For two years, Jadeveon Clowney dealt with injuries that kept him from becoming the player he knew he could be.
That included having to sit out the Texans playoff game against Kansas City last year.
“I was upset before the game because I was mad I wasn’t going to play,” Clowney said on Tuesday. “It was real bad, I hate to see that, but this year I feel like is going to be a lot different than it was last year.”
A season later, he will finally get that long anticipated opportunity.
“I’m having fun, having a good time. We’re all just trying to win,” Clowney said. “As long as you’re winning, you’re always happy. Looking forward to having a big game this week, and trying to push forward in the playoffs.”
It’s great that he’s finally having a good time because frankly, it’s long overdue. For two years, Clowney has had to hear from critics and fans that he was a bust.
A Pro Bowl selection and a career high 6 sacks in his third campaign is finally putting negativity to rest.
“All the criticism kind of built me up,” Clowney said. “It really helped me off the field with pushing and getting better. Just to come back and prove to them that what they were saying was wrong. It kind of helped me.”
His resurgence can be summed up in one play during the AFC South clinching victory over Cincinnati.
Bengals wide receiver Brandon LaFell broke free after catching a pass. Several Texans were in pursuit, including Clowney. Although they didn’t catch him, the effort was a display of the type of athleticism the former 1st overall pick is capable of showing.
“I knew I was moving kind of fast,” Clowney said with a smile. “I looked beside me and saw J-Jo (Johnathan Joseph) and then I saw QD (Quintin Demps). I’m like ‘I’m right here with these guys, these DBs.’ I always thought I was kind of fast anyways. I was one of those fast guys, just big.”
“I went back and looked at it on film and I was like ‘man.’,” cornerback A.J. Bouye said. “You forget that he ran track in high school. He can run. That’s one gifted guy and just to have him out there every game is amazing”
On Saturday, Clowney will get the chance to face a quarterback he’s never seen before. The Oakland Raiders are planning to start rookie Connor Cook for the first time.
Jadeveon is looking forward to it.
“I hope we blitz him all game,” Clowney said. “I don’t know, that’s up to the coaches. We just have to put a lot of pressure on him, make him throw some bad balls, force some turnovers and try to get our offense in good field position.”