J.J. Watt has established himself as one of the NFL’s elite players and a transcendent talent, and New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick didn’t withhold praise from the Houston Texans superstar.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Belichick put Watt in the same category as an NFL Hall of Famer and later joked the defensive end should sit on Sunday when the Texans host the Patriots.
“Watt’s a major force, there are very few players I would put in same conversation with Lawrence Taylor, I would put J.J. in there. He’s a dynamic player. He can ruin a game. He’s a special player. He was the defensive MVP last year. He’s already earned that award this year even if he didn’t play the last four games. This might be a good game for him to rest.”
Belichick spent 12 seasons with the New York Giants from 1979-1990, coaching linebackers and eventually receiving a promotion to defensive coordinator. Taylor’s NFL career almost perfectly matches Belichick’s tenure.
Taylor collected 10 straight Pro Bowl nods and All-Pro awards, winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times as well as being named league MVP in 1986.
The 26-year-old Watt has received three Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors, two NFL DPOYs and was the MVP runner-up last year. Watt has already notched 70.5 career sacks, which is a pace good enough to eclipse Taylor’s 132.5.
Belichick certainly hopes Watt won’t use that game-ruining ability against an injury-riddled offensive line on Sunday night to hand New England its third consecutive loss.
However, it won’t be easy for Belichick’s team to stop someone like Taylor who has the talent to earn a bust in Canton.