HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) – The 2016 season for Jadeveon Clowney has been everything Texans fans have been hoping for the former first overall selection in the 2014 draft.
Clowney, who had been plagued by injuries during his first two seasons as a pro, bounced back in a year where the Texans desperately needed him to be the player they drafted after they lost JJ Watt to a season ending back injury three games into the season.
Clowney has been dominant as a run stopper bouncing from both defensive end and outside linebacker positions picking up 16 tackles for a loss in 14 games played.
The success Clowney has had this year has been refreshing for Texans fans who were often critical of the third year pro for being injury prone,
“It kind of built me up,” Clowney said of the criticism he has received from fans and media for his early career struggles. “It really helped me off the field with pushing and getting better. Just to come back and prove to them that what they were saying was wrong. It kind of helped me.”
Clowney has turned that criticism into tackling fuel, and while he is still looking to improve as a pass rusher, he has consistently impacted the opposing team’s passing game with his pressures and hits on the quarterback. The impact he’s made made it around the league as he was named to his first Pro Bowl.
While some of the criticism has flipped to praise, Clowney knows that if his play slipped, the criticism will only return.
“I think most of it has changed, but I still keep that in the back of my head,” Clowney said Tuesday. In this league, it’s like (up and down). One minute they love you, one minute they hate you. I just do what I can do to go out there and help my teammates and help my team.”
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