2014 first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney made his NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 9, a 32-0 preseason loss.
2014 first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney made his NFL debut against the Arizona Cardinals on Aug. 9.
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Clowney saw action in just one quarter during the preseason game, finishing with one tackle, per HoustonTexans.com's Deepi Sidhu:
"Jadeveon Clowney's NFL debut was short but sweet against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday night. Once the nerves were out of the way, Clowney was able to enjoy his first game as a Texan.
"'It was just like backyard football,' Clowney said, laughing. 'It was (all right). I got loose and got out there and saw the lights. Back in college, my first game, I was a little nervous and everything, and my first NFL game, I was still a little nervous, but once you get that first contact, it's like,'(All right), the nerves are gone' and you just play football.'
"Head coach Bill O'Brien's initial reaction was also positive to the No. 1 overall pick's performance.
"'I probably have to watch the tape but I thought he went in there and it looked like he knew his assignment, trying to put some pressure on the quarterback,' O'Brien said after the game.
"Clowney and the defensive starters played just one quarter in the preseason opener. Clowney finished with one tackle, a hit in the backfield on running back Stepfan Taylor, for a loss of five yards.
"'I'm just really trying to do the job,' Clowney said of the play. 'Set the edge, I saw the opening and I made the play.'
"On the Cardinals' opening drive, Clowney had another tackle on running back Andre Ellington but the play was negated by a penalty."
NFL.com's Kevin Patra weighed in on Clowney's first NFL game in his Aug. 9 article:
"In his first preseason action, Jadeveon Clowney reminded us that his pass rush can be devastating when he's moving forward.
"The No. 1 overall pick displayed the strength and athleticism during the Houston Texans' 32-0 preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals that had scouts drooling during the draft process.
"Playing outside linebacker for the first time in his career, it was evident that Clowney was very comfortable rushing the passer. During his brief playing time in the first quarter ,he was consistently in the backfield. On one play when the Cardinals foollishly tried to block him with a tight end, Clowney drilled Cardinals running back Stepfan Taylor for a 5-yard loss.
"The Cardinals' combo of Carson Palmer and backup quarterback Drew Stanton torched the Texans' first-team defense. However, the Clowney-J.J. Watt combo was Houston's one bright spot. The first time Watt lined up next to Clowney on the right side, Watt ended up with a sack. Clowney wans't far behind on the play. Teams trying to man-block the duo are going to find that plan faulty.
"The rookie also performed well against the run, diagnosing plays and driving ferociously to the ball.
"One fault we can pin on Clowney's pass rush is that he exclusively used a bull rush. Like many young pass rushers, he'll need to diversify his repertoire.
"Dropping in coverage was more of an adventure for the former college defensive end. As NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah put it, Clowney still looks like 'a fish out of water' when dropping back. He got burned badly by tight end John Carlson for a touchdown -- the play ended up being nullified by a penalty.
"At this stage of his process, some struggles in coverage are to be expected.
"After one brief preseason appearance, Clowney is who we thought he was: a devastating rusher who still needs to learn the outside linebacker position."
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