J.J. Watt has a huge supporter in Rodney Harrison.
This season’s NFL Most Valuable Player vote figures to be a tight one, with Watt being among a handful of worthy candidates. The Houston Texans defensive end has history working against him — a defensive player hasn’t won the NFL MVP award since Lawrence Taylor in 1986 — but Harrison can’t look past Watt’s dominance.
?You look at (Green Bay Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers, he hasn?t just flat-out lit it up the last three weeks,” Harrison said Tuesday on WEEI’s “Middays with MFB.” “He?s been hobbled, he?s been in and out of games, he hasn?t looked great. (The Packers) managed to win against a few teams, but J.J. Watt has absolutely been outstanding. I don?t remember a defensive performance like this since maybe Lawrence Taylor won the MVP years ago in the ’80s.
“The league needs to do the right thing, they need to vote this guy the MVP because he really deserves it. You can?t tell me that Aaron Rodgers had a better year than J.J. Watt.?
Watt was stellar this season, recording 20.5 sacks, 10 passes defended, five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, an interception and a defensive touchdown. He also caught three touchdown passes, which is even more impressive when one considers Houston’s inconsistent quarterback play.
Opponents of Watt’s MVP candidacy will point to the Texans’ 9-7 record and absence from the playoffs as evidence that someone else deserves the award. However, Harrison wonders what the award really means if the league’s best player isn’t recognized simply because of his team’s failures or because he doesn’t play a premium position, like quarterback.
?I would say based on the history, no,? Harrison said of whether he believes Watt ultimately will win the award. ?But the NFL has not come out and really defined what is the MVP. Is it the MVP of the league — are you talking the most valuable player, like does your team have to have success? — or are you talking just the best player in the league?
“He?s proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is the best player on the football planet. He?s had the best year. He?s been the most consistent.”
Perhaps Harrison, one of the most feared defensive players of his generation, is a bit bias in his assessment. But Watt’s MVP candidacy is compelling, nevertheless.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images