The Road To Pittsburgh: How TJ Watt Approached Steelers Signing Brother Derek

Joe Sargent/Getty Images

By: Jordan DeFigio, @fidgenewton

The Pittsburgh Steelers added fullback Derek Watt in free agency earlier this year. And TJ Watt knew it was coming. Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin gave him a call before they reached out to his brother, and he shared the story in an interview with ESPN this week.

“I didn’t want to ruin the surprise or get his hopes up. I was trying to play both sides of the card.”

The opportunity to play for a historic and storied franchise such as the Steelers does not present itself to all players, so it’s no surprise Derek Watt was thrilled at just the possibility.

“They knew how excited I would be for that opportunity to play with T.J. and to play for such a great organization. Then they revealed that, ‘Hey, buddy, all along they were one of the teams that wanted you bad. They really respect your game,’ and they think it’s a great fit for me there,” Derek Watt said after the signing in March.

The Steelers have made it known that they were primarily interested in and impressed by Derek Watt’s ability playing special teams, a unit the organization places a great amount of value on. And understandably so. If a guy is willing to bust his ass playing on that unit, he’s going to give his all no matter where lands.

Derek Watt will hopefully prove to be a great fit, whether it’s on special teams or at the fullback position, an area the Steelers have struggled to fill due to injury and inconsistency. After losing Roosevelt Nix to the Indianapolis Colts, the signing of Watt will ideally boost the level of play at special teams and on offense as well.

Regardless of his on-field production, the joy of football is most notable when it runs in the family. And the Watts are a football family through and through. Both TJ and Derek are thrilled to be playing alongside each other instead of on opposite sides of the ball, and Steelers fans can’t wait to see another brother tandem in the black and gold.

What do you hope to see from Derek Watt this season? What are your thoughts on brothers playing for the same team? Share them in the comments below!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *