Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt hasn’t looked back since leaving the Houston Texans over the offseason, and it’s not hard to understand why. The 6-0 Cardinals are the last undefeated team in the NFL this season, while the 1-5 Texans are… well, you do the math.
With the Cardinals and Texans facing off in Arizona on Sunday, Watt was obviously asked a lot of questions about his former team during his Thursday media conference. One in particular was very revealing: Watt was asked if he left the Texans because he anticipated how bad they’d be this season. He answered with a stone face and just a few words.
Former #Texans DL @JJWatt asked by @sarahbarshop re: his decision to leave "… did you get a sense that there would be this much turnover & this is what the Texans season would look like?"— Adam Wexler (@AdamJWexler) October 21, 2021
Is that one of the reasons you decided to go somewhere else?
You didn’t have to be a psychic to see where the Texans were headed after the 2020 season. Quarterback Deshaun Watson’s great season was wasted due to a front office that wouldn’t surround him with the right players. Watson demanded a trade, and then was accused of sexual assault and harassment by more than 20 women. Multiple articles were published about the state of the Texans front office, which was (and still is) being run by a former team chaplain.
Watt, who at 32 only has a handful of years left in the NFL, knew the Texans couldn’t get him the Super Bowl ring he wanted, so he left for greener pastures. Much, much greener pastures.
While meetings between teams and former players can be emotional, Watt isn’t anticipating having any feelings on Sunday when the Texans take the field.
#Cardinals @JJWatt on a Zoom call w/ Houston media notes while he is playing against his former team, most of the #Texans roster has been completely turned over & there aren't that many former teammates still there. pic.twitter.com/o0iEMLE00z— Adam Wexler (@AdamJWexler) October 21, 2021
It’s hard to have fond emotions when the team you knew has been systematically dismantled and replaced with an unrecognizable losing machine.