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Antone Smith on Jadeveon Clowney: “I don’t see anything special”

Jadeveon Clowney hitDuring Saturday’s preseason game between the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons, the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL Draft announced his presence during the first quarter with impressive displays on back-to-back plays.

First, Jadeveon Clowney darted into the Falcons’ backfield and dropped running back Antone Smith. He followed that up with a sack of Matt Ryan.

While many watching at home were impressed with Clowney’s efforts, one of his victims was not.

During an interview with Sports Radio 610 in Houston, Antone Smith downplayed the hit and hype surround Jadeveon Clowney.

“Just a guy,” Smith said of Clowney. “I don’t see anything special. He’s just a guy. He’s a guy who plays defensive end. He plays pretty good. Made a good play.”

Tell us how you really feel, Antone.

For those wondering who Antone Smith is, he was undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and spent some time on the Houston Texans practice squad before signing with the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in 15 games for the Falcons last season and rushed for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

H/T ProFootballTalk

Jadeveon Clowney destroys Antone Smith, sacks Matt Ryan on consecutive plays (Video)

Jadeveon Clowney hitJust in case you had any concerns about whether or not Jadeveon Clowney would dominate in the NFL the way he did in college, watch this play.

Clowney announced his presence with authority during the first quarter of Saturday’s preseason game between the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons. On consecutive plays of the Falcons’ second possession of the game, Clowney made tackles for a loss. The first came when he absolutely destroyed running back Antone Smith on a tackle for a 2-yard loss on second down. Then on third down, he sacked Matt Ryan for a loss of 7.

Welcome to the NFL, Jadeveon. That was so awesome, it demands another look:

It was almost as good as the hit on Michigan’s Vincent Smith that really put him on the map.

Jadeveon Clowney: My goal is to sack Andrew Luck

Jadeveon-ClowneyJadeveon Clowney is hoping to make an impact this season as a rookie with the Houston Texans. In order to do that, the former South Carolina star feels he needs to take down a guy who made an impact as a rookie in 2012.

In a recent video that was posted on the Texans’ official website, Clowney said one of his main goals in 2014 will be sacking Andrew Luck.

“My goal for the rookie season is to try to better myself as a player,” he said, via Pro Football Talk. “And my goal in the NFL is to sack Andrew Luck. He’s in my division, playing him two times a year, he’s a dangerous quarterback, he makes good decisions with the ball, so I just want to get after him and sack him one time.”

That’s certainly a good place to start. Luck is easily the best quarterback in the AFC South division, and the Indianapolis Colts are heavy favorites to repeat as division champions. At age 24 and entering his third NFL season, Luck could be poised for a breakout year. The Texans will need Clowney to get after him — among other things — if they want to take down the Colts.

Did Jadeveon Clowney play with sports hernia all last season?

Jadeveon ClowneyJadeveon Clowney’s somewhat disappointing final season at South Carolina might have a whole new perspective to it now that it sounds like the defensive end played through a pretty serious injury.

Clowney underwent surgery this month to repair what was described as a sports hernia. He also had groin problems at his pro day, though he performed well despite the issues. Now we’re hearing that Clowney’s sports hernia injury dates back to the season.

Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain reported news of Clowney’s sports hernia injury via Twitter Thursday:

McClain also says Clowney is day-to-day in his recovery and that he might not be ready for the start of training camp.

Clowney’s work ethic was questioned by multiple people leading up to the draft, including Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier, who described it as “OK.” Clowney faced more attention from offensive lines, was seen taking plays off, and only had three sacks last season. Maybe the groin problems had a lot to do with the lack of effort at times and dropoff in production.

Jadeveon Clowney cries upon being made first overall pick

Jadeveon Clowney cries

Jadeveon Clowney probably had a strong idea that he was going to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft, but that still didn’t keep him from breaking down emotionally over the surreal moment.

Upon being announced as the first overall pick, Clowney began to cry.

The former South Carolina defensive end will now head to Houston where he will team with JJ Watt to form one of the most fearsome and ferocious defensive lines in recent memory. They will be scary.

Below is video of the pick:

Video via GIFD Sports

Texans not set on Jadeveon Clowney first overall in draft?

Jadeveon ClowneyThe Houston Texans are on the clock with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, and there are plenty of questions about whom they will select.

The expectation has been that Houston will take former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1 despite any concerns about Clowney’s work ethic. The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain has suggested that the Texans could trade down and select Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or even Khalil Mack. It seems like that may be their plan.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on Sunday that the Texans aren’t 100 percent sold on Clowney and are willing to trade. Peter King says he does not know whom the Texans will take, but he says he’s hearing the same thing.

Are you buying this? It could be the source of the reports are executives fielding calls from the Texans about making trades, which would make the report very solid.

For what it’s worth, Texans GM Rick Smith said last week that they know whom they will pick.

“If we take the first pick, we know who we want,” Smith said Thursday. “It’s interesting to me that it’s a big deal that we know our board, and all of a sudden we know who we want. That’s our job. I think we ought to know that.”

There was one qualifier — Smith said “if” they keep the pick. That meshes with the talk that they are considering trading down.

Warren Sapp the latest to question Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic

Jadeveon ClowneyThe debate continues to rage on over whether Jadeveon Clowney is worthy of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. There is no denying Clowney’s athleticism, but there have been plenty of questions about his work ethic. On Monday’s edition of “NFL Total Access,” former NFL players Warren Sapp and Heath Evans ripped Clowney’s decision to decline private workouts with teams before the draft.

“I look at Jadeveon Clowney’s tape and I don’t see a guy that’s playing the game with his hair on fire,” Sapp said. “If it’s my pick, I’m taking Teddy Bridgewater. I believe Teddy Bridgewater is that quarterback who gets it done.”

Bridgewater has tumbled down the draft boards with poor performances during the offseason, but that’s a debate for another day. Sapp and Evans both blasted Clowney for turning down NFL teams who are interested in jumpstarting his career.

“What else is he doing, not waking up?” Sapp said. “The next job you have is rushing the quarterback, young man, getting ready for the NFL. If you wake up every morning and you’re not prepared to go out and do the things you have to be either be an outside linebacker or pass rushing specialist, what else is there?

“You can blow your knee out walking your doggy. So why would you not work out for a team that has twenty million-plus dollars for you?”

Evans was just as harsh.

“There’s just so many little things about this kid that deter you from getting on his side,” he said. “This kid turns down private workouts? He says, ‘Well, I don’t want to get hurt.’ You should be training harder on the day that you’re not at a private workout than how hard they would work you on the private workout.”

Of course, Sapp had to throw in some crap about how he is a first-ballot Hall of Famer who was happy to work out for NFL teams when they wanted him to, but both he and Evans have a point. You can understand Clowney not wanting to risk injury, but he must be working out anyway. Why not get a head start on working with NFL teams?