Frustrated J.J. Watt on Andre Johnson’s night: “I don’t cover him”


Last year, the Texans finished 9-7, creating expectations that they would take the next step in 2015. So far, they’ve wandered into quicksand.

Now at 1-4, high-priced and highly-talented defensive end J.J. Watt is getting frustrated. We know this because he said so after the loss to the Colts.

“Yeah, I’d say there’s frustration,” Watt told reporters.

Asked whether he was surprised by the performance of receiver Andre Johnson, the long-time face of the franchise who got the boot after last year ended, Watt’s frustration snuck through in a very tangible, fingerpointingish way.

“He’s a good football player,” Watt said. “He made some plays. I’m not sure, I don’t cover him. So I couldn’t tell you what happened.”

Here’s what apparently happened: The Texans didn’t anticipate that the Colts would feed the ball to Andre Johnson. Sure, there were problems in execution, like when cornerback Johnathan Joseph failed to tackle Johnson and a seven-yard out route became a 23-yard catch and run. But Johnson’s first touchdown showed how the Texans overlooked him.

With the Colts facing second and goal from the four and Johnson split to the left, two defenders locked onto T.Y. Hilton on the other side of the formation. The safety on Johnson’s side bit on play-action to Frank Gore, and Johnson ran past cornerback Kareem Jackson (who also seemed to be caught flat-footed by the fake handoff to Frank Gore) and had the easy touchdown catch.

On Indy’s opening drive of the second half, quarterback Matthew Hasselbeck dropped a 24-yard rainbow into Johnson’s hands, despite decent coverage from Jackson. So that wasn’t really anyone’s fault; it was a great throw and a very good catch.

Johnson’s second touchdown came on a perfectly-designed and implemented pick play, with Johnson behind Hilton and Hilton taking out both defenders, allowing Johnson to sneak behind him and make a sliding catch that took him across the goal line. The failure of either defender to get through the screen/pick/whatever suggests a failure in scouting, coaching, and/or execution — as evidenced by the way the Patriots dealt with a similar formation and strategy in the Super Bowl.

The bottom line is that the Texans underestimated Johnson’s remaining skills and the Colts’ willingness to get him the ball during his first game back in Houston. It was brilliant by the Colts to feature Johnson, and it was foolish by the Texans to not account for him. Regardless of his struggles over the first month of the season with a new team, Johnson’s best was going to shine through last night.

The Texans mistakenly believed his best wasn’t enough for them to worry about.

67 responses to “Frustrated J.J. Watt on Andre Johnson’s night: “I don’t cover him”

  1. You didn’t do a thing last night JJ! Don’t blame your secondary. Blame your fellow d-lineman…since you were double and triple teamed all night and no one else stepped up!

  2. It starts at the top & Bob McNair has, so far, proven to be a moron. O’Brien isn’t much better. I know a coach loves to have “his” guys at QB, but O’Brien came in and filled the #1 & #2 spots with “his” guys. The old “if you have two QBs” saying applies. He can’t figure out which one he likes and neither of them look close to being a franchise QB.

    Poor Watt. Laughable how bad they are.

  3. In certain situations when they run those pic plays I think the defender should take a dive and collapse to the ground in order to get the penalty.

    Somethings gotta give with these plays. They seem cheap and they are supposed to be illegal, but its rarely called.

  4. You got to hand it to the Colt’s coaching staff. Brilliant. Andre Johnson secret weapon.

    Houston, a forty-year old back-up QB dying of the flu carved up your secondary. Hasselbeck probably had to get an IV after the game.

  5. @johnnyjagfan

    Please tell me the better options O’Brien had out there. Let’s be fair there isn’t anything on the market better. The blame really here is for Rick Smith and his wasted 2nd-3rd round picks over the past 4-5 years. Oh and that he’d rather not take a chance on a QB in the draft.

  6. I have seen a lot of criticism of Bill O’ Brien’s quarterback selection of Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.

    I will adamantly agree that both quarterbacks are below average but what else could he work with?

    This is a quarterback driven league and it’s not surprising that those teams suffering are the ones with a void behind center.

  7. My issue with O’Brien isn’t that he hasn’t found a better qb, but the constant back and forth is bad coaching. They’ve only played five games, and Hoyer has been pulled twice and Mallet has been pulled twice. That’s garbage coaching.

  8. As a certain owner once said, JJ Watt is no Tom Brady.

    when 99 and 90 are being double and triple teamed and you can’t get any pressure from your DT, isn’t this an indication to send your LBs after the QB?

  9. Please tell me the better options O’Brien had out there. Let’s be fair there isn’t anything on the market better. The blame really here is for Rick Smith and his wasted 2nd-3rd round picks over the past 4-5 years. Oh and that he’d rather not take a chance on a QB in the draft.

    Carr was sitting there at the top of the second round last year. Houston was too scared to take him because of drafting his brother years earlier. Derek Carr is WAY better than either of the two they have now.

  10. Yes it is hard to cover anyone when your on your back like Watt was most of the game….JJ where are the sacks? Got his money and he lazy now…….another Albert Haynesworth

  11. I have seen a lot of criticism of Bill O’ Brien’s quarterback selection of Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett.

    I will adamantly agree that both quarterbacks are below average but what else could he work with?

    O’Brien SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED they obtain those guys.

    He’s in way, way over his head.

  12. I’m not sure who thought the Texans would be good this year but whoever they are should never speak about football again. When you QB is named Hoyer or Mallet, your RB is made of paper and you can’t name anyone other than Watt, no one thinks you’re going to take any leap forward.

  13. When the second quarter started and it was obvious that the Colts were going with a passing attack the lack of adjustments by the Houston was difficult to watch. A few all out blitz plays would have helped to keep Indy on the look out for someone, anyone. The Colts offensive line was having no trouble protecting Hasselbeck against Romeo Crennels schemes. The play of Matt Hasselbeck also revealed there may be something lacking in Lucks game.

  14. To-do list.

    1) 1-15.

    2) Fire everyone.

    3) Hire new people.

    4) Cut everyone not named Watt, Cushing, or Hopkins.

    5) Draft QB.

    6) Fix playing surface. New stuff is just as bad.

    7) Forget 2015-16 happened.

  15. jvw1982 says:
    Oct 9, 2015 11:00 AM

    Yes it is hard to cover anyone when your on your back like Watt was most of the game

    To say JJ Watt is another Haynesworthless shows you know nothing about football.. zilch..

    On a more relevant note, the Texans are in big trouble if they couldnt beat a Hasselbeck led team, but in fairness he played very well.

  16. Maybe if Watt focused on football instead of making commercials, he’d have had a better line that 2 assisted tackles. Put some pressure on the QB, and perhaps Johnson doesn’t have near the night he had.

  17. Do the math. If 4 players are blocking 2 DEs, that leaves 2 guys free, 3 when you add the QB. Where is the pressure and coverage and tackles?

    It was funny seeing Cushing rallying the troops before the game. He must have left the building after that. He is pathetic.

  18. Watt, 2 assists, no unassisted tackles, no sacks or other special plays.

    He just plain disappears in too many games, especially big ones.

  19. You can say what you want about all the “issues” with the Texans and how bad they are in different areas. The truth is they have now lost 3 of 4 games by 7 or less points and in each game one of their pathetic excuses for QB had a late turnover.

    Flip the page, insert a good QB and put them at 4-1 or 3-2 and no one is talking about the defensive issues.

    It is 100% about TERRIBLE QB play.

  20. Selfish and arrogant. I saw it when he spent all his time trying to pad stats and play different positions to garner more MVP votes. He was basically 1 man, MVP campaigning bozo that could care less about his team. He’s either talking about himself or talking ish to back-up qb’s across the league.

  21. they need to fire their defensive coordinator. no excuse that defense is looking that bad. they should be forcing turnovers, making 3rd down stops, and giving that weak offense better field position.

  22. He could have gotten in Hasselback’s face a few times.

    Shows just how “Valuable” JJ Watt is.

  23. That was an entertaining game of I dont know what you would call – not NFL caliber football on either side. Hail Mary with 5 Colts standing with their backs to the ball while the only Texan catches it. No pressures by the best football player in the game today ( according to him and a few others). Penalties all over the place – including many needless ones extending drives or cutting drives short. This seems to be a very week division- just like the NFC south was last year – 7-9 team could well be the winner with all 4 coaches deserving of being fired at the end of it all.

  24. JJ is a waste of good money. If he’s the best, I hate to see the performance of the worst. Last night he did nothing,,…nada. Seemed to be “there” but not really “there” at all. The double teaming is a poor excuse for his total lack of making some change to the line to be a little bit more effective.

  25. Until last night, I was nervous about Marcus Mariota’s upcoming games against the Texans. The whole idea of J.J. Watt vs. the rookie was just scary. Then I saw the blue print for removing Watt from relevancy: quick throws after the snap and manipulating Watt’s path to the backfield (through blocking schemes, the direction of play action, etc.). In fact, I saw a few times they didn’t even double team Watt.

    And the quick throws after the snap? So far, that’s Mariota’s sweet spot.

  26. What JJ.. according to the talking heads you are are the bestest defensive player to ever play, and in the final analysis you are just a pass rusher. disappear in the run game unless you happen to run into the back on the way to the Quarterback.. occasionally pick up a fumble someone else caused…. you played every snap last night where were you? oh yeah that old saw about being double teamed…. we are lucky the Texans didn’t lose 100-2 Phyllis Simms said if you and Clowney didn’t make the play it didn’t get made.. credited with to assts… way to go

  27. As a Texans season ticket holder I can say our expectations were not that high this year, our QB situation is terrible! That being said our D was supposed to be tops in the league, we have so much talent on D and have no idea how to use it. Romeo is TERRIBLE!!!!! He needs to be fired! He runs a D like it’s 1990, and the NFL has changed since he was a good D Coord. Plus R Smith is a terrible too! He is the reason we have no QB!

  28. hey, hey now. give him a break. when you can put 2-3 linemen on him and ignore the rest of the line, what do you expect?
    hopkins is pretty good, but they still could use is another receiver, like, saaayyyy, andre johnson?

  29. Where is the MVP talk? If he was an MVP candidate he should be able to make enough of a difference in a team to make them a winner.

    If Rodger’s goes down the Packers are 8-8 at best, with him they usually end up 12-4. That’s a very measurable difference.

    Texans fan, would you trade Watt for Rodgers even up? What impact do you think it would make on your team. Watt for MVP? C’mon man.

  30. I always thought this guy is overrated. It was joke for him to be even considered as an MVP last year. He is not difference maker; Darryl Revis, Reggie White and Charles Woodson are all impactful players, where they made a difference once added to a contending team. I think Texans has the most expensive defense in the NFL for 1 win. Watt is a “look at me” guy; wagging his finger every time he makes a tackle. Isn’t that his job anyway; to play defense? He was stymied last night! NO IMPACT whatsoever….

  31. FOR TWO STRAIGHT WEEKS NOW, The colts have been given the GAME thanks to officials,,,You barely touch there QB your hit with 15 yards, or touch there WR`s to…But they do it far worse–NOTHING….NFL NEEDS TO REVIEW THE FILMS OF THE LOAST TWO WEEKS….The COLTS OWNER MUST BE SUPPLYING THE NFL BIG BOY WITH PILLS AND DRUGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. “I don’t cover him”? That’s what I’d expect from some random average player, not the supposed best defensive player in the game.

    If all Watt is responsible for, in his mind, is one small patch of grass on the whole field, what is his value, really? It sure isn’t translating to W-L.

  33. Bill O’Brien is in way waaaay over his head. If he is still the HC by mid season it will be a miracle. This guy could not coach a jr college team properly.

  34. They need to take a chance on a Qb with their first round pick. If you are going to have below average Qb. Play, it might as well a rookie contract with upside, instead of two veteran contracts whose ceilings are known. Hoyer is the best backup in the league though, which is an honest compliment. He comes off the bench gunning and can move the ball well, hes just not a 16 game QB.

  35. When your best player is pointing fingers and your coach visibly berating his players then you are done.

    You should look for a QB in next year’s draft and a HC to build with him. Your season is done.

  36. JJ Watt might not ever destroy his cell phone, but Brady would never throw a teammate under the bus.

    I’ve always liked JJ Watt, and I would have thought that these type of comments were beneath him. This sounds like something a young Peyton Manning would have said.

    Disappointing is the word.

  37. Maybe if the front seven, which is lead by YOU JJ, was able to get some more (read: ANY) pressure on Hasslebeck, the assignment to cover Johnson would have been easier and you could have talked about a nice win in the division instead of what is and isn’t your job.

    That’s what the #1 player in the NFL is supposed to do: elevate his game, thus giving the fringe players around him less responsibility, and by extension, making those players around him better BECAUSE they can focus on their one assignment (like Bill B. attempts to do with all his low tier signings – i.e., get them to do THEIR job). Instead, here Watt’s complaining that those fringe players didn’t DO THAT FOR HIM. He’s got everything backwards.

    Now, the man is a great player and, as a Patriots fan, if he was headlining my defense I’d be ecstatic; however, this is NOT how I want the leader of my team to behave. I don’t want him to make excuses, but further than that, I don’t want him excusing HIMSELF from responsibility by throwing his TEAMMATES under the bus.

    That’s how resentment towards the star player starts festering in the locker room…

  38. JJ Watt sounds like he’s just tuning into the *team-related* concerns the Texans have.

    They’re 1-3, but this is the first time I’ve heard him talk about wins / losses instead of the triple-teaming he’s receiving or something else having to do with himself’s own greatness.

  39. hogue34 says:
    Oct 9, 2015 10:43 AM
    Haha….the NFL Golden Boy is making excuses!

    Even funnier is this could have been a comment in other story about Luck

  40. They’re 1-3, but this is the first time I’ve heard him talk about wins / losses instead of the triple-teaming he’s receiving or something else having to do with himself’s own greatness.


    Aren’t they 1-4?

  41. It’s pretty hilarious seeing all these Watt haters coming out of the woodwork that were nowhere to be found last season, just waiting for an opportunity to present itself. Despite getting thrown the kitchen sink at him by every team and receiving no help from anyone else up front, he’s still the most productive DL in the league. He’s the only player that brings it every game. Romeo Crennel is doing him and the rest of the defense no favors at all.

  42. Let’s clear something up here. Watt was not voted MVP by himself or anyone else. He WAS voted best player in NFL 2015 by the PLAYERS, long after his contract was extended.

    From the 7/9/15 article in PFT:
    “Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt was voted the best player in the NFL on the Top 100 list, which is voted upon by NFL players.”

    Being voted best by your peers is as good as it gets. Posters on a blog site (like us) not liking it really doesn’t matter.

  43. You just got beat by a 40 year old quarterback…
    For the money, you may as well bring in Vince Young… He is better than what we got at quarterback right now… BUT… You are afraid of the “I Told You So”…

  44. I understand not drafting some of the QBs the past few years when the Texans were in need of one (Bortles was too raw for the #1 pick, Manziel was a definite no that high, they probably were planning on getting Bridgewater at the top of round 2 before Minnesota traded up for him, and no one after Winston or Mariota was worthy of a 1st round pick last year) but there’s no excuse for next year’s draft. Find one you like, Rick Smith, or someone else will find one and take your job.

  45. JJ Watt has a good career ahead of him on TV. I suspect he’ll retire early and get right into what he does best. Talk. Talk. Talk. In fact, it seems like he spent most of the offseason talking and not working out. Now his finger is getting a good workout while he points it at his teammates. Wow, what a great leader.

  46. Didn’t O’Brien trade Fitzpatrick to the JETS? Fitz had a 95 QB rating last year and 17 TD and 8 interceptions before he got hurt. Seems he did not hold onto the right QB.

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