J.J. Watt on Houston Texans future: ‘I’m not looking to rebuild’

Houston Texans’ three-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt has said “I’m not looking to rebuild” when asked about his future with the team following their disappointing 1-6 start to the season.

The Texans fired their head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien after losing their first four games of the season and look to be a team starting over, currently being led by interim coach Romeo Crennel.

Asked on Wednesday if Watt believes he will finish his career in Houston, the 31-year-old said: “I don’t think it’s any secret that I don’t have 10 years left in this league.

“I personally believe that I do have a few more great ones left in me. I’m not looking to rebuild. I’m looking to go after a championship, and that’s what I want to do.

“So, whatever is in the best interest of the Houston Texans, that’s in the best interest of myself.”

Since being drafted by the Texans with the No 11 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Watt and the team have made it to the playoffs on six occasions but have never made it beyond the divisional round.

Watt was named league defensive player of the year in 2012, 2014 and 2015, but he has struggled with a spate of injuries since, starting all 16 games of a season in 2018.

The veteran defensive lineman has one season left on his contract extension, worth $17.5m. With none of that money guaranteed, Watt and the Texans could potentially agree to a clean break in the offseason.

“Early in your career, you think life goes on forever,” Watt added. “Obviously, we win our first-ever division, our first-ever playoff game in my first year.

“In the second year, we go 12-4, and you think that life’s going to be great and you’re just going to keep getting better and better. And then you go 2-14 and the reality of the business side of the NFL, and the reality of all the things that come along with it, hit you in the face. You realise that, oh, this isn’t all roses all the time.

“And then you look at the last seven years or so: yes, we won some division championships and that’s great, but that’s not the goal. That’s not the goal.

“Your goal can’t be to make the playoffs. Your goal can’t be to win one or two playoff games. If your goal is not to win the Super Bowl, and your goal is not to do everything in your power to make that happen, and make your organization in the best possible situation for that, then that’s not going to happen.

“So that is my goal. That’s why the work goes in. That’s why I fought back from all these injuries, because that’s the goal and that’s what I’m still working towards.”

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