J.J. Watt has a lot of people to thank.
It seems as though everyone wants to be a part of his touchdown catch, the first-ever in franchise history scored from scrimmage by a defensive player. Watt joked that he wasn't without advice, both solicited and unsolicited, along the way.
"Oh yeah, there has been a lot of guys working with me on technique," Watt said, laughing. "Everybody has had an opinion on how I should celebrate and how you spike the ball properly, how to dunk it over the goal post, all these things. Everybody kind of had an opinion and John Perry, obviously, has helped me a lot and (George) Godsey. I appreciate that."
Safety D.J. Swearinger, who was looking for a touchdown celebration didn't get one. Watt went with what he described as "the classic handing it to the official."
"I've told the guys this a couple times: the coolest part about it was handing the ball to the official and turning around and seeing the offensive line, the running backs, the quarterback coming to you to celebrate," Watt said. "I know what a sack feels like. I know what a batted ball feels like. To see that moment and to have them coming at you to celebrate, that was a pretty cool deal."
On defense, Watt worked with linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, a former All-Pro linebacker with experience scoring on offense. Vrabel finished his professional career in New England with 12 receptions for 17 yards and 12 touchdowns in the regular and postseason.
After the game, Ryan Fitzpatrick interjected that maybe tight ends coach Perry deserved some more praise. After all, Watt was lined up as a tight end in the goal-line package.
"John Perry, the tight ends coach, wanted me to make sure I mentioned him," Fitzpatrick said. "He coached JJ with the long arms and the great hands."
Head coach Bill O'Brien, long-time friends with Perry, laughed.
"You know the whole connection there right? So John Perry's older brother was a quarterback at Harvard long before Ryan Fitzpatrick," O'Brien said. "There's a little bit of a Harvard thing there.
"There's a lot of coaching that goes into telling a six-foot-seven, 290-pound guy with a fantastic reach how to catch the ball, how to jump up and catch it. I think we should just thank J.J.'s parents is what we should do."
Watt agreed, but also added to the list of people he needed to thank for the one-yard score that ended a 10-play, 80-yard drive in the 30-14 win in Oakland.
"There are plenty of things I need to thank," Watt said. "The offense for getting the ball down there, the running backs were making it happen, Fitz (Ryan Fitzpatrick) for the throw, somebody for me not dropping the thing, but yeah, I was like I come in after a long drive and I get the touchdown and I get the highlight, but it was all those guys getting the ball down there. It was all those guys putting us in that situation. I just got the cool part of it."