The Sack 7: Coming for your QB…J.J. Watt

Posted by Uptown Murf On April – 27 – 2013
j.j. watt


One of the most talent rich positions, if not THE most talent rich position in football is the pass rusher. Rather it be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment, a defensive end in a 4-3 or a defensive tackle in any scheme, we have some of the best young talent in the history of football playing right now. I will break down the the guys who I feel will be at the top of the game five years from now. I call it, the “Sack 7″….

#3: J.J. Watt

I’m a big proponent of getting pressure from the interior of your defense. Almost as much as getting pressure from the edges. My thinking being; I’ve seen QB’s avoid edge rushers by simply stepping back up into the pocket when pressured. Often when I see QB’s get pressure up the middle, they escape to one side, which cuts off half the field. Very few teams have the type of presence in the interior to really cause a difference. One team that can lay claim to that would be the Houston Texans, with their sack savant, J.J. Watt. As a matter of fact there’s not another team remotely getting this type of production from one singular player on the interior.

J.J. Watt, who started his career off at Central Michigan University as a tight end, before transferring after one season to the University of Wisconsin to harass quarterbacks, has continued that trend in the NFL.

After registering 5.5 sacks as a rookie in 2011, Watt collected 20.5 sacks in 2012 – in one of the most dominant years ever by a lineman regardless of position. In addition to his extraordinary sack totals, he also had 23 passes defensed, (One less than Richard Sherman) with 81 total tackles. There’s an argument to Watt being the best player in the entire NFL!

I honestly can’t see a weakness in Watt’s attack. He’s possibly the most powerful interior lineman, as well as the quickest. He’s rarely off balance, and does a phenomenal job of using his hands to maintain leverage. He’s the complete package as a pass rusher, as well as a player.

Normally 5 techniques, (defensive end in a 3-4 alignment) don’t accumulate the type of QB pressure seen by J.J. Watt.  But not all coaches are created equal.

Wade Phillips, the former coach of the Buffalo Bills, is the defensive coordinator for Watt’s Houston Texans. Before the 2012 season, Phillips made headlines be proclaiming Watt to be on a direct path to the Hall of Fame. Phillips once coached arguably the greatest 5 technique lineman of all time in former Buffalo Bill, Bruce Smith – so his opinion needs to be met with a sense of keenness.

Smith is the NFL’s all time leader in career sacks with 200; Smith was used much like Watt is in Wade Phillips’ defense.

Watt can be seen as a defensive tackle in nickel situations when the Texans employ 4 down lineman. He also plays the defensive end in those nickel situations as well. He has played a stand up rush linebacker, as well as a blitzing middle linebacker. All while measuring in at 6’5, 295 lbs!

This guy is a complete athletic freak! Let’s take a look at the illustrations to drive home this point.

JJ Watt in a "Dime" sub-package playing the 3 technique.

JJ Watt in a “Dime” sub-package playing the 3 technique.

Watt is lined up at the 3 technique here, which is the defensive tackle in a 4-3 alignment.

JJ Watt sack 2

Right away Watt blows by the right guard who isn’t even using a technique at this point. He might as well just yell “Help!’…

JJ Watt sack 3

300 lb men shouldn’t be this agile or quick! The QB, Peyton Manning, barely has enough time to perform his drop back before Watt is in his vicinity,

JJ Watt sack 4

Ouch! Manning is sacked before any of the other lineman have a chance to react.

JJ Watt is the most dominant interior force in football today. In 2012, in only his second year, he amassed 20.5 sacks, and was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year. We may be watching the greatest interior lineman ever in the early stages of his career!

The combination of superior coaching and inconceivable talent, equals the paramount force that is JJ Watt! Watch out QB’s…

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Archives

  • Follow nflfuture on Twitter