Maybe one day J.J. Watt will get the chance to play some tight end for the Houston Texans.
In the meantime, the former Defensive Player of the Year says his regular work with the juggs machine after training camp practices has paid dividends for him with his day job on the defensive line.
“I mean, I don’t think it’s ever going to lead to anything,” Watt said after Sunday’s training camp session. “If it does, it’d be great. But hand-eye coordination is literally just something I’ve always worked on my whole life.”
Watt first spoke up about his desire to play some offense last summer, when the 11th overall pick in 2011 said he’d “been lobbying since Day 1” for a chance with then-head coach Gary Kubiak.
Ever since, the 25-year-old has on occasion spent time after practice rotating in with the wide receivers, tight ends and running backs, catching passes fired at him at speeds of up to 60 m.p.h.
” I’ll always do that,” Watt said.
What if? It’s a tempting thought. After all, new head coach Bill O’Brien’s work with the New England Patriots and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez helped redefine the position.
But it’s unlikely that Watt sees time at tight end or anywhere other than his regular spot at 3-4 defensive end, where he’s established himself as one of NFL’s best defensive players.
Though for Watt, who’s always looking for ways to improve his game, chasing his pipe dream has proven helpful — as evidenced by his NFL-leading 21 batted passes over the last two seasons.
“I think hand-eye coordination is extremely important no matter what you do,” Watt said.
“You want to be as well-rounded of an athlete as you can be.”
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