NFL players learn from watching film on J.J. Watt.
Texans nose tackle Ryan Pickett used to do so when he was a Green Bay Packer. Jerrell Powe watched Watt highlights every Friday during the 2013 season as a Kansas City Chief.
DeMeco Ryans, who spent six seasons as a Texan, doesn't need to watch film. He's seen Watt's playmaking abilities in person. The Eagles linebacker played alongside Watt during Watt's rookie campaign in 2011. This season, Watt surpassed Ryans' previously held franchise record of eight fumble recoveries with his ninth takeaway in Week 7 at Pittsburgh.
Ryans, who also earned AP Defensive Rookie of the Year (2006) as a Texan, isn't surprised.
"He's a dominant disruptive player," Ryans said in a conference call Wednesday. "He's all over the field, always making a big play every game. You can count on him for at least one or two big plays, game changing plays. It hasn't surprised me the career J.J. is having now because when he first came in as a rookie I could just tell from his work ethic and some of the things that he did at practice, like you just step back and are like wow, this guy is really special."
Head coach Chip Kelly will show Watt one of the fastest offenses in the NFL on Sunday. It will be a chess match between the Eagles offense and Watt's speed, according to Kelly.
"I think Romeo (Crennel) does such a great job," Kelly said Wednesday. "He's never in the same spot. Sometimes you know if the guy is the right three-technique, you can kind of game plan things to do that. But when you turn the tape on, he lines up in so many different spots and that's hard. I don't think people give him enough credit for the versatility that he has to be able to play that many positions.
"I think he's outstanding at everything he does. He's got great hands; as good of hands I've seen on a d-lineman as I've seen in this league. And then he's just so relentless. He really, truly isn't—even if you've got a person on him and you've got people responsible for him, he still finds a way to get off of blocks. He does such a great job of escaping blocks and pursuing to the football. He's as good a defensive player as we'll face."