J.J. Watt J.J. Watt debuts on CBS’ The NFL Today. Credit: CBS Sports

J.J. Watt retired from the NFL and joined CBS Sports this offseason. The future Pro Football Hall of Famer made his first deluge into sports television on Sunday as he appeared on CBS’ NFL pregame show, The NFL Today.

To his credit, Watt stood up well to the task of being on live television. The former longtime Houston Texans defensive end may not have always flashed an exuberant personality as a player. But based on his first performance, it sounds like he has a bright future.

The network gave him the star treatment before he debuted on air. The NFL on CBS posted a video of Nate Burleson, a former NFL receiver-turned-CBS analyst and personality, knocking on Watt’s dressing room door.

Watt made the usual contributions on the pregame show, and one interesting discussion emerged while he was there. One big storyline last year was the play of Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles. Going further, one thing defenses could never stop was Hurts’ QB sneak. CBS got Watt to talk about what it’s like to defend against that play.

“Those are the most impossible plays to stop as a defense,” Watt said. He then went in-depth on how defenses are at a disadvantage against Hurts and the Eagles when they run this play. It’s a credit to CBS and Watt for being willing to do this. The Eagles’ QB sneak will likely be a repetitive topic this season as well. Getting ahead of that and having a former NFL All-Pro defensive lineman talk about it at length was a pro move on all accounts.

All told, a bang-up job in the first week for Watt’s CBS debut. He isn’t an in-game analyst, and you can’t expect him to launch any nuclear takes his first week on the job. So we’ll see later how he adjusts in the pre- and postgame arena. The thing that helps most pregame and postgame analysis is how bite-sized the latter usually is for timing reasons. Watt on the pregame might catch the occasional buzz, but he has as a cushy seat. After one week, don’t expect him to be giving it up anytime soon.

[NFL on CBS]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022