HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Count Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor as a fan of Houston Texans star J.J. Watt.
“That J.J. Watt is a bad SOB,” Taylor said during an appearance at Fiterman Sports Memorabilia in Baybrook Mall.
“I think he’s one of these guys that only comes around once every 20-30 years. What I like about him is his motor. He just goes and goes and goes and goes.”
Taylor and Watt are in an exclusive club that has just two members.
Watt and Taylor are the only two players to be named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times.
“There’s only two, and I look at a guy like J.J., who’s a worker, I’m not really a worker. He’s going to get it a couple of more times. I would think so.
“Now the question is will he become the Most Valuable Player of the league. That’s one I have on him.”
For the moment that is an accurate statement.
“In front of me I see guys like Reggie White, Deacon Jones,” Taylor said. “Do I put J.J. Watt in front of me? No, but the guy is a phenomenal player. He can go down as one of the best players to ever play his position.
“Every time I watch film on him or I see a game he’s playing in, the first thing that comes to my mind is this guy can go all day. Plus, he has Romeo Crennel as his defensive coordinator. I played under Romeo, and I know what type of work ethic he has. He is actually under real good tutelage.”
Taylor said it is important for Watt to lead the Texans to a Super Bowl title, which would enhance J.J.’s already impressive resume.
“They wanted to call me the greatest defensive player of all time,” Taylor said.
“He can put up numbers and he can be one of the greatest players that ever played, but if he can take his team to a championship then he can get those honors.
“You got to be able to take your team to a title. The year I won the MVP we won the Super Bowl. You got to be able to take your team to a title.”
When asked what he believes the two players have in common Taylor quickly responded, “He doesn’t like to lose.”
Taylor acknowledged it is painful for him to see the kind of money teams like his former club, the N.Y. Giants, spend on free agents, and the kind of contracts superstar players get in this era of the NFL.
“I try not to look at it because it’s a lot,” Taylor said. “It is amazing how the game has changed. One of the reasons why I guess a lot of the guys that played in my era don’t watch football anymore is simply because it’s like ‘what we could have done and what we could have made,’ and it hurts a little bit.
“It hurts a little bit. If I would have been playing now, rather than when I was playing, it would be Taylor and Giants Stadium. They would have to give me part ownership.”
Perhaps one day we will be referring to the Texans home as Watt and NRG Stadium.