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Deshaun Watson & J.J. Watt Press Conference Recap: 9/16/2020

The franchise cornerstones speak their truths.

Houston Texans v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Texans’ franchise players, J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson, spoke to the media on Wednesday and touched on topics ranging from offensive pacing, to the need for better tackling, to sibling rivalries. Let’s get right into it:

Deshaun Watson

What is unique about how the Ravens create pressure and what do you take away from last year’s game against them?

“Last year’s game is last year’s game. This is a new year, so we’re not really focused on what happened in that. It got away. They did their job and did what they had to do at home. This year and the talent they got is very, very top notch. One of the best defenses we’re going to see throughout the year. They do a good job of creating different pressures up front, doing a different variety of blitzes, keeping you on your toes and p’s and q’s. We’ve just got to make sure that we’re locked in and focus on our tasks, our game plan and take it one play at a time.”

The Ravens have an absolutely pants-soiling defense. It’s early, and there’s a lot of time for this to change, but they’re ranked third in defensive DVOA with a -38.7%, according to Football Outsiders. Houston’s offensive line will have their work cut out for them, to say nothing of the running backs picking up blitzes.

What do you think about Baltimore’s offense and the job that Ravens QB Lamar Jackson does running it?

“He’s doing a great job for his team and the offense that they’re doing. Making sure they’re putting players and the scheme around him and he’s doing a heck of a job and doing numbers in that offense. He’s doing a good job and he’s going to continue to do that.”

I don’t know who's projecting more here, me or Deshaun.

Have you ever played in front of an empty stadium or limited fans in your football career?

“Really like peewee or flag football. Something like that where it’s just family members in town. That’s pretty much it. That’s a while back. Once we step on the field as players and coaches, we’re so locked in on the task and game plan ahead, we kind of just block out that noise. Even if there’s a crowd going, of course you can feel the energy of the crowd and things like that but going out the first week and seeing the games around, people were just locked in on what their task and what their job was.”

Even at the peewee level, Deshaun Watson could put most Friday Night Tykes to shame.

Do you feel like the offense should run faster when you are down?

“You can but at the same time you’ve got to be smart about that. If you play a little too fast and leave too much time for the Chiefs – at the time, last week. If you play fast and you go three and out, now the defense is back on the field and now they’re tired. You’ve got to be able to control what you kind of can control and just kind of build from there. Every game is a learning lesson so there’s different things we spoke about in the meeting about that game, but we continue to grow and figure it out. We just ran out of time. We’ve just got to continue to have a better full first half than what we did and try to keep the game a little closer.”

The complaints about Bill O’Brien’s offense running too slowly in late game situations is nothing new; it’s not going away. However, I don’t think that the Chiefs were concerned about having too much time towards the back half of Thursday’s game.

What are your thoughts on being part of the record 10 Black quarterbacks who started in the NFL opening weekend?

“It’s something cool. It’s definitely dope to be a part of and create history in that way. Guys just got to continue to go, giving other African American quarterbacks that are younger more opportunities, especially from where I come from. At the same time, you’ve got to go out there and perform and get the same knowledge and same wisdom as everyone else that’s at this level. We’ve just got to continue to grow and use it as a positive thing for sure.”

The next generation of quarterbacks is here and are looking solid. To think that we’ll have three young POC QBs in Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson as the face of the league going forward. Not to mention Russell Wilson, one of the elite signal callers in the game. The kids are going to be alright.

What is your biggest area of growth in terms of recognizing blitzes and pressures?

“You’ve just got to continue to understand the coordinators that you’re going against. Every coordinator is different. Every coordinator has a different type of scheme. Players have different disguises, so you’ve got to find out the fish in the defense. You’ve got to just make sure you’re staying on your p’s and q’s and sometimes you’re going to be hot and sometimes you’re not going to know it and they’re going to get you and they’re going to have a good disguise. You’ve just got to lock in on each and every play and be ready and know where your hots and your assignments are.”

Interesting comment from Watson as he looks to make improvements in Year 4.

After the first week with Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach Tim Kelly as the play caller, what would you like to see the offense do more efficiently against the Ravens?

“We just want to continue to run the ball and do what we do as far as getting our guys in position to make plays. That’s the biggest thing. I feel like in every game plan you’ve got to have that mentality. Every offense around the league wants to run the ball so we’ve got to make sure we’re doing that staying focused on that.”

Establish the run. Forever.

J.J. Watt:

What do you expect from Ravens QB Lamar Jackson when you play him on Sunday after watching him on tape?

“He’s a very good player. He can do it all. He can obviously do a lot of great things with his feet and his quickness and his speed and his ability to move around, but he’s also got the ability to stand in the pocket and throw the ball as well. Any time you have to defend both of those things with an equal level of excellence, it’s extremely difficult. It’s a great challenge for us. Obviously, we’re going to watch the film from last season. We’re going to watch the film from last week from them, which is what everybody does, and we’re going to learn and go out there and compete and look forward to the challenge.”

Boilerplate stuff when dealing with someone as dynamic as Lamar Jackson.

How has your foundation functioned through the pandemic and what does it mean to see the reaction from young people when they receive the sports equipment from your foundation?

“It’s been great. They’ve done a great job obviously getting the videos in and being able to see the kids receive their uniforms has been awesome. It’s been difficult not having the Charity Classic this year and not being able to bring in the same amount of funds as we normally do, obviously. But we’ve done a great job. We’ve had a plan obviously and leading us into hopefully next year being able to get back to it. We’re considering doing another fundraiser like we did in the past with Omaze to raise funds so we can continue to get those kids out there. Everybody at the foundation’s been doing a great job of getting grants approved and getting those uniforms and that equipment out to the kids. Those videos and photos have been inspiring and it’s been great to see.”

Sometimes J.J. Watt’s overwhelming wholesomeness can be a little bit of a meme, but he’s genuinely a solid man. The Texans and The City Of Houston have been lucky to have someone as compassionate and caring about this community as he is.

Has the trash talking started between you and your brothers prior to the Week 3 matchup against the Steelers?

“No, no. Not yet. We’re still brothers at the moment. We still love each other, and we were talking about the Monday night game for them. I had a chance to sit down and watch that at home. In the past I used to be able to, when the Steelers were on offense I’d go to the bathroom or I’d go get some food or I’d take the dogs outside. But now Derek’s (Watt) on offense, T.J.’s (Watt) on defense, Derek’s on special teams, so my breaks were fewer and far between during the game, so I was kind of rushing around. We’ve still got a couple more days before we actually go into shutdown mode and I don’t talk to them anymore.”

This will be a thing to keep an eye on. Hopefully we’ll see a J.J.-Derek interaction during the proceedings. Seeing all three Watt brothers on the same field will be a spectacle.

After playing the first game of the season, do you expect an improvement in tackling from Week 1 to Week 2?

“Yeah, I expect better tackling. We’ve had an opportunity to do it live now, obviously no preseason. We’ve had an opportunity to do it live and we didn’t do it that well. So, I sure as {kitten] hope we do it better this week. That’s the plan.”

Love the concept. Hope the execution is there. History might suggest otherwise.

How difficult is it to defend a team like the Ravens that use a lot of options and creative run plays?

“Any time that a team has a quarterback in the run game plan and obviously in the pass game plan, it’s an extra person you have to defend in both aspects. There is really no free person on the defense. Every single guy has to be accounted for and every guy has to do their job. If they make one guy miss or if one guy doesn’t do their job, it makes it that much more difficult on the rest of the defense. It’s paramount that we all do our job and that we all know our assignment and execute it well.”

Here’s looking at you, (insert Texans defensive player here).

How odd will it be to not have fans and do your normal routine of playing catch with young fans before the game?

“Obviously, I miss having the fans out there. I miss being able to interact with them, feed off of them. They’re the reason we have a job. If fans don’t watch the game, if fans don’t show up, we don’t have a job. So, I’m very thankful to the fans and I really miss being able to play catch before the game. To me, that’s one of my favorite things about this league is when I go around the stadium before the game and play catch with a little kid in that front row who showed up two hours before the game to have a chance to see the players warm up. I used to be that kid. We’ve talked about it before. I went to Packers training camp and stood outside the parking lot after practice for like two hours just trying to see the players, just trying to get a glimpse. So, for me to be able to play catch with a kid who came to the game two hours early and see that expression on their face and see them turn to their parents and get excited, there’s nothing that beats that. So, I really do miss that. I miss that interaction and that bond that you have. It’s tough. It’s tough. But I hope they’re watching at home and I hope we can make them proud at home. I hope someday here soon we’ll get them back and playing catch again.”

See earlier comment about J.J. being the best man on the planet.