The Houston Texans won just two games last season, but their defense’s front seven may pose as formidable a challenge as Washington will face all year — with linebacker Jadeveon Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 draft, added to a unit that’s anchored by two-time Pro Bowl defensive end J.J. Watt.
It will fall on every member of Washington’s offense to nullify the Texans’ attack. That means not only a stout performance by the offensive line, but also blocking help from tight ends, a steady dose of running by Alfred Morris and a quicker release by quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was sacked four times in his 10 offensive series during the preseason.
Washington tight end Logan Paulsen welcomes the challenge.
“It’s exciting, to go against the best,” said the 6-foot-5, 261-pound Paulsen. “You want to see where you’re at, and this is an opportunity to do that. It is a little scary, but it’s also an exciting opportunity for this team to show that we’re here.”
Watt, a 2011 first-round draft pick who recently signed a $100 million contract extension that made him the highest paid defensive player in NFL history, has started all 48 games in his career, recording 36.5 sacks, forcing eight fumbles and recovering six.
“He is a special guy,” Paulsen said of Watt, expressing a sentiment that was echoed by nearly every offensive lineman in Washington’s locker room. “He can do a lot of stuff for them and is very athletic for how big he is, which is something a lot of people overlook — his athleticism.”
The 6-1, 266-pound Clowney has played just two preseason games, so the Redskins have little footage to go on, apart from his heroics at South Carolina. But that’s impressive enough to get any football player’s attention.
“Everyone knows he’s a freak athlete,” Paulsen said. “Those guys can pose problems for you if you’re not careful. But those guys are good players, but we’ve got good players on this team, too.”
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