Jadeveon Clowney may have been drafted No. 1 overall, but it doesn’t mean he’s entitled to a prominent role.
Or even meaningful snaps.
Following Texans OTAs on Tuesday, defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel said the former Gamecocks star will have to earn his way onto the field.
“He’s going to earn his spot, in my eyes. … If he learns, then chances are that he’ll get playing time,” Crennel said, via the Houston Chronicle. “If he doesn’t learn, then he probably won’t get as much playing time. And now then that’s where [Whitney] Mercilus, he’s going to be there and he’s going to play. Or if it’s Brooks [Reed], Brooks is going to play.”
Clowney is transitioning from defensive end to outside linebacker to fit Houston’s 3-4 alignment. It’s a tough assignment for any rookie, being forced to stand up and play in space. The move is further magnified because of his draft status and the high expectations some have set for him.
Crennel is taking the right approach — publicly, at least — ensuring Clowney won’t get complacent or take his spot for granted. That being said, however, they didn’t burn the top pick and $22.3 million for a bench-warmer.
Barring an unforeseen circumstance, Clowney will start alongside Brian Cushing, Brooks Reed, and Whitney Mercilus in the Texans’ revamped linebacker corps.
(Photo credit: Associated Press)