HOUSTON — No special treatment for Jadeveon Clowney.
On his first day of practice as a Houston Texan, the No. 1 draft pick’s locker was among several temporary ones plopped down in the middle of the locker room. Just like those for the rest of the rookies.
That was OK with him, though. He just wants to be one of the guys.
“Just really trying … to be a part of the team and learn, learn from these other guys around me,” he said.
The defensive end, who will play linebacker in Houston’s 3-4 scheme, is most concerned with studying the playbook. The former South Carolina standout mentioned it seven times in a six-minute interview Friday.
“I’m here to learn the playbook and get the ball rolling with the Houston Texans and show what I’ve got on the field,” he said.
The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Clowney is expected to pair with 2012 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt to boost Houston’s stout pass rush. Clowney piled up 47 tackles for losses and 24 sacks in a three-year career at South Carolina. He doesn’t think the transition to linebacker in Houston will be difficult.
“I don’t see any big differences,” he said. “I’ll go where they tell me.”
He didn’t seem concerned with the attention and scrutiny he’ll be subjected to as the first pick. The 21-year-old Clowney said he’s worried only about gaining the respect of his teammates and showing the Texans what he can do on the field.
New coach Bill O’Brien refused to talk specifically about how Clowney looked in his first workout, rather addressing how all the young players fared.
“I think all these guys being rookies, they all came in here and it’s an eye-opener,” he said. “Just like anybody, it’s not just one guy. It’s a different level of competition. All these guys have come in, they’ve been on time, they’ve worked hard. So they just need to take it one day at a time and continue to work hard.”
The 34 players went through a workout that lasted about 90 minutes in shorts and helmets.
Clowney believes being humble and ready to listen to advice will be the key to success in the NFL.
“We don’t know what we think we know, basically,” he said. “We’re here to learn. We haven’t been here before.”