GLENDALE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman and three-time defensive player of the year JJ Watt isn’t a fan of wearing the Guardian cap during training camp and he wasn’t shy about sharing his thoughts on Friday.
“I mean, I think you know how I feel about the goalie caps we wear,” Watt said with a chuckle.
Watt didn’t hesitate when asked if he could feel the difference wearing the padded shell that attaches to the outside of his helmet.
“You feel like a bobblehead,” Watt deadpanned. “Like you’re gonna fall. I’m probably gonna get fined for this. That’s awesome. You fuck me just to start the whole year. There’s 15,000 gone.”
The Guardian cap is required for all offensive linemen, defensive linemen, tight ends and linebackers during practices from training camp through game two of the preseason. In a statement, the NFL said the camp period is when the league noticed the “greatest concentration of helmet impacts.”
The Guardian Cap reduces the severity of impact if one player wears it by 10% and at least 20% if two players wear it, according to the statement. Watt was fully aware that they were mandated, but only for a time.
“But not in games,” he said. “So let’s keep it safe – sometimes. I don’t know. Whatever.”
Watt continued to joke that his comments would result in punishment by the NFL.
“This is awesome. I’m screwed. I’m absolutely screwed,” Watt said. “[NFL commissioner] roger [Goodell] will call me in about five minutes.”
Teams voted in March to start using the Guardian Cap after “review and recommendations from the Competition Committee and the Owner Health and Safety Advisory Committee, as well as consultation with the league’s head coaches”. . Watt said he got used to wearing the Guardian Cap after a while and understood why they were used.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I’m not an idiot. I mean, I may not have worn a Guardian Cap for 12 years, but I’m not that stupid, okay? Of course I know. I’m already 20 $000 down payment, so we’re looking at $50,000 [thousand] like the next and then probably like a four game suspension is after that. So the Guardian caps are awesome, love them. It’s a great addition. We should wear it all the time.
“We have a few guys who might need to wear them like for walking around.”