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Old 04-29-2011   #11
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Default Re: Selection 1.11: JJ Watt DE Wisconson

May have been posted.

More with/from Watt:

Q: What are your initial thoughts on being selected by Houston?

Watt: It's a great day to be a Texan. I can't wait to get down to Houston and start getting to work."

Q: Did you have any inclination that the Texans were going to pick you?

Watt: "I didn't know exactly. I knew it was one of the teams that might pick me. At the end of the day, I was waiting for a phone call and was extremely excited when it came from Houston."

Q: What do you think of the Texans' defense?

Watt: "I know (DE) Mario Williams is a great defensive end. I can't wait to play on the same defensive line as him because he makes everyone around him look good. Hopefully I am there to take some blocks off him, as well. (Defensive coordinator) Wade Phillips has a great defense. I am ready to get to work."

Q: What are your impressions of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and head coach Gary Kubiak through your pre-draft meetings?

Watt: "They are great coaches. They want guys who are going to work hard and give them everything they have. I really like that they push their guys to the limit and I am going to give them 100 percent."

Q: How do you project your abilities as a transitional offensive player aiding the Texans' defense?

Watt: "I have good athleticism. When you have a guy like (DE) Mario Williams on the other side, he's a great athlete as well. I am excited to come in, learn the defensive, and give them everything I got."

Q: How did you get such a strong work ethic?

Watt: "I got that from my parents and coaches growing up. One thing my parents always told me, ‘If you are going to do something, do it 100%.' That is what I have tried to do on the football field. I would be disrespecting the game if I didn't give it 100 percent all the time. That's what the Texans are going to get, a guy that comes to work every single day and give them everything I got."

Q: What do you think about moving inside in certain situations?

Watt: "That's fine by me. I'm more than happy to move inside in certain situations. I feel very comfortable playing anywhere along the defensive line. The goal is to sack (Indianapolis QB) Peyton Manning; that's what everyone around here is saying. That's my job."

Q: How did you develop a knack for deflecting passes?

Watt: "That is something I learned over my career. I was never really taught about it. I figured it's one great way to limit the QB's throwing range is to put your hands up. It's something I have tried to work in over my career and it's worked great for me."

Q: What are the expectations for you to perform as a first-round selection?

Watt: "I think it's expected to be a first-round draft pick that you come in and perform. No one has higher expectations for me than I do. I am going to come in and give it everything I have, and at the end of the day, I hope it helps the team win football games because, that is what it's all about."

Q: Have you spoken with the two ex-Badgers on the Texans, TEs Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham?

Watt: "I have talked to them a little bit. I talked to Garrett a couple weeks ago and they love it down there. They say nothing but great things about the Houston area and the Texans' fans. I can't wait to experience it for myself."

Q: Did you expect to be drafted by the Texans?

Watt: "I really didn't. It's been a crazy process. I had no idea where I would end up in the draft. I was taking it as it comes but I'm extremely excited to be a Texan."

Q: Are you eager to sack the league's premier quarterbacks?

Watt: "That's definitely the goal of a defensive end is to sack quarterbacks. To me it doesn't matter what number or jersey they are wearing, I want to get them all. That should be the mentality of all defensive ends - that you want to sack every quarterback you play. That is the goal."

Q: What is your biggest strength?

Watt: "My biggest strength is my work ethic. I am going to put a ton of time in the film room, weight room, and on the field. Like I said, I am going to give you every single thing I have, every single play, and at the end of the day we're going to win football games because of it."


Q: Did you envision playing in the NFL while in community college?

Watt: "That was always the goal and the dream. I worked every single day towards it, but the feeling I had today I could have never imagined. It's an unbelievable feeling and words can't express how I feel.
"Glad to be a Texan."

Wade Phillips on Watt:

Opening statement
"J.J. Watt, I think you talk about value and you talk about need and we certainly needed a defensive player. He was the top guy we had right there and right then. I like his ability. He's our kind of player. He plays a hundred miles per hour every play. This was the kind of player we want on the Texans defense. He reminds me a lot of Phil Hansen, who I had at Buffalo for a while, that same kind of size, movement and temperament. If he plays anywhere close to Phil Hansen, that'd be great for us. I think the kid is very talented athletically. He ran a 4.81, I believe, at 290 pounds. They worked him out as an outside backer and he actually didn't look bad at 290 pounds as an outside backer. He's really a defensive lineman and at 6'5½", 34 reps, he's strong and we think he can come in and help our defensive line and play really well in our area. He is a good pass rusher. He will help us on the pass rush. I think he had seven sacks this year. He's just coming along. He played tight end. He moved from Central Michigan where he was a tight end and is really working his way up as a defensive end. He keeps getting better and better because he works at it. He's become stronger. He's become faster and he's going to keep helping himself because he's such a hard worker. I was impressed with the way we did the draft. All the scenarios we've been through before. Every single one of them that got to our point, we had gone through so I was impressed the way Rick (Smith) did it and Gary (Kubiak) and how they set it up. We had a lot of discussions. I've been with teams where we had a lot of arguments. These were discussions. People made their points. We came down to our final decision and we think it's a really good one for us."

Q: What put J.J. Watt ahead of other players available when he was selected?

Phillips: "I think he's just a really good football player. He led their team in sacks, caused fumbles, hurries and blocked kicks. He was second on their team in tackles and second on their team in passes defensed. Now passes defensed for a defensive lineman and tackles for a defensive lineman at that position are rare. This guy makes a lot of plays."

Q: How does he compare to Nick Fairley?

Phillips: "I don't want to talk about another player. I'll talk about our player. We decided who we wanted to go with. We had been through the scenarios and this was our pick and we feel good with it."

Q: How does the Wisconsin defense translate to that of the Texans?

Phillips: "It's a little different than ours. You have to project what a player can and can't do, but he did play a lot against offensive tackles and five-technique type things. He's really good at getting off blocks. Once he's engaged, he gets of blocks quickly and that's why he's been able to make a lot of tackles. He knocked down an inordinate amount of passes. He is tall, but there are a lot of tall guys that don't have that feel to reach up and knock the ball down when they're throwing it. I know he had six or eight of those; a lot more than any other player that I've seen."

Q: Were you surprised DE Aldon Smith was selected by San Francisco so early?

Phillips: "No. We liked him. We liked him all along. I think he's a good player. I think that's a good pick for them. People recognize good players."

Q: What sort of versatility does Watt provide playing opposite Mario Williams?

Phillips: "Well I think it gives us a lot of versatility with Mario now. This guy can play the left end for you and that gives you some versatility with what you want to do with Mario. I think that's a big key point for us also."

Q: Did you feel Watt would be there later in the round?

Phillips: "You can make expositions all the time and say if you trade back and still get the same guy or this guy or that guy. We talked about Aldon Smith and obviously we liked Aldon Smith. He was taken way before we even picked. If you've got a good player and you really like him, you better take him at that point. If you've got four guys that you think are the same guy, then that's a different thing."

Q: Were you tempted to trade up?

Phillips: "We really never had that opportunity. It never came about. I think we were open to that and I think Rick said that earlier. The opportunity never really arose."

Q: Does the selection fo Watt change the defensive focus in later rounds?

Phillips: "No. We need to get defensive players. Our coaches that were in the room, we're holding up defense every time we get a chance. When Rick looks back, we're holding up defense. We still need some more defensive players. What's best for the team is what's best for me, I don't mean that. I think it's clear that we need a lot of defense in this draft."

Q: How much input did you have in the pick?

Phillips: "I think the great thing about this was it was an organizational decision. I think we were real strong in that area."

Q: Where will Watt play on the defensive line?

Phillips: "I think he'll play defensive end, although you saw him in the pass rush situations, you saw him on the highlight film play on the nose and beat the center because he's a good athlete and if you get him one-on-one, he's going to give them problems. Just like all our guys, we're going to try and get him one-on-one as much as we can. I look to him to play at defensive end on first and second downs and maybe go inside on third, but that remains to be seen. When you've got (Connor) Barwin and (Mario) Williams outside, if you he can play inside which I think he can, we saw him do that in the pass rush and that was a strong area for him. He'll fit well."

Q: Would you move Mario Williams to outside linebacker?

Phillips: "There's a possibility that he could play defensive end or outside backer, I think."

Q: What will you expect Watt to contribute in 2011?

Phillips: "Anytime you pick a guy with the 11th pick of the draft, you expect them to play and help you this season. I think that's a reasonable expectation."
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