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Catching up with JJ Watt at OTAs

Watt speaks with the media for the first time since the end of last season.
Credit: AP
Arizona Cardinals defensive end JJ Watt warms up during NFL football practice, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX — A lot has changed for No. 99 and in the best way possible. At the start of June, the Cardinals defensive end announced he and his wife Kealia Watt are expecting their first child together this coming October.

"I'm excited that during my career I'll hopefully have a photo with my child on the field,” Watt said. “I am really excited. As for a name we're working on it. Much harder than I thought it would be, but we're working on it."

While some notable players have rarely made an appearance at OTAs (Kyler Murray), JJ Watt said he personally values the importance of offseason work no matter the month.

"I don't think you can get better at football without playing football,” Watt said. “Taking advantage of every opportunity, every rep and the camaraderie and getting the guys together I think for me personally is very big."

Keep in mind that OTAs are specifically listed as voluntary workouts which is exactly what Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury expressed in defense of his quarterback not being on the field.

“We’ve had great communication all along,” Kingsbury said. “It’s voluntary, guys train different ways and we knew that coming into the week.”

Each athlete has a different way of approaching the game in the offseason, but when it comes to Watt, he chooses to focus on the present moment rather than the team’s late-season collapse in 2021.

"All I can do and all we can do as a team is go out there today and do our best at practice and meetings and improve and get better,” Watt said. “If you start to try and tackle massive things in a big bite, you choke."

Up next for the Cardinals, they will head to mandatory minicamp with Training Camp following afterward.

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