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Steelers Analysis

Could the Steelers Re-Sign Derek Watt?



Steelers FB Derek Watt

The Steelers could look to add another fullback. After the surprise retirement of rookie UDFA fullback Monte Pottebaum on Sunday, the team does not have a true fullback on their 90-man roster. Of course, the team had Derek Watt on the roster for the last three seasons, prompting the question if Watt could return to the team.

However, does it actually make sense? Well, the Steelers are one of the true teams that still use the fullback position. Matt Canada’s offense often calls upon a fullback to be used in multiple ways and be a key part of the offense, and Mike Tomlin has liked the special teams boon that the fullback position gives.

There are two problems with the idea that Watt could come back, though. Before either of those, the Steelers just have not had much discussion on that front. Watt feels like a guy who would have already been back. But in reality, Connor Heyward is this team’s fullback. He’s just so much more than just a fullback. Heyward can play tight end, H-Back, and even running back in addition to lining up at fullback. The team has a solid football player on their hands in Heyward. He is the biggest reason that Watt is not here right now.

The second is how useful was Watt during his three seasons here. He was a great special teamer. But there is a limit to how much that means when Watt did not add a ton to the offense. When the team did use him in packages, the offense never seemed to really a find rhythm or consistent strategy where he was implemented well. The fullback trap idea worked well, but Heyward can do that as well.

In other words, if the team feels like they have to have a fullback on the roster, maybe this happens. Omar Khan could just look out at the market and try to add another young guy similar to Pottebaum. Regardless, the fullback position is one of those positions that is dying and fewer players are repping there each year. The Steelers have not been a team to turn away from that trend yet, and they won’t be with Heyward on the roster. It’s just a new take on the position.

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