Jadeveon Clowney earns first Pro Bowl trip

December 21, 2016

Jadeveon Clowney’s breakout season as a defensive end with the Texans has been rewarded with his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

Clowney, the first overall pick in the 2014 draft who overcame microfracture surgery on his knee during his rookie year, was the only Texans player to make the Pro Bowl in voting by players, coaches and fans.

Offensive tackle Duane Brown, receiver DeAndre Hopkins, outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus and running back Lamar Miller are alternates who have a chance to make the roster when injured players withdraw from the game that’ll be played Jan. 29 in Orlando.

Clowney, who has missed one game this season because of an injury, has been outstanding for Romeo Crennel’s defense that ranks first in the NFL entering Saturday’s game against Cincinnati at NRG Stadium.

This season, Crennel moved Clowney to right defensive end from outside linebacker - a move Clowney didn’t like but accepted and has resulted in him becoming a dominant player in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme.

“I’m excited to be selected to my first Pro Bowl,” Clowney said in a statement. “I want to thank coach (Bill) O’Brien, coach Crennel, (linebackers) coach (Mike) Vrabel and (defensive line) coach (Anthony) Weaver for believing in me and pushing me to get to his point.

“It’s an honor to be recognized with the best players from around the NFL. I’m going to continue to work to help my team win games.”

The Texans, 8-6 and tied with Tennessee for first place in the AFC South, have excelled on defense, and Clowney has been a big reason for their success.

When defensive end J.J. Watt was lost for the season after the third game, there was additional pressure on Clowney to step up, and he became a force in their front seven.

Clowney has career bests in sacks (five), tackles (49), tackles for loss (15) and quarterback hits (16). He’s fourth in the NFL in tackles for loss.