With all the hubbub about Tom Savage, Jadeveon Clowney’s evolution from freakishly talented prospect to legitimate destroyer of worlds hasn’t been the story it should be. We’ve known Clowney was knocking at the door of greatness for awhile, and we saw signs that the potential had turned into production earlier this season.
Jadeveon Clowney has become a monster. He’s doing it while playing through injury. He’s doing it at times without Whitney Mercilus. He’s done it nearly all season without J.J. Watt, which has forced Clowney to shift between defensive end and outside linebacker, depending on the opposition. Whether it’s Romeo Crennel, Mike Vrabel, or simply Clowney getting older and wiser, the transformation we’ve seen from #90 in 2016 has been astounding. Here are just a few examples:
Again, Clowney being good isn’t new. Y’all haven’t been watching https://t.co/kpaXPCxsMp— Rott (@Political_Rott) December 19, 2016
I think Clowney even points over to Watt after this batted ball. This was Clowney's Christmas gift to JJ. VERY thoughtful. pic.twitter.com/5f6nRLjWZZ— Sean Pendergast (@SeanTPendergast) December 19, 2016
Jags score touchdown here but it cost them a life. RIP that tackle blocking Clowney. Let the world know Josh Wells' story. pic.twitter.com/6sgSuinvMq— Sean Pendergast (@SeanTPendergast) December 19, 2016
Team Pass Rush. Scarlett and Smith take three lineman to open the crease for Clowney. Clowney good loop right to Bortles. pic.twitter.com/AM2ICInAZ0— patrick d. starr (@PatDStat) December 20, 2016
It’s enough to make you remember how you felt back in 2014, when Texans fans dreamed of what Houston’s defense could look like with Clowney and J.J. Watt lining up together. Thanks to injuries to both of them at different times, we still haven’t really seen what that tandem could look like at full capacity. While we don’t know what J.J. will be when he returns next year, the progress that Clowney has made in Watt’s absence should be enough to make us giddy at the possibilities.
Until then, we’ll have to be satisfied with watching Clowney terrorizing opposing offenses on his own.