Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Patriots preparing everyone to block J.J. Watt


In a league that features weekly man-to-man battles between elite pass rushers and high-paid offensive tackles, J.J. Watt is a little different.

Not because he draws a double-team, but because he draws a team-team. Watt lines up all over Wade Phillips' defensive front depending on the situation.

"... we’re going to have to have more than one guy ready to handle him and block him," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said, via Patriots.com. "It won’t just fall to the guard or to the tackle. It could be anybody at times, based on the way they play him."

Watt has sacked quarterbacks 15.5 times this season. He's also forced one fumble and has defensed an incredible 15 passes.

"We have to do a great job of trying to simulate his effort, his motor and some of the things he does to disrupt people in the running game and the passing game and have to make sure we’re very mindful of taking care of the football and not letting him get his hands on balls," McDaniels said, "because he's certainly created a lot of disruptive opportunities for them defensively by tipping the ball and batting the ball up in the air."

Watt is Pro Football Focus' highest-rated defensive end by a large margin among both 3-4 and 4-3 defenders. New England's high-powered offense will certainly be up to the task, and the dynamic between Tom Brady's directing of the offense and Watt's work on defense will be fun to watch.

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