J.J. Watt chuckled a little bit as he started to answer a question about his position coach.
They are two people with fiery personalities who can clash in the heat of game day. They did on Thanksgiving two years ago in Detroit and cameras caught the exchange. At the time Watt and Bill Kollar both insisted attention paid to their heated exchange was overblown. It is true, though, that Kollar's style can grate young players.
His style, though, is something Watt has learned to appreciate.
"As a rookie coming in it took me a little while to figure Bill out and for him to figure me out," Watt said. "But then what I figured out was you work your tail off every single day and give him everything you have, you’re going to have a good relationship. I think that’s why our relationship has been so good over the last couple years."
Kollar is the only position coach holdover from Gary Kubiak's staff. Texans coach Bill O'Brien also retained special teams coordinator Bob Ligashesky. Kollar has coached NFL defensive lines with Buffalo, St. Louis and Atlanta. He's coached college defensive lines at Purdue and Illinois. He was a first-round draft pick in 1974. And one time he wrestled a bear.
"He’s so experienced, he’s so knowledgeable and if you give him everything you have, he’s going to give you everything he has and he’s going to turn you into a great player," Watt said. "I’m very fortunate to have a coach like him."
He's also fortunate to no longer be a rookie experiencing the fiery baptismal provided by Kollar.
"It’s nice not to be a rookie, that’s for sure, but it’s fun to kind of watch it happen, it’s fun to look back and remember what it was like for you to be a rookie under him," Watt said. "The thing about Bill is no matter what kind of player you are, no matter how talented or not talented you may be, he’s going to get every ounce of effort out of you. That’s a great thing. I respect him a lot."