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Winning will make J.J. Watt feel better, Romeo Crennel says

Houston Chronicle logo Houston Chronicle 10/26/2020 Aaron Wilson
a baseball player holding a bat on a field © Brett Coomer/Staff Photographer

The growing anger and frustration of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is obvious in his terse words and his body language.

During a loss Sunday to Green Bay, the team the Wisconsin native grew up rooting for, Watt declined to celebrate with teammates as he walked back to the huddle after he recorded a tackle for a loss with the team trailing on the scoreboard. Afterward, Watt delivered terse, curt answers about the situation and acknowledged his emotions about the Texans' 1-6 start.

On Monday, Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel said he's open to talking with Watt about what's concerning him, but underscored only one thing will make the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year happier: victories.

"I think if he sees that and sees we are trying to improve and get better, I think that will make him feel a little better," Crennel said Monday morning. "But he will not feel better until we start winning. If we don't win, he's not going to feel better."

Watt has had a respectable season with three sacks, five tackles for losses, one forced fumble and six quarterback hits, but this is one of the worst defenses in the league overall. They are 29th in total defense, 31st against the run.

"We can sit down and we can have conversations," Crennel said. "We can talk about what's happening and what he perceives to be the issues and see if we can get those straightened out.

"A lot of it will have to do with the guys who play on either side of him because J.J. is a pretty consistent player himself. What we have to do is get those other guys to be as consistent as he is. If we can get that done, then I think we'll improve."

Watt is in an edgy mood, though. Ugly losses have taken a major toll on him as his patience and emotions have grown thin. Watt cares a lot, so the state of the team bothers him.

“Frustrated, I'm angry,” Watt said.  “I mean, it sucks. I don't know what else I'm supposed to feel. We’re 1-6. You are what your record says you are.”

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