Cardinals already raving about what J.J. Watt has done so far

(Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK) J.J. Watt
(Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK) J.J. Watt /

New Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman J.J. Watt is already getting praise from head coach Kliff Kingsbury after only a few OTA practices.

When J.J. Watt became a free agent earlier this year, not many people had him landing with the Arizona Cardinals.

Watt could’ve signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played with his brother, or he could’ve returned to his home state of Wisconsin and joined the Green Bay Packers.

But the three-time Defensive Player of the Year looked at Arizona and saw a young team on the rise that he wanted to be a part of. So he packed his bags for the desert and chose to sign with the Cardinals.

J.J. Watt already making a great impression with the Arizona Cardinals

After 10 seasons with the Houston Texans, Watt will be suiting up for a different team this year for the first time in his NFL career.

So far, it sounds like Arizona is pleased with what they’ve seen from the veteran defensive lineman. At least Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury made it sound like the team has enjoyed the addition of Watt when he recently talked about the talented pass rusher.

"“He’s locked in all the time. He’s a team guy. Incredible work ethic. Incredible leadership. It’s been a real joy to see him around the building.”"

Watt is obviously not the same player who won the multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards during the early part of his career. But the 32-year-old defensive lineman should still be able to help Arizona’s defense continue their progression under Vance Joseph next season.

It wouldn’t be surprising if a change of scenery ignites Watt and results in him putting up some numbers that remind people of how dominant he once was. The Cardinals certainly wouldn’t mind this outcome.

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At the very least, however, Watt adds a significant amount of leadership to a roster that is full of young playmakers like Kyler Murray and Budda Baker. He’s helped lead teams to the playoffs in the past, and Arizona is hoping he can do the same for them next season.