Texans J.J. Watt Has High Praise for Andrew Luck
The Houston Texans J.J. Watt may have a heated divisional competition with the Indianapolis Colts for supremacy in the AFC South, but that didn’t stop him from praising his rivals’ superstar quarterback in Andrew Luck during the NFL’s Top 100 final release:
"“He’s an all-around player,” said J.J. Watt regarding Luck. “He’s a great player, and he’s going to be a great player for a long, long time.”“Part of what makes him great is that he has the ability to stand tall in the pocket, take hits, and throw the ball,” added Watt. “But then he also has the speed and agility to get outside the pocket and run on his own if he has to. You have to have a lot of respect for that, and that’s why I have so much respect for Andrew.”“When you see someone who’s on the top of their game, and somebody who works so hard to be great,” concluded Watt. “You have to have a lot of respect for that.”"
Dec 14, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is sacked by Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
That’s high praise indeed. While Luck came in as the #7th best player on the NFL’s Top 100, a ranking that is based on the votes of active NFL players (i.e. his peers), Watt came in at #1 as the top player in the NFL. He’s not only the most dominant defensive player in the NFL, but he’s also arguably the best.
These two players are among the truly elite in the NFL, and even though they square off against one another twice every regular season, there’s definitely mutual respect between the two parties. This past October, Luck had only positive things to say about the Texans’ reigning Defensive Player of the Year:
"“He’s a freak,” Andrew Luck said about Watt in October of this past year’s regular season. “He’s big, he’s fast, he makes plays. Obviously, he made one heck of an interception return for touchdown. He does a lot of things very, very well. At the same time, I think we have a bunch of good players up front that are up for the challenge and ready to go against him but we do have the utmost respect for how he plays football. He does it the right way. It’s always fun to go against him because it’s a great challenge for guys.”"
While the Colts vs. Texans divisional rivalry games have been largely one-sided in recent seasons, as the Colts have won the last 5 regular season matchups dating back to 2012, the chess matches between Luck and Watt is still something to behold on the field. Both are among the top players in the NFL, and each one has a lot of respect for the other and their respective ability.
Regarding the defensive freak of nature that is Watt, Colts All-Pro punter Pat McAfee probably summed it up best:
"“That dude is just a monster,” said McAfee regarding Watt. “He’s a manimal. I don’t understand. Like they say all men are created equal, well I disagree. Because J.J. Watt and I were not created the same.”"
Oct 9, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) scrambles against Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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