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


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.

42 responses to “Jadeveon Clowney shows off coverage skills, hitting ability in NFL debut

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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!

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

    After that it’s pretty bad….

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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