Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt broke his 5-month silence after being placed on injured reserve early in the 2016 season. Rushing back from back surgery proved to be a move which lost Watt for the majority of 2016 and Watt mentioned his “pride” got in his way, but after three major surgeries, he is back to what he knows. Moving past the rehab portion of his most recent back surgery, Watt is now back on the grind after being cleared for football activities.
“If I am not trying to be the best player ever then I am doing everyone a disservice,” Watt said at private Gartorade event in Houston.
“There is a brand new fire, there is a brand new passion, a brand new excitement level that I haven’t had in a long time,” Watt said of his feeling after having football taken away from him. “Which is weird because I have had fire and excitement for a long time so to have new one and reenergized one, it’s really cool.”
Working out 5 to 6 hours a day at NRG Stadium, Watt is back training for the regular season with some extra added core work to help protect his back. Expecting to be ready for OTAs, Watt sees no reason that he should not be ready for that portion of the season.
“Throughout my whole career I have always had the fire. I have been fortunate to have some great years here,” Watt explained. “During these last 4-5 months, for me to realize that, not that it went out, there was new fire to be had that I could regain something. Just to know that there are new levels to reach that I haven’t even reached yet is exciting.”
The timeline of Watt’s rise with the Texans is well documented. With three defensive player of the year award, multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, Watt is trying to regain that form and continue to be the player who his teammates have depended on.
“I think that is one of the biggest things for me is knowing that I am just out here trying to comeback to be just a football player, I am still trying to continue to capitalize what I was before and be even better than what I was before.”