- Tania Ganguli, ESPN Houston Texans reporter
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HOUSTON -- Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel knows a thing or two about what it takes for a defensive player to win the league's MVP. Crennel was an assistant coach with the New York Giants in 1986 when Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor won the award. Taylor was the most recent defensive player to be named MVP. At that time, he was the first since 1971.
Crennel has another strong candidate this year in Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
So what does he think it would take for another defensive player to win?
"Had to be really, really, really, really good," Crennel said. "It’s hard for a defensive player because the game is an offensive game and the quarterback carries a lot of weight. If you have an outstanding running back, he carries weight. Sometimes an outstanding receiver carries weight. It’s hard for a defensive player that doesn’t touch the ball as much.
"It’s hard for him to be an MVP, but to this point, J.J. has touched the ball and scored touchdowns, so some of those people who like offensive guys might consider him.”
While the touchdown catches might pique the interest of those who wouldn't otherwise consider a defensive player, Crennel believes Watt's real argument for MVP lies in what he's done defensively.
Said Crennel: “I think the thing that helps him the most is sacking the quarterback and playing good defense, which he does.”
Crennel, who was a Giants assistant when Lawrence Taylor won in 1986, has a strong candidate this year in Texans DE J.J. Watt.