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Jadeveon Clowney shows off coverage skills, hitting ability in NFL debut

Jadeveon Clowney AP

The Texans were coy about it during the week, but they wound up going ahead and starting 2014′s first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney against the Cardinals on Saturday night.

Clowney’s first taste of NFL action gave us our first look at him as a linebacker dropping into pass coverage. It was a mixed bag for Clowney, who wrapped up Andre Ellington after a short completion before getting beaten by tight end John Carlson for a touchdown that wound up being called back because of an Arizona penalty. All in all, his work in coverage was about what you’d expect from a player performing a role for the first time.

Clowney’s other work was about what you’d expect as well. He blew up a running play on the Cardinals’ second drive and dropped Stepfan Taylor for a five-yard loss. He looked good against the run in general and provided good pressure on Drew Stanton that didn’t quite get home before Stanton delivered a touchdown pass to Jaron Brown. We also saw what it looks like when Clowney and J.J. Watt line up on the same side when that formation led to a sack for Watt against a single blocker.

There were some big issues with the Texans defense on Saturday night as both Stanton and Carson Palmer led easy touchdown drives in the first quarter. And there were some big issues with the offense, which went three and out and got intercepted on their first two possessions. So it’s all the better for them that there don’t appear to be any with Clowney.

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42 Responses to “Jadeveon Clowney shows off coverage skills, hitting ability in NFL debut”
  1. mrbigass says: Aug 9, 2014 9:20 PM

    Yea!

  2. brandonj21 says: Aug 9, 2014 9:20 PM

    He raw right now.. he will be just fine..

  3. willnit says: Aug 9, 2014 9:23 PM

    Clowney coming, boi!

  4. sopadegato says: Aug 9, 2014 9:26 PM

    How is Jadeveon Clowney like a GTO? Run him a little bit, and he’s quickly out of gas.

  5. The Bronx Bombers says: Aug 9, 2014 9:27 PM

    bust…

  6. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Aug 9, 2014 9:30 PM

    Looks fat and lazy out there. And cut that goldielocks hair of his, geeze.

  7. Hard On For Harden says: Aug 9, 2014 9:33 PM

    We look terrible, but luckily we’ve got the right man to rebuild the roster in Rick Smith (insert sarcasm)!

  8. Heretopissuoff says: Aug 9, 2014 9:35 PM

    Lol he gave up a touchdown got lucky it got called back for some flag on the other side of the field
    Khalil Mack> Clowney and Barr

  9. wwwmattcom says: Aug 9, 2014 9:36 PM

    Follow Mario to Buffalo!

  10. realestwhiteboy says: Aug 9, 2014 9:37 PM

    So, Cards TD, Texans 3 and out, Card TD, Texans INT? Thank God I’m a Titans fan … gonna be a fun 2 weeks right there.

  11. 941bucs says: Aug 9, 2014 9:39 PM

    Brandin cooks will win rookie of the year….and im a bucs fan

  12. toro81 says: Aug 9, 2014 9:41 PM

    Rick who? Oh yeah…sigh

  13. motleytrap says: Aug 9, 2014 10:08 PM

    That’s all well and good, but Houston, you need a QB.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, Plan A?

    Really?

  14. realfootballfan says: Aug 9, 2014 10:15 PM

    The Cardinals looked very good while they were working the Texans over. Clowny seemed to need to get his feet wet, but he made a few plays. Whether that will ultimately justify this team passing on a QB, we’ll see.

  15. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 9, 2014 10:22 PM

    I think it is a waste to ask a great pass rusher like Clowney to cover receivers. I would have him after the QB every pass play. Shame he was drafted by the Texans.

  16. dodohead418 says: Aug 9, 2014 10:24 PM

    All that can be said is WOW!

  17. largent80100 says: Aug 9, 2014 10:29 PM

    It’s preseason but I liked that play where he blew the tight end off.

    Fitztragic was downright awful, definitely one of the few preseason performances that will translate to regular season play.

  18. mkuske says: Aug 9, 2014 10:37 PM

    Coverage “skills”? Pretty loose usage of the term. Carlson smoked him on the TD.

  19. taintedsaints2009 says: Aug 9, 2014 10:40 PM

    Should have a pretty good year with JJ watt on the other side. That’s pretty miserable for tackles

  20. jimr10 says: Aug 9, 2014 10:51 PM

    Houston maintains it’s place as the worst team in the NFL

  21. 1910nuffsaid says: Aug 9, 2014 10:57 PM

    Wow could the Texans honestly look this bad. What a disaster.

  22. sportsfan18 says: Aug 9, 2014 11:02 PM

    He’s got J.J. to follow and learn from…

    As long as the Clown isn’t a fool, he should be more than good.

    He’s been blessed athletically.

    Now it’s up to what’s in his mind.

    How hard he works, studies and WANTS to be the best.

    The Clown has a chance, a very good chance if he doesn’t let fame, money etc… get to him.

    J.J. is great for him as he’s young and very accomplished and works very hard so he’s a great example of what is necessary for him to do.

    Due to having J.J., there should be no excuses for the Clown as he’s got someone the defense has to account for on every snap in J.J.

    The Clown is in a great spot overall.

    If the Clown plays up to his ability, it isn’t fair for a team to be able to bring the Clown and J.J. at the same time…

  23. rolltide510 says: Aug 9, 2014 11:06 PM

    Dumb to have him covering guys. Really kinda dumb to have him standing up at all regardless of the system in fact.

  24. realfootballfan says: Aug 9, 2014 11:20 PM

    It’s always strange when coaches get players and try to make them do things that they have enver done before or are uncomfortable doing. Kind of stupid coaching method if you ask me.

  25. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Aug 9, 2014 11:22 PM

    Thank god Romeo Crennel was available in the off season for D-Cord…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  26. wallabear says: Aug 9, 2014 11:33 PM

    It’s official! The Houston Texans are the only NFL team not to score in Week 1 of PreSeason. While passing up on drafting Johnny Manziel to nab Clowney may have seemed cool, Clowney will likely make his first Pro Bowl — but with an 0-16 Houston Texans team lol Timmy Tebow is available, the “Pride of Houston” Vince Young is available, but Bill O’Brien, one would suppose, is just content to be the next Head Coach to be fired after just one season. The Jacksonville Jaguars must be relieved to know that they will no longer be The Laughing Stock. Ryan Fitzpatrick… two (2) INTs? Ugh.

  27. cubano76 says: Aug 9, 2014 11:38 PM

    All these haters. I wish he was on my team.

  28. bworacle says: Aug 9, 2014 11:44 PM

    And the Texans still have no QB. At least we can pick at #1 next year and take another defensive player.

  29. damcmp says: Aug 10, 2014 12:26 AM

    You mean lack of coverage skills…he was beaten badly on that TD that was called back… Real bad!

  30. texansdan says: Aug 10, 2014 12:34 AM

    Only got to watch the first half, but he definitely looked better when he put his hand down and rushed the passer than when standing up and dropping into coverage. Hopefully he will get the hang of it and become a dual-threat.

    My goodness, what a terrible game. Only team to be shut out this week. Hopefully it will be a motivating factor. We’ll see in a week.

  31. htowntexan says: Aug 10, 2014 12:39 AM

    And with the first pick in the draft . . .

  32. truths4all says: Aug 10, 2014 1:23 AM

    Did the Texans really look that bad or even worse from last year’s 2-14 team or did the Cards really look that good and even better from last year’s 10-6 team?

  33. MostlyRight says: Aug 10, 2014 2:36 AM

    The story of this game was the Cardinals, not Clowney. Every single Cards player looked good, even Logan Thomas. The depth at WR is crazy. Who they gonna cut?

    32-0 and the headline is about Clowney? C’mon, man!

  34. jimmysee says: Aug 10, 2014 3:59 AM

    Looking good!

  35. xmnojox says: Aug 10, 2014 6:56 AM

    Clowney OK, but 1st pick overall, really? by team without QB…, L.O.L. but they are on way to draft 1st again…

  36. mrbigass says: Aug 10, 2014 8:14 AM

    I think a healthy front seven is going to be the only part of this team worth watching.

    After that it’s pretty bad….

  37. bassplucker says: Aug 10, 2014 8:45 AM

    The Texans appear to be perfectly capable of having the #1 pick again next April. Wretched.

  38. jimmy53 says: Aug 10, 2014 8:46 AM

    If they keep him in the box he will be a success–if they keep trying to force him to drop back in coverage he will get embarrassed.

    square pegs-round holes, and all that…

  39. 11inthebox says: Aug 10, 2014 9:49 AM

    I don’t play fantasy football or Madden, so I’m no expert, but I do know two things: 1) it’s the preseason—a time for experimenting with personnel, and 2) a long time ago, the Giants asked Lawrence Taylor to develop some pass rushing skills. He wound up creating a new position—rush linebacker.

    Not saying that will definitely happen with Clowney, but when you have a super talented guy, you try different things.

    Okay, you experts can get back to your fantasy football, video games, and hatred.

  40. thatsrightmike says: Aug 10, 2014 11:01 AM

    Just to set the right tone for that play – he beat a guy who had never play in a football game before. The former basketball player Darren Fells looked more like he was setting a moving screen. Evaluate Clowney vs real linemen – the draft position and investment expects it.

  41. fishfan39 says: Aug 10, 2014 12:16 PM

    The Texans should be using a 4 – 3 defense. They need to use the system that best utilizes their personnel.

  42. thefiesty1 says: Aug 10, 2014 12:20 PM

    Not so much since they lost 32-0. Skills must have been invisible.

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