By Scooby Axson
November 11, 2014
Bryan Bahr/Getty Images

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt doesn’t care about what some NFL players think about the way he goes about his business. He cares about one thing and one thing only.

“He’s worried about the next f------ play,” Texans defensive line coach Bill Kollar says.

That’s just fine with Watt, who is on this week's national cover of Sports Illustrated. Watt is attempting to become the first defensive player since Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor in 1986 to win the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award.

Still only 25 years old, Watt is well on his way to earning his third straight All-Pro selection. He has 39 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble this season. He has a fumble recovery and an interception return for scores. Oh, he also has one catch for one touchdown

“Right now I’m trying to take every day so seriously and so passionately that I might be sacrificing aspects of life that other people seem to enjoy and tell me how great they are,” Watt tells SI’s Tim Layden. “Instead, I’m thinking about a practice rep that nobody remembers. That’s what I’m thinking about on a Tuesday night when I go to sleep. Maybe that’s what makes me crazy.”

Crazy on not, Watt is doing all he can for the 4-5 Texans this season as they try to get back to the playoffs after missing the postseason last year.

For more on Watt, check out Layden’s story in this week's Sports Illustrated (subscribe here).

Also in this issue: Features on the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, TCU’s run to a possible college football playoff berth, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola and New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson as he struggles to find meaning and hope after his girlfriend's suicide last year.

Subscribers and newsstands except in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, California and Arizona will receive this issue.

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2014 Sports Illustrated Covers

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