CBS Houston – This is the year for Jadeveon Clowney, if he is going to have a breakout season as a Houston Texan the time is running out for him. In his first two season’s in the NFL, he has a combined 4.5 sacks in 17 games played.
When the Texans snagged him with the number one pick a few seasons back he was expected to come in and be a dominant force opposite J.J. Watt for years to come.
But that has not happened for a few different reasons. The biggest hurdle has been in years past Clowney has been slowed through training camp but this year he is able to hit the ground running.
“He is going into his third year, he’s healthy, he’s had a really good offseason,” Head coach Bill O’Brien said of Clowney.
Clowney is entering camp a little different than in years past. He’s finally healthy, but now that he is here participating fully, Watt is not here, as he is rehabbing from offseason back surgery.
With Watt sidelined for the foreseeable future, it does feel like it’s Clowney’s time to shine with the reigning defensive player of the year on the mend.
“I wouldn’t say any pressure, Clowney said when asked if there was added pressure with Watt gone, “I still have to do my job regardless of who is out here or not, as a Texan, there are guys counting on me. I’m just going to step my role up knowing he isn’t here, we don’t know when he’s going to be back, so we just have to come out here and perform and do what we can do.”
Clowney who’s entering his third season with the Texans is hoping this year will turn out a little bit different for him.
“Staying on the field,” Jadeveon Clowney said, “that’s the biggest step for me this year, play more games, play all 16 really.”
Coming into this training camp, Clowney looks like almost a completely different person visually.
“My strength is up, I just lost a little weight,” Clowney said, “I’m stronger than I was last year.”
Clowney mentioned that he slimmed down from 280 pounds last season to now 265 pounds.
His game ever since coming out of college his game always been about speed, but now with the added strength this year, he’s trying to become a better overall pass-rusher.
“We are learning different moves this year, a lot of different moves that I’ve been trying to learn, (I’m) ready to see how they work this year,” Clowney said.
Ted Johnson a three-time SuperBowl champion linebacker with the New Egland Patriots shared his thoughts on Clowney’s moves.
“His favorite is edge rush,” Johnson said, “but he’s (also) good at the up and under move.”
Now with Clowney’s added strength there might be a lot more rush moves, that he is able to master before training camp is over.
With two years under his belt, the third season should be his breakout year. While it’s only a few day’s into camp his hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
O’Brien knows if Clowney is out there healthy, he will be a big contributor this upcoming year.
“He’s an explosive player, we look for him to continue to get better out here every day and then make a lot of plays for us in the fall,” O’Brien said.
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