Bill Belichick was defensive coordinator of the New York Giants during the career of Lawrence Taylor and he sees similarities in J.J. Watt.
"There's been very few players I would put in the same conversations with Taylor, but I would put Watt there," Belichick said. "It's early in his career and he's done a lot already. Taylor did it over a long period of time, but Watt's done it pretty consistently now. He's that same kind of player."
Watt so far has two defensive player of the year awards and three Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections in the first four years of his career.
"He's pretty special," Belichick said during his news conference Wednesday. "He does a lot of things well and everybody game plans for him every game. He gets a lot of double-teams, the line slides to his side, teams try to run away from him; he does a good job with all of it. They move him around a little bit, so he's not always in the same place. ... He's done a really good job dealing with a lot of extra attention, similar to some of the things we saw with teams dealing with Taylor in New York. He has that kind of disruptiveness."
Belichick still wasn't ready to rank Watt above Taylor.
"I wouldn't go above Taylor, because of the versatility that Taylor had in terms of pass coverage," Belichick said. "He was a pass-rusher, a run player and also a pass defender. It's really an elite player, and you're including the kicking game. Of course, Watt's blocked a lot of kicks too. But I think the position he plays, he's as disruptive of a defensive lineman as I've seen in the league, in the same general category as LT."