With the Pittsburgh Steelers opening up training camp this week, a few players and coaches were able to be interviewed in person for the first time since COVID-19. One big deal to a lot of media members was the idea that TJ Watt reported to camp. Watt, who is playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, dismissed the notion that he wouldn’t show up. “I love this team. I love all the coaches, the staff and the players. I’m excited to be here and that’s why I’m here,” said Watt.
Watt, who has been one of the most dominant defenders in the NFL since entering the league in 2015, was asked numerous questions about his contract situation during his first media session of the season. When asked on whether he thinks he will have a new contract before the start of the season he stated, “It’s not for me to say and that’s all I’ll say. I love Pittsburgh and obviously I would love to be here, but it’s ultimately not up to me.”
Watt was also questioned about finishing second in Defensive Player of the Year voting to Aaron Donald, “It is what it is at this point. It doesn’t matter. We didn’t win a Super Bowl and that’s all that matters in the grand scheme of things.” Watt, who exemplifies the team-first mentality, clearly is not concerned about off the field accolades, even though he should be a two-time Defensive Player of the Year Award winner so far.
Lastly, Watt talked about his desire to become a better player on and off the field and his work ethic. “Every year I am trying to take that next step whether it’s on the field or off the field. Everyone in this building better have that attitude.” Watt, who has become one of the top leaders among his teammates, has a great mindset and expects the best out of himself and his teammates.
Even though Watt is not signed to a long-term contract at this point in time, it’s clearly a top priority for the Steelers. He is entering the prime years of his career and will be a main building block of the Steelers success on defense for the next decade. His contract will likely reset the edge rusher market, but there’s not a more deserving or harder working player in the NFL than Watt and Steelers fans should count their lucky stars the Steelers were able to land him so late in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
What are your expectations for Watt this season? Sound off in the comments below!