Jadeveon Clowney conveniently missed training camp and nearly every opportunity possible to prepare for the 2020 season with a new team, yet he thinks he'll still be ready for Week 1.
Clowney, the Tennessee Titans' latest and most famous addition of the 2020 offseason, spoke with reporters Thursday and was confident in his ability to help his new team win on the national stage.
"Monday night? Of course I'll be ready," Clowney said. "I got to be. That's what I signed up for. I'm just looking forward to getting back to playing."
While the rest of the league spent the latter portion of July and early part of August ramping up to playing football, Clowney remained on the market, vetting his suitors. He nearly joined the New Orleans Saints before ultimately signing with Tennessee, coached by a man with whom Clowney has some history.
That, Clowney said Thursday, is why he's now a Titan.
"I just was trying to figure out what scheme and what I wanted to be a part of," Clowney explained. "I knew that when I was with Vrabel in Houston, I was an All-Pro, second-team All-Pro and three Pro Bowls with him. So I was just saying in my head 'I think I can do that with him in that system,' and that system worked well."
Clowney will need such familiarity to hit the ground running -- getting up to speed on the defense and his role in it while also adjusting to playing football at its highest level -- all in about a week's time before taking the field for a legitimate game. He figures to provide a substantial punch to a defense that will be playing its first game without former veteran stalwart Jurrell Casey, who will instead be on the other sideline as part of his new team, the Denver Broncos.
Thankfully, for Clowney, he'll have his old coach guiding him through what figures to be a whirlwind of a week or two.
"I think Mike Vrabel is one of the smartest coaches I think I've ever had," Clowney said. "... He knows how to put guys into position to make plays. That's what he did in Houston and when I got here, he started moving me around already. He just puts me in positions to make plays."
We'll see Monday night just how fast those plays arrive for Clowney.