The Pro Football Hall of Fame received the complete uniform from the second-year defensive end J.J. Watt. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press after a breakout year in 2012 as he helped lead the Texans to a 12-4 record and AFC South Division title.
Watt’s helmet, jersey, pants, gloves, and shoes which he wore during home games in the last month of the season, including the team’s playoff victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, were sent to the Canton. The mementos arrived at the Hall of Fame on Monday afternoon and will be placed on exhibit in the Pro Football Today Gallery.
The team’s number one pick in 2011, Watt had a memorable season in 2012 as he racked up 20.5 sacks and 16 passes defensed. In doing so, he became the first player in league history to record at least 15 sacks and 15 passes defensed in the same season. His 16 passes defensed in ’12 are the most ever by a defensive lineman. He also chipped in with a team-leading 107 tackles, 39 tackles for losses, and 42 quarterback hits while also forcing four fumbles and recovering two fumbles.
This marked the 17th time that a defensive lineman has won the Defensive Player of the Year Award since the Associated Press began presenting it in 1971. Hall of Fame defensive linemen who’ve been named the league’s top defensive players by the AP include: Warren Sapp (1999), Reggie White (1998, 1987), Bruce Smith (1996, 1990), Cortez Kennedy (1992), Lee Roy Selmon (1979), Joe Greene (1974, 1972), and Alan Page (1971).
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