Jadeveon Clowney transformed his reputation during a career season last year, going from an injury-prone former top overall pick into a Pro Bowl defensive end.
Clowney displayed eye-catching skill and athleticism as a run stopper and a pass rusher, emerging as arguably the Texans’ most disruptive defensive player with J.J. Watt sidelined after undergoing a pair of back surgeries.
The compliment made a major impression on Clowney as he heads into his fourth NFL season.
“It meant a lot to me,” Clowney said Tuesday during a Carnival community event at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston. “He sees the work I’ve put in from two years of being injured to the next year to the year after. All the guys around my team tell me to keep improving and keep getting better and come back for another great season this year.
“I’m not surprised. He sees my potential. He sees what I can do. I’ve been talking to him since he came in the building. He sees me working. He coached me. I would say hats off to my coach and i’m going to get ready to go for him.”
Clowney was named to his first Pro Bowl and is now ranked 49th on the NFL Network list of top 100 players.
“I told him he can be a Hall of Famer,” Weaver said. “Now, there’s a number of things that have to happen. You’ve got to stay healthy, you have to be consistent and persistent. But he has all the qualities and athletic attributes in order to do that.”
The Texans signaled their confidence in Clowney when they exercised a $13.846 million fifth-year club option for the 2018 season. He was named an All-Pro last season, recording 52 tackles, six sacks, 16 tackles for losses and 17 quarterback hits. He forced one fumble.
“Obviously, he has the talent and the skills,” Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph said. “His game speaks for itself. I just try to help him any way I can.”