Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – One of the lone bright spots in the loss against the Minnesota Vikings was the way defensive end Jadeveon Clowney came to play. While he didn’t collect a sack in the game he still made his presence known with eight tackles including four for loss.
One of Clowney’s four tackles for loss was eerily similar to his tackle in the 2013 Outback bowl again against Michigan. The only difference this past Sunday is Clowney did not cause a fumble, aside from that, every bit the same play.
Leading up to the Texans game this week with the Indianapolis Colts, head coach Chuck Pagano was very complimentary of the third-year player.
“The guy is playing as good as anybody in the league right now up front,” Pagano said. “He’s playing with a ton of confidence, a ton of physicality. We know the athleticism. We know the God-given dominant traits that he has as a football player, but his motor is running and it’s running hot. It never stops.”
All the attention and praise that used to go to J.J. Watt’s is now going to Clowney. Opposing offensives are now even sending Watt’s double and triple teams Clowney’s way.
One of the more helpful things for the former number one overall draft pick is he’s fully healthy and no longer showing up injury reports throughout the week.
“I get to work my technique, go out there and work the scheme we have going into the game plan,” Clowney said of being able to take part in every practice. “If you make plays at practice, you’re going to make them in the game.”
Clowney is getting a lot of notoriety for moving from primarily a linebacker to now a defensive end, but head coach Bill O’Brien says he’s actually been doing so much more.
“We’ve got him off the edge, we’ve got him inside, we’ve got him over the center, we’ve got him at linebacker spots,” O’Brien said. “He’s moving around a lot. He doesn’t just play from tackle to tackle. He’s moving around quite a bit.”
Without Watt, the need to move Clowney around is even more important. He’s still yet to have that monster sack game that everyone sees’s in him but Sunday it just could happen.
So far this season Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been sacked a league-high 20 times, their offensive line has had a tough time with pass rushers.
This Sunday sack production wise could be the game Texans fans have waited for since the team used their 2014 first round pick on Clowney.
“Just a heads up for whoever, tackle or guard, wherever they lineup, I’m coming,” Clowney said.