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Steelers Sights and Sounds: Golden, Herbig Look to Replace T.J. Watt



Steelers OLB Markus Golden
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Markus Golden in a game against the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 19, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are looking to do their best to replace T.J. Watt this week, even if that job is impossible. But they signed Markus Golden and Nick Herbig for a reason, and they certainly are more equipped to handle the loss of Watt than they were in years past.

And for Golden and Herbig, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin has a simple message for them, and he’s grateful to have them in the fold.

“Let’s go, baby. That’s the message. Let’s go. … We got those guys here for this reason in case we do lose one of those guys on the outside. We’ve been in this position, we were in this position last year and we weren’t — I don’t think we were ready or had as much depth behind T.J. as we would like, but I think we have two solid guys this year. We all know they’re all not going to be T.J. T.J. is a one-of-a-kind guy. We like the way their mental makeup (is) and the way they play, their temperament, and all of those things. They’ll give us some positive there.”

Since being drafted in 2017, the Steelers are 1-10 in games where Watt doesn’t dress. This is obviously a massive storyline to this weekend’s matchup, but Golden and Herbig have been productive in their limited snaps, and Alex Highsmith has taken a step up in his pressure productivity.