Steelers LB T.J. Watt Says Fans ‘Will Be In For a Treat This Year’

"We are definitely always pushing each other in every aspect of the game.”

Jeff Hathhorn
May 29, 2019 - 8:45 pm

93.7 The Fan

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) - It’s the third year for Steelers first round pick T.J. Watt and a contract year for first round pick Bud Dupree and Watt said we will be in for a treat watching them play this season.

“We both understand that we are really good athletes and that we both look up to each other,” Watt said of their relationship.  “It’s good to have that kind of star power when I go up against Bud, because Bud is a heck of an athlete.  He can do some things that I can’t do and I can do some things that he can’t do.  We are definitely always pushing each other in every aspect of the game.”

Watt made an immediate impact on the Steelers, sacking the Browns twice as part of 7 tackles and an interception in his first NFL game.  While Dupree had sacks in each of his first two games, he also has had a sack-less streak of 11 games and had only two and a half sacks the final dozen games of last year.

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However Watt believes familiarity for Dupree and his move to the right side and conditioning will be key for a big year from his outside linebacker counterpart.

“Have you seen Bud’s legs?,” Watt said.  “Bud’s legs are like tree trucks, he can accelerate so fast.  His power is there.  He can drop in coverage and cover so much ground in one or two steps.  He’s like Giannis in basketball.  It’s crazy.”

The move has also been beneficial for Watt.  Finishing the 2018 season with sacks in three straight games and finishing with 13 on the year, plus 12 tackles for loss.

“I’m way more comfortable on the left side and this is my first true year on the left side after a year under my belt,” the 24 year-old Watt said.  “I feel like I will have a lot more moves for you guys to see.  Hopefully just creating more splash in run downs too.  I feel I can definitely improve on run defense, always.”

Watt is also taking more of a leadership role this year, saying dating back to his days at the University of Wisconsin, you get your feet wet and then guys start to follow you.  But you can’t come in as a rookie and try to tell the vets what to do.

“The biggest thing about being a leader is you have to know who you are talking to at all times,” Watt said.   “A lot of guys come from different areas; they take leadership and coaching differently.” 

“I think being a guy that works really hard, showing through example and talking when the time is right.  Not trying to over coach or being somebody that I’m not.”

“I don’t care what anyone outside of this locker room thinks of me.  I care what these guys think of me and I earn that through working hard and they all see that.  I think that’s the biggest thing here is having respect.  You earn respect through working hard and doing all the right things on and off the field.”

While Watt is spending OTAs working on creating more strip sacks and improving his overall game, there is something on his summer wish list.  Watt is waiting for teammate Ryan Switzer to get kayaks so he can get in the Allegheny River.

You see Watt wants to see another young Pittsburgh star and hopefully grab a souvenir baseball off the bat of Pirates first baseman Josh Bell.

“I was down there checking out the scene,” Watt said.  “He keeps smashing the ball; hopefully I get down there soon.”

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