No. 1 pick Clowney joins Houston Texans for first practice
HOUSTON — No special treatment for Jadeveon Clowney.
On his first day of practice as a Houston Texan, the No. 1 overall draft pick’s locker was among several temporary ones plopped down in the middle of the locker room. Just like those for the rest of the rookies.
That was OK with him though. He just wants to be one of the guys.
“Just really trying ... to be a part of the team and learn, learn from these other guys around me,” he said.
The defensive end, who will play linebacker in Houston’s 3-4 scheme, is most concerned with studying the playbook. The former South Carolina standout mentioned it seven times in a six-minute interview Friday.
“I’m here to learn the playbook and get the ball rolling with the Houston Texans and show what I’ve got on the field,” he said.
The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Clowney is expected to pair with 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt to boost Houston’s already stout pass rush. Clowney piled up 47 tackles for losses and 24 sacks in a three-year career at South Carolina. He doesn’t think the transition to linebacker in Houston will be that difficult.
“I don’t see any big differences,” he said. “I’ll go where they tell me.”
He didn’t seem concerned with the attention and scrutiny he’ll be subjected to as the first overall pick. The 21-year-old Clowney said he’s only worried about gaining the respect of his teammates and showing the Texans what he can do on the field.
New coach Bill O’Brien refused to talk specifically about how Clowney looked in his first workout, rather addressing how all the young players fared.
“I think all these guys being rookies, they all came in here and it’s an eye-opener,” he said. “Just like anybody, it’s not just one guy. It’s a different level of competition. All these guys have come in, they’ve been on time, they’ve worked hard. So they just need to take it one day at a time and continue to work hard.”
The 34 players went through a workout that lasted about 90 minutes in shorts and helmets.
Clowney believes being humble and ready to listen to advice will be the key to success in the NFL.
“We don’t know what we think we know, basically,” he said. “We’re here to learn. We haven’t been here before.”
Also practicing for the first time as a Texan was quarterback Tom Savage, a fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh. He’ll get a lot of work during this minicamp as the only quarterback in the group.
“It’s definitely a jump from college, but I think it’s going to be fun,” he said. “I’m excited. I’ve already ... started trying to get as much as I can and soak up as much knowledge as I can from this whole deal so that when I go into OTAs, then I’m ready to go.”
O’Brien, who worked with Tom Brady as an assistant with the New England Patriots, did speak about how Savage performed in the workout.
“Quarterback is not an easy position to play in any system, for any team,” O’Brien said. “I thought for the first day, Tom came out, he tried to grasp what we were telling him. He’s got a lot of corrections to make. He seems to be working hard and processing through it.”