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Bill O’Brien: Clowney has come a long way, is ready for Week 1

Denver Broncos v Houston Texans

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Texans coach Bill O’Brien has no doubt that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be good to go when Houston opens the season against the Chiefs.

O’Brien said he isn’t sure if the Texans will limit Clowney’s plays early in the season in an effort to keep his surgically repaired knee healthy, but there’s little doubt that Clowney will be on the field next Sunday.

“I don’t know if I have a pitch count yet ready for him for the first game, but I think he’s come a long way,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “He’s been out there practicing. We’ve done a lot of things with him on the field that involve contact, that involve a lot of the moves that he’s going to have to make, whether it’s in the running game or dropping into pass coverage, which he’ll do some of that, or rushing the passer. Obviously, he’ll do some of that. I think he’s come a long way. I don’t know as far as how many plays or anything like that, but I do anticipate him playing in that game.”

The Texans didn’t get much out of Clowney after taking him with the first overall pick in last year’s draft. If Clowney can stay healthy this year and become the kind of player the Texans thought they were drafting, that will provide a big boost to Houston’s defense.