When T.J. Watt was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, J.J. Watt spent the off-season working out with his brother and preparing him for what it took to be a professional football player. As T.J. Watt continued to improve and make plays, J.J. Watt has arguably been his biggest fan. When T.J. Watt was robbed of the Defensive Player of the Year Award, J.J. Watt was arguably the most outspoken voice against the snub.
With the imminent release of J.J. Watt by the Houston Texans and the clear bond of the Watt family, it is not difficult to imagine the Watt brothers lining up to form a dream pairing for the Steelers defense in 2021.
Is it feasible? Would the Steelers have the money to persuade Watt – who was slated to make $17.5M in the final year of his 6-year $100M contract – to come to Pittsburgh? And even if they did, would they still wish to invest close to the market value of J.J. Watt at 32 years old when they have other needs that are arguably more pressing?
For the sake of argument, who cares? With Bud Dupree likely to command a larger contract this year than J.J. Watt, just imagine they could get it done.
J.J. Watt could take his place in the scheme and the Steelers would still have a dangerous set of edge rushers to join Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, giving the Steelers a 4-3 front that would be the best since the days of the Steel Curtain. The Steelers played a lot of 4-man fronts in 2020 with Dupree/Watt as de-facto stand-up DEs more than OLBs. The Steelers defense could take on a whole new look, especially with the return of Devin Bush and his speed all over the middle of the field and Alex Highsmith free to make big hits behind the best front 4 in the NFL. They would easily dominate the line of scrimmage with a tremendous pass rush and stifling run defense. It would also enable the Steelers to mix up coverages, employ more cover-2 and put less pressure on the CBs. In fact, it would probably lead to more opportunities for interceptions from Joe Haden and Terrell Edmunds – Haden would be in less isolated in single coverage and Edmunds could play back and not have to cover the middle zone as often.
Not to mention, it would be epic. Both T.J. Watt and J.J. Watt are cut from the Steelers blue collar hard work culture and would be a perfect fit for the team. The Steelers defense, when fully healthy, is already easily the best defense in the NFL.
Do you think the addition of J.J. Watt would make it better? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.