Jadeveon Clowney loves to be blocked by tight ends
The Texans have moved Jadeveon Clowney from linebacker to defensive end in 2016, where it’s often a greater challenge to make an impact in a 3-4 system. Clowney is definitely making an impact this year; he makes more of it when he gets a chance to line up across from a tight end.
That chance came during a key moment last Sunday against the Colts, when Dwayne Allen tried to keep Clowney away from quarterback Andrew Luck. It didn’t work.
“You love those moments,” Clowney told reporters on Friday. “You have to take advantage of them. You don’t get them all the time so when you get them you have to win. Our coach says you have to win against tight ends.”
Win he did, and the play helped the Texans to their biggest win of the year, with a red-zone strip sack.
“It was great,” Clowney said. “It was a big, critical moment in the game. We needed it. Went out there and made a play for my team. I was very happy about it and other guys were happy for me, so it was a big play. . . . I just knew we needed a play. I was working hard all drive, all game, so I was out there trying to make a play and trying to get off the ball. I had been going at their tight end all game. They tried to block me one-on-one with him and I was like there’s no way I’m going to let this guy keep me from the quarterback so got around him and made a play.”
Clowney has been making more and more plays regardless of who blocks him, or at least who tries to. Part of his success in his third season has come from simply showing up.
“Staying on the field,” Clowney said when asked where he has improved in 2016. “I can play football. It’s staying on the field I’ve gotten better at. I’m out there. . . . Missed one. That’s good.”
It’s good, and Clowney is on the verge of being great. Despite a mere four sacks this year, Clowney has become a much different player -- and it bodes well for 2017, when Jadeveon Clowney entering his prime will be paired with a presumably healthy J.J. Watt.