J.J. Watt is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, so to call him the best defensive player in football – and one of the best defensive players in NFL history – is not hyperbole. It’s fact. It’s beyond dispute. It’s a done deal.
But to call him the greatest football player ever? That’s a little more debatable.
Ted Johnson, however, doesn’t think so.
“This guy is the best football player I’ve ever seen,” the former Patriots linebacker and current Houston-area radio host said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “He has unbelievable athletic ability – God-given athletic ability – with an unmatched work ethic. If you combine those two, you see what you’ve seen with him.”
That’s high praise, especially coming from Johnson, who spent his entire career in New England and won three Super Bowl titles with Tom Brady.
Is Watt truly better than Brady all time?
“Well, here’s the thing,” the 44-year-old Johnson said. “Tom Brady’s main superhero skill, if you will, is his brain and how he reads defenses. The fact that he can know where to go with the football before the snap happens gives him a huge advantage and (is) what makes him so great. J.J. Watt has to think his way throughout a game, too. Not only is he a physically dominant, athletic super-freak, he also uses his brain because he lines up on the left, he lines up on the right, he lines up inside, he lines up outside – so you have to think your way through a game.”
That’s true, but Watt as GOAT is quite a claim, no?
“I know that’s saying a lot because I played five years with the greatest quarterback of all time,” Johnson acknowledged. “But I think top to bottom, I’d say as far as just total package, J.J. Watt is the best player I’ve ever seen.”
Johnson’s take will likely earn him points in Houston. But New England? Not quite.
“I know I’m going to get crucified in Boston,” Johnson said, “but it’s the way I feel.