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JJ Watt blasts media for ‘sh—ing on’ rookies in OTAs: ‘Let guys develop’



J.J. Watt will go down as one of the best pass rushers of all time, but even he had his fair share of rough experiences on the gridiron.

In his prime, Watt was a menace. In his second, fourth and fifth years in the NFL, he was the Defensive Player of the Year. However, he played in just eight games in 2016 and 2017 combined, eight in 2019 and seven in 2021.

Now that Watt is retired, he’s been scoping out the likes of NFL OTAs, which recently opened up. However, he has beef with all the pressure media and fans are putting on rookies who struggle in their first taste of professional football.

Watt posted a video of himself on Twitter and Instagram ranting about overreactions based on one bad practice in the very beginning of one’s career.

Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt is shown before a game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sept. 25, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin/File)


“‘Rookie has rough practice in his first week of OTAs.’ Yeah, that’s called being a rookie. It’s called first week of OTAs,” Watt said. “I had rough practices every single year in my 12 years. I’ve had rough games. I’ve had multiple rough games. S–t’s hard. It’s the National Football League.”

“This is part of the reason why it’s tough for guys to develop. Because we’re judging everybody on every single individual rep every single day,” he continued. “We’re posting videos online of practice reps and guys working on their craft and guys trying to do new things. It’s one of the reasons that guys are scared to try a new pass-rush move in one-on-ones in practice, which is when you should be working on your pass-rush moves, because they’re scared that somebody’s going to film it and put it online, and because they got blocked, now they look like an idiot. Let guys develop. Let guys grow.”

“I understand, this is a business. We’re paid millions of dollars, and you expect greatness right out of the gate out of every single guy, and you’re going to say, ‘Suck it up and deal with it.’ But let’s let guys develop. Let’s let guys get some practices under their belt. Let’s let guys get into the league. Let’s let them grow as a player. Let’s let them get some NFL coaching. We don’t need to be sh—ing all over guys on their first week of practice in the National Football League. Just let them grow.”

J.J. Watt of the Arizona Cardinals looks on against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 17, 2021, in Cleveland. (Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)


It’s unclear if Watt was calling out anyone in particular, but one of the more popular reports going around in recent days has been that of Will Levis. Levis reportedly struggled at Tennessee Titans practice but shook it off.

“I know I have more opportunities tomorrow and the next day, so I’m not going to beat myself up,” Levis said. “High standards is the name of the game. It’s not to beat yourself up. It’s to motivate you to go out there and perform to the best of your ability.”

Levis was drafted by Tennessee in the second round after a surprising decline in the NFL Draft – he was favored at one point to be the second overall pick.

Will Levis poses with football

Will Levis of the Tennessee Titans (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

Watt, of course, was judged immediately upon being drafted 11th overall by the Houston Texans – plenty of the fan base hated the pick originally until he developed quite nicely and shut everyone up for good.

Source: Fox News

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