The Steelers will sign Los Angeles Chargers fullback Derek Watt, the brother of Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt, according to a report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Watt’s deal is for three years and for $9.75 million, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Watt spent his entire career with the Chargers after being drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin.
The move puts two of the NFL’s three Watt brothers in Pittsburgh. Derek is the older brother of Steelers linebacker T.J. and the younger brother of Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt.
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) March 17, 2020
Well this is very unfortunate in regards to the race for “favorite uncle” for Derek’s son Logan…
Also seems to put me at a severe disadvantage in the “Mom & Dad’s favorite team” category.
But damn is it awesome for Derek & TJ. Could not be happier for them and for Pittsburgh. https://t.co/zbDOsj8IPz
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) March 17, 2020
The fullback should help the Steelers ground game, but not as a runner himself. Derek Watt has rushed for only 49 yards on 19 carriers in his career. He played a traditional blocking role with the Chargers.
Incumbent Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix played just three games due to injury in 2019. Nix has two years and $3.85 million remaining on his four-year contract with the Steelers.
Report: NFL Teams Could Trim Training Camp Rosters More Than 13%
NFL teams are reportedly considering bringing fewer players than normal to training camp this year in an effort to combat COVID-19, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Instead of bringing the regular 90 players, Schefter’s sources say teams could bring just 80, or even 75 players to camp this August.
In an effort to combat COVID-19, NFL teams are likely to bring fewer than the regular 90 players they ordinarily bring to training camp, per league sources. One source is predicting 80 per team, another 75, but no one is expecting 90. More coming up on https://t.co/rDZaVFhcDQ.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 2, 2020
While it appears teams have the right idea in mind by trying to minimize the risk of COVID-19, shrinking training camp rosters will limit opportunities for fringe players attempting to find a landing spot.
Still, smaller rosters will allow for proposed social distancing in training camp in compliance with the league’s protocols announced last month. There are also plans to expand practice squad rosters to handle the likely inactives that will arise from positive tests, which will return roster slots to those barred from camp.
In another move to combat the coronavirus, several reports indicate the league is slashing the 2020 preseason in half. Each team will play their Week 2 and 3 exhibition games, but Weeks and 4 will be canceled. The Hall of Fame game between the Steelers and Cowboys has already been called off.
These last two moves by the league are the first two instances of the NFL bending to the virus. The league had previously held the NFL Draft and free agency on time unimpeded, and is currently still planning on having fans in attendance this season, although that seems like a long-shot currently.
Bill Cowher Reveals He and His Wife Recovered from COVID-19
Former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher and his wife Veronica have and recovered from COVID-19, the future Hall of Fame told Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.
While not diagnosed at the time, the couple experienced symptoms back in March following a trip to Hawaii, and tested positive for the virus antibodies in April.
According to Bouchette’s story, Cowher first knew something was wrong when he was unable to smell flowers he had purchased from a florist, and could not taste his wife’s cooking. Cowher also said he experienced shaky joints and a fever, while Veronica had a cough.
Cowher also shared his thoughts on the NFL season going forward, and if he thinks the league will be able to start up without a hitch. He seems skeptical.
“I don’t know,” Cowher said via Pro Football Talk. “No. 1, the players have to feel comfortable with whatever they come up with from a testing standpoint, from a protocol standpoint. I totally understand the reluctance. Even though they say young people aren’t getting it, you also have people who have asthma, people who have underlying conditions in their families — they’re going back to their homes with parents who may now be elderly. It’s not like you can isolate yourself from everybody, particularly during a season that’s five months long. . . . I still think we have a long way to go.”
Cowher added that players needed to be respected with regard to how they choose to handle the virus personally, including if they decided to skip the 2020 season entirely.
“It’s going to come down to the league and the NFLPA feeling comfortable moving forward, and even within that, if they come up with a set of guidelines, and now a player who doesn’t feel comfortable, he may not want to be part of it. It affects people differently not only from a physical standpoint but from a mental standpoint. . . . I think we have to respect that.”
A Super Bowl champion in 2005, Cowher spent his entire 15-year head coaching career with the Steelers. His 149 wins are top-20 in NFL history.
Cowher has worked as an analyst for The NFL Today on CBS since 2007.
The legendary coach was supposed to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August, but the ceremony and festivities were moved to the summer of 2021 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.
Rod Woodson Claims NFL Teams are Hesitant to Hire Hall of Famers
Hall of Famer and former Steeler Rod Woodson has a theory for why he hasn’t been hired as part of an NFL staff. And no, he’s not making any claims that his race is playing a factor. Instead, Woodson told TMZ that his status as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame is actually viewed as a negative.
“I think it’ll be more difficult for Hall of Famers to get in it and stay in it,” Woodson said in a video posted by TMZ, “just for the fact that most of the coaches don’t like that respect leaving that room or that area and going to somewhere else.”
Woodson, who is widely regarded as one of the best defensive backs ever, most notably for his time with the Steelers from 1987 to 1996, admits he’s been angling for a job as an assistant for years. The 55-year-old also proclaimed to TMZ that he’s willing to work all day long if that’s what it takes to be a coach on an NFL staff.
To support his theory, Woodson cited former member of Mike Tomlin’s staff and current Denver Broncos offensive-line coach Mike Munchak as the only Hall of Famer he can think of working as an active NFL assistant coach.
When asked about the 2020 Hall of Fame ceremony being canceled, Woodson made it clear he’s crushed for this year’s class, who will have to wait until next year to be officially inducted along with the 2021 group.
Rod Woodson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Woodson’s body of work stacks up with other legends at his position. He accumulated 1,158 overall tackles, 530 credited as solo tackles, 71 interceptions, 32 fumble recoveries (15 offensive and 17 defensive), 4,894 kickoff return yards, 2,362 punt return yards, and 17 touchdowns (12 interception returns, 1 fumble return, 2 kickoff returns, 2 punt returns) throughout his 17-year playing career with the Steelers, Ravens and Raiders. Woodson was a member of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XXX team and won Super Bowl XXXV with Baltimore.