Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney Finally Looks Like a No. 1 Overall Pick in Preseason Debut
Entering his third season in the NFL, Houston Texans defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney showed the world a glimpse of why he was made the first overall pick back in 2014, as he made life difficult for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees all night.
After missing the Texans’ preseason opener against the San Francisco 49ers due to some knee soreness, Clowney finished the 16-9 victory over New Orleans with two tackles, a tackle for loss, and a beautiful sack in which he abused Saints tackle Andrus Peat.
“It felt really good to be back out there after missing last week,” said Clowney after the win. “We had some fun tonight. It’s been a long time. I’m trying to do what I can for the team…get off the ball hard, rush hard, try to get to the quarterback.”
He’ll need a lot more games like this one to change people’s opinion of him, however. Entering his third season, Clowney has already been written off as a bust by the majority of fans due to consistent injury problems and a lack of performance when he is healthy.
During his 2014 rookie season, Clowney only played four games, over which he didn’t have a single sack. Clowney then needed microfracture knee surgery, which many caused many players to declare him “screwed.”
In 2015, Clowney managed to play 13 games; however, he was still underwhelming, finishing the season with 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble—nothing close to what one would expect from a first overall draft pick.
Playing alongside J.J. Watt, Clowney has no excuses. This season could be Clowney’s last chance to change the popular opinion on him. Sacking a future Hall of Fame quarterback known for staying upright thanks to his lightning release is a good start.
“To get a sack on a man I watched growing up, yeah, that was great,” said Clowney. “But I’m looking forward to next week now. I needed it. Just trying to keep going forward, getting better. I’ve got to keep improving. I’ve got a lot to learn. I messed up on some things. Gotta get better.”
A lot better.