand placement – you get a new face to see all of that,” Watt said.
There’s also a lot to improve on. But even with the Cardinals’ time-of-possession dominance and the lopsided score, Watt believes there were still plenty of positives from Saturday’s loss along the line.
Nose tackle Jerrell Powe earned the bulk of the praise.
“I thought he played very well, I thought he did a great job against some double teams,” Watt emphasized. “A nose guard getting a sack is a pretty good thing, so I was more excited for his sack than mine… Sometimes, even that position gets some glamour.”