Not everyone can be great on just their first day in the NFL. Former Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals defensive end JJ Watt will be the first one to tell people that, which he also did through a video he posted on Thursday.
JJ Watt particularly talked about why it’s just normal for NFL rookies to struggle in their first OTAs — just like he did during his time in the league.
“‘Rookie has rough practice in his first week of OTAs.’ Yeah, that’s called being a rookie. It’s called first week of OTAs. 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.
JJ Watt also went on to explain why some young players get discouraged to experiment and be bold in discovering new ways to improve.
“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. 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.”
The future Hall of Famer then makes a plea for the media and fans to just have a longer leash on players.
“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 s**ting all over guys on their first week of practice in the National Football League. Just let them grow.”
The NFL is a demanding league, with little legroom for struggling players, but JJ Watt knows what he’s talking about. After all, he built his HOF-worthy resume not just on pure talent but hard work as well.