Tyrann Mathieu praises Deshaun Watson, too

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New Texans safety Tryann Mathieu is happy that he doesn’t have to face Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. Mathieu also is happy that he’ll be teaming up with a quarterback who went toe-to-toe with Wilson last season: Deshaun Watson.

“I’ve always been a fan of him, ever since he’s been at Clemson,” Mathieu said of Watson in an interview that aired Thursday on PFT Live. “We’ve always been in communication. Just feeding off each other’s energy. He’s a special talent. Like I said, just being in the division with Russell Wilson and seeing the kind of player that he truly was. I think Deshaun Watson can definitely be that kind of player. He definitely has that potential. I know he’s a hard worker, and I know he has that swagger. Those are some of the things that you just can’t coach. I think that’s what makes players special. I think he just has that ‘it’ factor. I think he showed it as a rookie. Obviously, coming off the injury I know he’s going to have that chip on his shoulder to prove his point again. I’m excited to see it. I’m excited to be his teammate.”

Mathieu is excited to be the teammate of plenty of Texans, which he said is the main reason he picked Houston. 

“I looked at their roster and they were kind of like me,” Mathieu said. “Full of potential. I looked at them and thought, ‘These guys are hungry.’ Like Jadeveon Clowney. Obviously, J.J. [Watt] coming off his injuries. Had a few setbacks. The team losing Deshaun last year. I thought this team would be hungry. I wanted to go to a team that was starving. A team that had great potential. But I wanted to go to a team that I could be comfortable with. And guys that I knew. Obviously me and J.J., we built a great relationship over the last couple years. That helps.

“Obviously, I wanted to play for great coaches as well. I had some great coaches in Arizona. I think [Texans defensive coordinator] Romeo Crennel — I think he will get me back to what I’m capable of being. I had a few rough patches the last couple seasons, no doubt about it. I think that I finished last season on a higher note. I think he can get me back to that level that I know I can play at.”

If that happens — and if Mathieu and all key Texans players stay healthy — the Texans may get to a level they’ve never been to.