JJ Watt wants to play offense for Texans
Houston Texans star JJ Watt had a breakout season last year and emerged as the best defensive player in the NFL. He racked up a whopping 20.5 sacks in his sophomore NFL season and forced four fumbles. Watt’s value to the Texans is obviously as a game-changer on defense, but he wants more. The 24-year-old wants to contribute on the other side of the ball as well.
Watt, who lined up on offense at the Pro Bowl and had an incomplete pass thrown his way by Peyton Manning, said on Tuesday that he has been trying to convince head coach Gary Kubiak to let him play offense.
“It’s just about being an athlete,” Watt said, via SI.com’s Audibles. “I have fun, catching balls is fun, just doing whatever you can to be an athlete, working on hand-eye coordination, and the little things. It never hurts to be able to catch a football.
“I’ve been lobbying since Day 1. It hasn’t worked yet, so I don’t think it’s going to work anytime soon, but it’s his team … We always joke about it. It’s never anything really serious. Who knows? Maybe one day.”
Before Watt transferred to Wisconsin in 2008, he was a tight end at Central Michigan. He caught only eight passes for 77 yards, but he obviously has some familiarity with the position. While Kubiak admitted the idea of Watt lining up in the team’s goal-line package is intriguing, he said seeing him on the field with the offense in the Pro Bowl made him uncomfortable.
“No, I didn’t like that personally,” Kubiak said. “When I saw he was going to line up out there, that scared me a little bit. We’ll let him keep getting after the quarterback and maybe we’ll find him a play or two of offense down the road.”
As we learned from this video of his vertical leap, Watt is a freak athlete. There is no doubt he could make an impact on offense with enough reps, but the last thing the Texans need is their most important player popping an ACL while firing off the line to make a block or catch a pass. It simply isn’t worth the risk.