Watts Wants to Be a Warm and Fuzzy Texan
Not many first-round picks get booed, but it didn’t take long for JJ Watt to change the mind of Texan fans.
In an ESPN interview, the team’s prized defensive end stated, “It didn’t matter who they [Texans fans] wanted, they just didn’t want me.”
Ooooh! Sensitive! And with a long memory.
On his draft day, Watt was expected to be nothing more than a safe pick. That being the mindset for studied observers of the Texans, it was a mystery as to why Houston used their first pick, the 11th overall, on Watt.
The last thing anyone would have predicted from him – at least anyone outside the Texan war room -- was to stand out. With inspiration drawn from Houston fans hating on him, Watt had one goal; win them over.
It only took the former Wisconsin Badger two years to become one of the league’s elite defensive players, earning Defensive Player of the Year honors last season. At the tender age of 24, Watt is on a statistical pace good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as the great Ray Lewis and Von Miller.
With the 2013 season weeks away, Houston is expected to make another run to take the NFL’s ultimate stage, located this time around in New Jersey. Watt intends to do even better than his 20½ sacks in 2012, and with an explosive offense, the Texans indeed have enough potential to hoist the Lombardi trophy.
These are what appear to be the season-shaping games for them:
- Week 3 against the defending champion Baltimore Ravens,
- Week 13 against Tom Brady and the Patriots, and
- Week 16 against future Hall-of-Famer Payton Manning and Denver’s coincidentally potent offense.
If Houston is to survive these and other challenges, they’ll need JJ 'Swatt' to at least match last year’s performance. If he does, the last worry he’ll have is fan adulation. They’ll be clamoring to get on the bandwagon, claiming that they ‘knew all along’ what a find they had in him.