It's been a big year for Jadeveon Clowney and Duane Brown.
The two battle each other every day on the field. Off the field, they are each other's biggest supporters.
"For him to come back and not only be on the field and be this disruptive and be a game-wrecker the way he's been this year, even battling through more injuries, I take my hat off to him," Brown said. "I go against him every day in practice so I know just how hard he works and just how great he wants to be."
In fact, the All-Pro left tackle saw that greatness when Clowney first practiced in training camp. Brown told him too. It's a conversation that Clowney recalls well.
"I was going against him and he said, 'You're going to be a good player, man. You go hard and you have a lot of things other guys don't have,'" Clowney said.
However, Clowney's rookie season would end in disappointment and a season-ending microfracture knee surgery.
Brown's support didn't waver. He continued to encourage Clowney through rehab, calling, texting, and checking up on his teammate regularly.
One year later, Clowney would do the same for Brown after he suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in the final game of the 2015 season. He knew what it was like to endure a devastating injury and to work his way back from it.
"I said, 'Man, you just have to stay strong and stay positive. You just told me the same thing,'" Clowney said to Brown. "He (Brown) said, 'I know.' He said, 'I'm going to do this.' I was like, 'I know you're going to do it.' When he came back, he didn't lose a step."
The Texans starting defensive end is still impressed that Brown returned, after missing the first four games of the season, and has been as strong as he'd ever been.
"He's still one of the best tackles to me in the game," Clowney said. "I go against him and I say that to him every day: 'Boy, you're good.' But he works hard, man. He does things - others guys don't see the little things. That's what makes him a great player."
This week, both Brown and Clowney were honored for their achievements for the 2016 season. Brown was voted the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Clowney was named to the 2017 Pro Bowl.