O'Brien on how to evaluate Clowney

March, 26, 2014
Mar 26
11:05
AM ET
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Back during the combine, I had mentioned hearing around NFL circles that there was very little concern about Jadeveon Clowney's perceived work ethic issues, given his talent.

On Tuesday, Texans head coach Bill O'Brien offered another perspective. Rather than accept the premise of Clowney's work ethic issues, O'Brien argued that they are a bit overblown.

"In college there’s like 85 to 90 plays per game," O'Brien said. "He plays all the time. I think if you looked at any player in college, especially at the defensive line spot, playing in a league where most of the teams are shotgun and throwing the ball and rushing the passer, I dare you to find me a guy that plays 90 snaps like his life’s on the line every game. But when the game’s on the line, Jadeveon plays hard. He’s an explosive player, he’s a productive player, he’s an instinctive player. So I think that’s kind of been blown out of proportion, but at the same time we’ve got to make sure we get to know him and then keep getting to know him when we get there."

While it's true that there's only so much a coach can do, getting the most out of a player is a coach's job. Motivation is as big a part of it as game strategy. I'd bet in Clowney a good coach only sees the positive way he can mold an exceptionally talented player.

As for workout numbers from the combine:

"I wouldn’t say that with a guy like Clowney -- I don’t think you base a large percentage of your decision on like what he benched," O'Brien said. "I think a large percentage is based on what type of guy he is."

The Texans will go to his pro day next week and get a better chance to determine who he is.

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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