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JJ Watt, Bill O’Brien give high praise for Bengals’ new NT D.J. Reader

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Straight from the former 3x Defensive Player of the Year.

Carolina Panthers v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After watching the Bengals the past few offseason, it’s easy to tell that fans were surprised to hear that the team opted to make a nose tackle the highest paid player at the position in the NFL.

As the new season kicked off on March 18, and even reported before then, the Bengals did just that. They signed former Houston Texans’ nose tackle D.J. Reader to a four-year, $53 million deal.

When it comes to blocking up the middle and limiting runs, something Cincinnati desperately needed, Reader is a stud. Having started 45 games in the past three seasons, he’s just an elite run stopper but he’s reliable as well.

Wait, it gets better.

Reader received high praise from former 3x Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson:

“He’s the best, I love D.J. He doesn’t get enough credit for what he does. He works extremely hard. He’s a lot of fun to be around. He has a grinder’s job, literally his job is to take on double teams and block up that middle so everybody else can make pays and he still makes plays”

It doesn’t stop there.

Former Texans head coach Bill O’Brien also sounded off on what Reader’s determination and skill set will mean to the organization. He did so on the Texans Unfiltered podcast.

“He’s a guy that has come in here and paid attention to things like losing some weight, getting stronger, being able to improve his skill set so that he’s not just playing on the interior. Sometimes he plays on the outside of the line of scrimmage and has helped us in some ways there, especially like you said when there were injuries. So, he’s a really valuable part of our defense and I know our guys in our locker room really respect him.”

Just 25, Reader is entering his fifth season in the league, and the best may be still to come.