Bill O’Brien: J.J. Watt in Defensive Player of the Year form at camp
Bill O’Brien has been extremely impressed with what he’s seen so far out of J.J. Watt in training camp. In fact, the Houston Texans head coach went so far as to suggest Watt could be returning to Defensive Player of the Year form.
“Those ’14 and ’15 seasons were arguably two of the best seasons any player at any position has ever had,” O’Brien recently told Peter King, via NFL.com. “I remember we’re playing Baltimore in ’14, and they’re driving, and it’s late, and our guys are just exhausted. I remember J.J. looked over at me and basically said, If you give me a timeout here, I’ll get to Flacco. So I call time. We get a breather. That next play, J.J. strip-sacks Flacco. Game over. We win.
“That’s what I’m seeing now, this summer. That’s the kind of play I’m seeing from him. There’s no reason he can’t do it again.”
Watt of course has had injuries derails his past two NFL seasons, playing in a total of eight games over that period. Despite his injury-plagued past, Watt previously has expressed excitement over what his future holds, but told King that he’s “just taking it one day at a time” at this point.
“I’m not going to make any proclamations about comparing things to the past or what I’m going to do in the future, but I will say I feel very good,” Watt said.
A recent social media dispatch featuring Watt in a flex pose even elicited comparisons of his musclebound physique to that of The Incredible Hulk. So it’s safe to way Watt is putting in the work.
With all that in mind — along with the recent comments from O’Brien — early indications point to a potential return to form for Watt. And if Watt could wage a comeback for the ages while adding another Defensive Player of the Year award to go along with those won in 2012, 2014 and 2015? So much the better.