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Should the Steelers Utilize Derek Watt More Next Season?

Steeler Nation

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In preparation for the upcoming season, the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and coaching staff are getting ready to build a week-to-week game plan for each of their opponents in 2021. We can expect the Steelers to rely on their new and improved running game next season due to selecting running back Najee Harris with their first round pick. His talent goes without saying, although only on the college level, Harris’s resume playing in the SEC speaks for itself. Playing at arguably the highest level of college football and having success doing it, it makes it hard to say that Harris’ game won’t translate well into the NFL. What is still left in question with the rushing attack are how well we are going to be able to block for Harris.

How the offensive line ends up shaping out will all be determined within these next couple of months during OTA’s and training camp. There are at least two competitions that we foresee happening on both sides of the offensive line that will capture many people’s focus during the preseason. Although that particular unit will be the anchor for the new offensive group, for the running game in particular, there might be another name who can help create holes in the defense, allowing for Harris and company to work their magic in the open field.






Derek Watt is a name that we did not hear enough of last season. He was signed to a 3-year contract at the start of the 2020 season, taking over for the fan favorite Roosevelt Nix at the full back position. Although the fullback position is one that has been dwindling down around NFL organizations as the passing game becomes the more prominent option in NFL offenses, it is one that should still hold significant value. There is an obvious difference in the rushing game when the fullback is involved and tends to lean more in the positive direction than negative. Although, in most scenarios, having the fullback on the field takes away from having a 3rd or 4th receiving option on the field, the value of having that particular position is one that not many teams take advantage of. The Steelers are lucky enough to have a Watt waiting for his time to shine.

While with the now Los Angeles Chargers, Watt showed the ability to be used as a blocker in the rushing game leading the way for Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon for many years. Not only did he find success in that area, he also seemed to be a trustworthy option for Philip Rivers and the Chargers passing game when needed. You could see Watt flanking out to the left or right sides when Rivers was faced with pressure, allowing Rivers to get the ball to him quickly, gaining a few yards instead of losing many. I’m not saying that Watt should be the focal point of our offense by any stretch of the means, but he could be one of those guys who help create opportunities for our new rookie running back, which is exactly what this team wants.

The Steelers have made it a focal point of turning this running game around for not just this season but many to come. It’s clear that Harris will be the guy responsible for making this running game a success, and in my opinion, we have the perfect guy for the job. While focusing on the future is nice, in the NFL you have to take everything season by season, and the same could be said with this running game. Having Watt as our fullback can give this team an advantage if used properly. Even if just used in short yardage situations where our offense is in search of a first down, having that extra blocker for Harris to create separation will allow for this offensive group to potentially stay on the field longer, which usually ends up in us putting points on the scoreboard. Although we will see Watt on the field with the special teams unit, we could see him used more in our offensive game plan. Although he won’t be directly responsible for the potential success, he could be one of those guys that has a positive impact on the hopeful change.



Would you like to see Watt blocking for Harris this season? Sound off below!

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Shane Falco

Is properly used
I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt from last year’s explanation about why they didn’t utilize him more in the offense. I do expect to see him on the field a lot more and more touches/uses under the Canada scheme. He should be used properly by Canada. The guy could be utilized as a 3rd TE in certain heavy packages.
 

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SteelerSask

Well-known member
I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt from last year’s explanation about why they didn’t utilize him more in the offense. I do expect to see him on the field a lot more and more touches/uses under the Canada scheme. He should be used properly by Canada. The guy could be utilized as a 3rd TE in certain heavy packages.
If Friermuth is the real deal I would have many packages on First down that would be I guess a 21? but I would put Watt at search instead of I. We have to realize that football is evolving. Too me they will have to help manufacture a run game with this kind of a creative formations. The goal will be to get Harris to the second level where people are not going to want to tackle that dude. The modern linebacker is pretty light in the pants. The key will be to put in packages where you can zap with play action. If all you have is run any defense can limit that.
 

Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
If Friermuth is the real deal I would have many packages on First down that would be I guess a 21? but I would put Watt at search instead of I. We have to realize that football is evolving. Too me they will have to help manufacture a run game with this kind of a creative formations. The goal will be to get Harris to the second level where people are not going to want to tackle that dude. The modern linebacker is pretty light in the pants. The key will be to put in packages where you can zap with play action. If all you have is run any defense can limit that.


I think CANADA's offense is loaded with this kind of play style but it's critical if HC holds him back. I know they will have to ease in a little but I hope it's not a way of handcuffing Matt. I'm not saying a college offense attach at all, I want NFL caliber with these kind of twists.

MOST anything that isn't Randy Fitchner oriented.



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Steelr4evr

Well-known member
I thought that was why they got him for last season. He has to stay healthy to see the field.

Of course when I think of FB usage I think of Dan Kreider with a Mike Alstott being the ultimate FB/RB I'd want at that position.

It's certainly a perfect time to start transitioning back to smashing the fuck out of people.
 

Cope

Podcast/ VidCast/ Writer
Steelers only keep 1 FB. Watt got injured last year for a bit and it held back his usage. He was also open twice in the EZ in 2 different games on pass routes, both thrown to a covered WR for an incompletion and FG. Canada will utilize his skills as a previous TE in his earlier days, to move the chains and surprise defenses.
 

Coach

I am a lying douchebag
NO. Anyone with insight knows the FB is dead spot. Stick with Harris, Ju-ju and Claypool as the primaries. This covers short medium and deed passing routes from, players who can really block and catch. Phase out the Ebron and Johnson types, weak @ss blockers who drop too many passes. Unless they have a match up, they are the #4 and #5 option. The X factor is our new TE, don't; force feed him, but do expect him to block, convert on play action and keep us his good work in the red-zone.
 

Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
You really don't watch the NFL then. There are quite a few teams who utilize a FB and one of them (off the top of my head) resides in our division.


Be careful least you want your head size judged..................................... I guess though if it's OFF the top of your head it might be interpreted as your head not being big enough to hold it............... Could be a good thing................. (sarcasm alert not that you'd need it but for those who might)




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Coach

I am a lying douchebag
You really don't watch the NFL then. There are quite a few teams who utilize a FB and one of them (off the top of my head) resides in our division.
The NFL still uses NT's too. How many snaps was Watt on offense as a FB? Do tell, once you do you'll see my point. Heres comes the part where you won't even bother to list the data. In other words I own your @ss again. Go ahead all list his snaps counts on offense. The FB even when he was healthy was hardly used. Some teams don't even have full backs! Learn anything yet?
 

slashsteel

Well-known member
The NFL still uses NT's too. How many snaps was Watt on offense as a FB? Do tell, once you do you'll see my point. Heres comes the part where you won't even bother to list the data. In other words I own your @ss again. Go ahead all list his snaps counts on offense. The FB even when he was healthy was hardly used. Some teams don't even have full backs! Learn anything yet?
Man STFU you don't own anyone. How he was used under Randy is a moot point it is how Canada wants to use him. His point is the FB is still used, none of your mouth foaming changes that.
 

Steelworth

Absolutely Worthless
The NFL still uses NT's too. How many snaps was Watt on offense as a FB? Do tell, once you do you'll see my point. Heres comes the part where you won't even bother to list the data. In other words I own your @ss again. Go ahead all list his snaps counts on offense. The FB even when he was healthy was hardly used. Some teams don't even have full backs! Learn anything yet?

Slash already pointed this out, but because Fichtner barely used a fullback last season doesn't mean the position is dead. Like I said, many teams utilize a fullback like the Ravens, 49ers, Bills, Packers etc. Just because you don't see something on your YouTube hilite reel doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
 

Drink IRON City

Contributor whining about a tag
The NFL still uses NT's too. How many snaps was Watt on offense as a FB? Do tell, once you do you'll see my point. Heres comes the part where you won't even bother to list the data. In other words I own your @ss again. Go ahead all list his snaps counts on offense. The FB even when he was healthy was hardly used. Some teams don't even have full backs! Learn anything yet?


You do realize Derick is a special teams ACE as well. His FB position isn't his only value. It's like getting two luxury cars and being able to afford gas for both.......... FB & STs.

A-N-D

it does make a difference that Fitchner was the OC because it scurs the "USE FB" stat. Fitchner was a dud and his play calling showed it.



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Steelworth

Absolutely Worthless
Has coach ever owned any ass at all?

iu
 

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