After rushing back from a herniated disc a year ago, which cost him 13 games and led to back surgery, Watt knows he must upgrade his animalistic cabin training routine to ensure he is in peak condition come September.
"Part of you wants to hold on to what you did in the past and be like, 'This is what I did to get here. I want to continue doing that," Watt said, via the Houston Chronicle. "But as you get through it and you grow and you learn, you really -- I mean, I had a lot of time so I dove into the research behind everything and understanding how you can do certain things without putting yourself at risk.
"So I've grown as a person. I've learned a lot. I've really talked with so many people and we've kind of created a program and a plan where I can get the results I want without necessarily putting myself at risk in those situations. It's been good."
If Texans fans are ever going to realize their pipe dream of Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus on the field at the same time healthy, Watt will need to stick to his new convictions. With nearly all of the NFL's truly great players, there is a moment in their careers when everything from diet to training to on-field style adjust with age and competition level. This could be Watt's renaissance moment.
Because their quarterback situation is still in flux, the Texans will again be leaning on a defense that beat up on the Patriots in last year's divisional game. The Texans might also have the most talented defensive coaching staff in football returning in full this year. Should Watt deliver on his ambitions, the other teams in the AFC South will have another year of max protect offenses to work through.