Clowney gives impressions of Texans, O’Brien

Clowney gives impressions of Texans, O’Brien
April 2, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Jadeveon Clowney took the field at South Carolina on Wednesday for his pro day and continued his push to be the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft.

The Houston Texans, of course, own that No. 1 pick and they met with Clowney for dinner on Tuesday night.

“I think dinner went pretty good. We ate… ” Clowney said chuckling to reporters, “and had a little conversation about families and everything. But they asked me the same questions everybody's been asking me, about my work ethic. I still told them the same thing. I told them I think I work just as hard as anybody. You put me in a group, area with guys and I'm gonna try to outwork them. Keep on pushing, onto the draft.”

The big knock on Clowney has been about his work ethic. But he continues to claim there’s no problem with his work ethic and Texans head coach Bill O’Brien has said he doesn’t see any problem with it either. On Wednesday, the prospect said he’s tired of answering the questions about it but knows it’s something he knows he has to do.

Clowney certainly didn’t seem to do anything to hurt his chances of being the first-overall pick on May 8. At pro day, he showed good fluidity, balance and range of motion. He also showed his ability to drop back in coverage. Clowney, if taken by the Texans, would probably get a chance to play some linebacker in addition to defensive line.

O’Brien, along with defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and general manager Rick Smith were in attendance at Tuesday’s pro day.

“He's a great guy,” Clowney said of O’Brien. “He wants you to work. He's all about working and being that guy. He wants you to be a great player for him coming there. He's already talking about his locker room; they've got a good group of guys up there. He said he doesn't want a bad vibe in the locker room and I'm like 'I'm not that guy.' I like to have fun and smile and crack jokes a lot but when it's time to play, I'm on top of that too.”

"You just watch him go through the drills," O'Brien said. "We were able to spend some time with him last night. He's a good guy. He's a fun guy to talk to. He's a team guy. It's just been good to be out here today and last night and just another chance to get to know him better."

The Texans are very clearly interested in Clowney but other teams obviously are too. Clowney said he’ll soon have individual workouts set up with the Rams (second pick) and the Falcons (sixth pick). He will also visit Houston within the next month, Smith said to reporters.

On Wednesday, during at least one drill, new Texans defensive coordinator Crennel took the reins and put Clowney through it. Clowney likened Crennel to former South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing, who is now with the Florida Gators.

“He was here my freshman and sophomore year at Carolina,” Clowney said of Lawing. “Pushed me just like that and I always asked him, like 'man, why you always push me like that?' He said, 'I want you to be great. I want you to be one of the best.' And I feel like these guys here want you to be great and be one of the best too so they push you that way.”

Clowney said he has talked to his former Gamecock teammate and current Texan D.J. Swearinger about the Texans. And Clowney is excited about the possibility of playing on the same defensive line as All Pro J.J. Watt. He thinks he’d be a great compliment to Watt and can learn a bunch from him.

Clowney was asked if he gets the feeling from the Texans that he’ll be the first pick. Clowney said he wasn’t sure but it was his plan to let the team know what kind of person they’d be getting on the field and in the locker room. “I really just want to show them what type of guy I am,” Clowney said. “That's all.”

Clowney said becoming the first-overall pick has been something he’s wanted since heading to South Carolina three years ago. In fact, before he joined the Gamecocks, he told the South Carolina coaches at the time that his plan was to go to college for three years before becoming the No. 1 pick.

He’s just over a month away from finding out if his name will be the first called. But he certainly thinks he deserves to be the first pick.  

“Yes. Whatchu think?” Clowney said. “I don't know any guy who would sit up here and say no, they don't feel like it. If you ask a guy that and they say no, I don't know what they're doing out here. Yes, I do feel like I should be the first pick.”