Hall of Fame and former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, who some consider the best defensive player of all time, has all the respect in the world for J.J. Watt, the current king of NFL defensive players. Watt, says Taylor, is a "bad SOB" and "one of those guys that only comes around every 20 to 30 years." Just don't try to tell Taylor that Watt is better than he was.
"In front of me I see guys like Reggie White (and) Deacon Jones," he said. "Do I put J.J. in front of me? No, but the guy is a phenomenal player. He can go down as one of the best players to ever play his position.
"Every time I watch film on him or I see a game he's playing in, the first thing that comes to my mind is this guy can go all day."
Watt and Taylor are the only players to have won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Award three times. The 26-year-old Watt might, obviously, win that award at least one more time before he's done playing. Accomplishment-wise, right now he can't match the MVP Award and the two Super Bowl rings Taylor got with the Giants.
"Now the question is, will he become the Most Valuable Player of the league?" Taylor said. "That's one I have on him.
"The year I won MVP we won the Super Bowl. They wanted to call me the greatest defensive player of all time. He can put up numbers, and he can be one of the greatest players that ever played (but), you've got to be able to take your team to a title."
Taylor certainly wasn't being critical of Watt. He obviously recognizes Watt's greatness. As for me, no matter how many times Watt wins DPOY or how many sacks he totals in his career, I will always look at Taylor as having been on a different level.
Taylor is one of those rare athletes who changed his sport. He changed the way teams viewed the outside linebacker position, changed the skill set teams looked for and the role they asked them to play. He changed offensive football, too, by changing blocking schemes.
Watt is certainly a great player, the greatest defensive player of his time, but I don't see him as a sport-changing one.
Your thoughts, Giants fans?