“It was just like backyard football," Clowney said, laughing. "It was alright. I got loose and got out there and saw the lights. Back in college, my first game, I was a little nervous and everything, and my first NFL game, I was still a little nervous, but once you get that first contact, it’s like ‘Alright, the nerves are gone’ and you just play football.”
Head coach Bill O'Brien's initial reaction was also positive to the No. 1 overall pick's performance.
"I probably have to watch the tape but I thought he went in there and it looked like he knew his assignment, trying to put some pressure on the quarterback," O'Brien said after the game.
Clowney and the defensive starters played just one quarter in the preseason opener. Clowney finished with one tackle, a hit in the backfield on running back Stepfan Taylor, for a loss of five yards.
“I’m just really trying to do the job," Clowney said of the play. "Set the edge, I saw the opening and I made the play.”
Clowney with a nasty tackle for loss. He's going to eat up TEs. Too big, too strong, too quick.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) August 10, 2014
On the Cardinals opening drive, Clowney had another tackle on running back Andre Ellington but the play was negated by a penalty.