Jadeveon Clowney may enjoy rushing quarterbacks, but it's just one of the many things he is expected to do. The starting outside linebacker arrived for training camp leaner, but stronger and excited about his versatile role on defense.
"You've got to love it," Clowney said in an interview with Texans TV. "The guys count on me to do it and I just have to go out there, perform, and do what they ask me to do. But it's fun too, though, because you can move around and set stuff up for you. Having other guys around you that are just as good, we all mix it up and do what we want to do out there."
Much of that comes not just from Clowney's physical attributes - strength, speed, and size - but also from his mental game. Now entering his third year in Romeo Crennel's defense, Clowney is becoming increasingly experienced in the system and it shows.
"He's an instinctive player," head coach Bill O'Brien said Monday. "He's a smart player. He's very good in the meetings. He understands multiple positions. He can do a lot of different things. He can play outside backer. He can play defensive end in a four-down scheme. He can go inside and do a number of different things. So he definitely understands his role."
And not just on defense.
In training camp, the former No. 1 overall pick is frequently seen participating in special teams drills during practice.
"Staying in shape—just staying in shape and having fun with it," Clowney said. "I told coach to try me out there and let me go down there to see if I can do something and see what happens."
In 2015, Clowney recorded 40 tackles (27 solo), eight for a loss, 4.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, six passes defensed and one forced fumble in 13 games with nine starts.
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