J.J. Watt’s breakout 2012 season is regarded by Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as the best year by a defensive lineman in NFL history. That’s fitting considering one of Watt’s teammates believes the 24-year-old could become the greatest defensive player to ever play the game.
In an podcast interview with ESPN.com’s John Clayton, Brian Cushing, a stellar defensive player himself, said he thinks the sky is the limit for Watt.
“The things that he’s going to be able to accomplish are unbelievable,” Cushing said. “When you talk about the potential that he has of really being the greatest defensive player ever, he could be. I know that’s very premature but he’s that kind of player.
“I think if he just keeps doing what he’s doing and obviously stays healthy, he’s on that track.”
Watt, who revealed in April that he wasn’t completely healthy in 2012, put up eye-popping stats on his way to winning the Defensive Player of the Year award: league-best 20.5 sacks, 81 tackles (42 for a loss), 16 passes deflected and four forced fumbles.
“He’s incredible. There’s no other word for him,” Cushing said. “He’s one of those guys that he’s truly the best at what he does. Just the combination of speed, the power, how he plays, his endurance, his smarts … the scary part is it’s his second year. He hasn’t even hit his peak yet.”
Normally reserved and prudent with his remarks to the point of being reticent, looks like Cushing is flapping his gums and making comments about JJ Watt that will just tend to put his teammate under even more pressure this upcoming season than the reigning defensive player of the year would expect to face. These are the types of comments by a players teammate that will just fire-up even more every player on every offensive line who will play across from Watt this season.