Watt: 'If you don't have a trophy, you're not a success'
J.J. Watt’s historic season came to a close in New England on Sunday night when the Texans lost to the Patriots.
And as he and his teammates arrived home to Houston at around 2:30 a.m., they were greeted by plenty of fans, who waited in the Southern Texas cold to greet their fallen team.
“We appreciate it, but I feel like I let those people down,” Watt said on Monday, as the Texans cleared out their lockers. “I feel like they deserve better. We gave it everything we had. We left it all on the field. But we came up short, and to me success in this league is a trophy. And we came back empty handed, so my entire goal is to bring that to this city and to show this city that we are a championship team and we’re going to bring them a championship.”
Watt’s 2012 is being called the greatest season by a defensive lineman in the history of the NFL by many, including defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who has been around the game for decades.
Watt led the league with 20.5 sacks. He had 16 passes defended and forced four fumbles on his way to being one of two unanimous selections to the All-Pro team. Barring an incredible upset, he’ll be named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
But on Monday, Watt said he can still get better. Really.
“I have so many things I can do to get better,” he said. “I’m still young. I’m still learning the defensive end position. And my pass rush can get better. My run stopping can get better. There’s a whole bunch of stuff I can do to get better. And you can trust that I’m going to put every single ounce of energy that I have into making all those things come true. This whole offseason, all my work, everything is going to be focused on making myself better so that I can help this team get to the next level.”
He can get better?
Watch out, NFL.
Watt is 23. He won’t turn 24 until late March and he just finished his second season as a professional football player. He said he isn't sure where he'll be spending most of his offseason but is sure that wherever he is, he'll be working out. Getting better.
“Just watch this way next year,” Watt said. “I’m 23 years old. I’m two years into the league. I’m still learning what I’m doing out there. I’m just trying to have some fun. I have a lot of time left in this league I hope and I have a lot of improvement to make. My second year is not going to be my best year in the NFL, I promise you that.”
Watt’s season was certainly a success. It’s one of the best seasons an NFL football player has even put together. But as a team, Watt said the season wasn’t. It was a disappointment for them, as it will be for 31 of the NFL’s 32 teams.
“We don’t have a trophy, so it’s not a success,” he said. “And in my mind in this league if you don’t have a trophy then you’re not a success. So we work hard this offseason, put every single thing we have into it, and we’re going to come back next season with that trophy on our mind.”