HOUSTON – Houston Texans rookie linebacker Jadeveon Clowney remains somewhat limited in practice while recovering from minor offseason sports hernia surgery, but has seen a significant increase in playing time in recent days. Pro Bowl tackle Duane Brown, who is often the one tasked with going head-to-head against the No. 1 overall draft pick during drills, has nothing but good reviews of what he has seen so far in training camp from Clowney.
"He’s a special talent," Brown said. "He is one of those guys that is really hungry and really wants to work hard. We got some good work in today; we are battling and I’m trying to make him as best as I can and he’s making me work too to get me better, so it’s a great competition over there."
Clowney understands the importance of learning from one of the best offensive linemen in the league, taking the opportunity every day to question Brown on how to get better.
"I’m learning a lot. He’s helped put me on moves to do on against certain guys. You just have to watch offensive linemen and know where to attack them at," Clowney said. "I ask him every day, ‘how was my pass rush today?’ and he says to just keep working, you’re pretty good, you’re just getting better. Just keep doing what you’re doing."
From what Brown has seen so far, along with the rookie linebacker’s physical presence on the field, it seems the lineman is buying in to Clowney being a success in the NFL. Brown is still trying to be a mentor to the rookie, but also admits Clowney’s natural abilities are helping him improve his game as well.
"You don’t find guys that are that size that can move the way he does, and that are that instinctive as him as young as he is," Brown said. "It’s the reason he got as much attention as he did coming out of college, you know, I’m still making him learn, because there’s a lot I’ve learned over my years that I can teach him. But just as far as a physical standpoint being as fast and as strong as he is, he’s making me work out there as well."
Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel hopes to get Clowney in on more practice time to develop the physical attributes to results on the field.
"Well you can tell that he has talent but he hasn’t been out here that much," Crennel said. "He’s recovering from that little minor surgery he had, so we’re still working with him through that but he’s beginning to be in on more plays and do more things and I think that as soon as we can get him out there more, he will improve more."
Overall, Clowney believes he is getting stronger and closer to being 100 percent on the field as the Texans first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals on August 9 creeps closer.
"I’m getting back healthy, hopefully. Just taking it one day at a time and coming out here to work.," Clowney said. "I’m just trying to come out here do everything they are asking me and just go hard every rep."