Watt determined to prove fitness on Texans return



We will definitely get a gauge for what this New England Patriots team is capable of after week 1.

The future Hall of Fame quarterback was asked to reflect on the ACL tear he suffered 10 years ago to the day ("that was a particularly tough one"), for his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick's Nike ad (he didn't have any), and for his son's fantasy football lineup. He didn't walk away from the podium inside Gillette Stadium, though. An early victory against New England would show the league that this Texans team not only can compete for a playoff spot, but it can be among the best in the AFC. I trust my preparation that I've put in, trust the rehab and the things I did over the summer to get back to this point and just go out there and cut it loose.

Among the reasons for optimism for the Texans following the 4-12 debacle in 2017 is the return of three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Watt and rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who each suffered season-ending injuries a year ago. They came as close as ever just past year, when it took a miracle game-winning drive in the final minute and one of the best games of Tom Brady's career (378 yards, five touchdowns) to seal their latest victory over Houston. So, I'm just looking forward to going out there and playing football, letting it loose, having fun and letting the chips fall where they may. I'm learning to deal with it better.

Yet here is the rub as the Texans prepare to face the Patriots in their opening game of the 2018 season: Between injuries and new additions, all of Houston's defensive talent has not played much, so it could take time for the unit to come together and play to its full potential.

"One story I think really sums it up for Tom is when we playing at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, we were in the same group", he said on Ian Rapoport's recent "Rap Sheet + Friends" podcast.

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"But to worry about a lot of (expletive) of what people may say or think or feel - I really don't care anymore". I'm really excited for where we're at, where we're going, what we have to do.

Brady said that he has confidence in his wide receiver corps, one that many have labeled suspect and one that's been weakened by Julian Edelman's four-game suspension at the season's outset, his punishment for violating the National Football League policy on performance-enhancing substances. The Boston Herald says Brady left little doubt in terms of his intentions. I just don't give a (expletive) anymore that much about anything.

"I'm going with the Packers to win rather handily against the Bears at Lambeau Field, 34-17". Over the summer, McGinest predicted that Brady would retire if New England were to win Super Bowl LIII.

Sunday will be the first game back for defensive end J.J.

This will be Watson's second trip to New England after he and the Texans came up just short in a 36-33 loss there past year. The Texans begin the season with a healthy trio of Watt, Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney. But, yeah, when I think of Tom, I think of situations like that. "We know the significance of it, so we've just got to be prepared and ready to go on Sunday".

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