HOUSTON -- The play that began J.J. Watt's superstardom is one that Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden knows well.
He was the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati Bengals in 2011, Watt's rookie season. That was the day that Watt changed the game. He picked off Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton just before halftime and returned the interception for a touchdown.
So what does Gruden remember about it?
"Yeah, I don’t want to talk about that," Gruden said.
This is Gruden's first year as a head coach, and he took a winding and unconventional road to this opportunity. So in order to understand his playcalling and tendencies better, the Texans have examined film from his days as the Bengals' coordinator, and even his days coaching in the United Football League and Arena Football League.
"We watch all of the places that Coach Gruden has called plays," Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien said.
Gruden also relied on film from New England, where O'Brien called plays before he became Penn State's head coach, and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel's previous stops.
"You watch so much tape you don’t even know what the hell you’re looking at any more," Gruden said. "I thought I was playing Kansas City for about three weeks I watched so much Kansas City tape. Then I realized they didn’t have J.J. Watt, and I was like ‘Oh, crap.’”
On one part of the Texans' defense, though, Gruden needs no reminder (and doesn't want them either).
"Not only rushing the passer, but playing the run, batting the balls down and you could tell that he is what a defense is supposed to be like," Gruden said. "He is a great leader and plays hard on every single snap and is the most disruptive defensive lineman in the business."