Pat Sullivan/Associated Press
Everything was going well until...
Don't press the panic button just yet. The team says Jadeveon Clowney will be back by training camp, so if all he misses are a couple days of OTAs and minicamp he'll be fine.
When on the field Clowney has played well, but defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel isn't ready to just hand him the starting job yet, according to Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle.
He’s going to earn his spot, in my eyes. … If he learns, then chances are that he’ll get playing time. If he doesn’t learn, then he probably won’t get as much playing time. And now then that’s where Mercilus, he’s going to be there and he’s going to play. Or if its Brooks, Brooks is going to play.
Some people questioned how Clowney, who was a 4-3 defensive end in college, would fit in the Texans' 3-4 scheme. In what's become a common refrain, the Texans plan to take advantage of Clowney's freak combination of size and athleticism by playing him at multiple positions during OTAs and training camp.
That doesn't necessarily mean he'll play every spot during the season, but they want to give it a look and see how much he can handle.
One thing that has been fun to watch is how Clowney has worked and interacted with his position coach, Mike Vrabel. The former New England Patriots linebacker under Romeo Crennel seems to know what buttons to push, and their relationship will be one to continue to watch. I think he'll get the most out of Clowney's immense talent.
From Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com, Vrabel answered questions about working with Clowney.
I think his attitude, much like all of our guys, their attitude has been great. They've come in, they've tried to be vocal in the meeting rooms, not always right, but at least they have the confidence to try to make the calls, make the adjustments and make the corrections while we're in there. He's somebody that we're excited about because he has the natural ability, but he also has the attitude to want to learn. He doesn't think he has it all figured out.
...But meeting with him before the draft, I enjoyed my conversations with him. He was conscientious, he wanted to learn, he wanted to study. He knows a little bit about the history of the game, the great players who played. So our conversations went very smoothly through the draft, at the combine. We brought him here on a visit, him and I got to go to dinner, so that was an easy conversation. It was a kid that you would want to coach.
Despite his nearly limitless potential, Clowney carried red flags with him in the eyes of some coming into the draft process.
From Patrick D. Starr of State of the Texans, despite the concerns about his desire and love for the game, Bill O'Brien says Clowney has been working hard.
He’s really worked hard. That position has worked extremely hard just like all the positions. I think he’s a guy that’s come in here and really put in extra time so far. He needs to keep doing it. He’s put in extra time in the training room to work on his flexibility. He’s put in extra time on the practice field.
Despite the swirling wind of concerns surrounding the first overall pick, other than a minor setback with the sports hernia, everything has gone very well.