The script writers seem to be running out of ideas for Steelers games. Every week, it seems like T.J. Watt makes some absurd play at a pivotal moment that eventually propels the team to victory. Because those instances have become such a frequent occurrence, it’s easy to treat them as normal performances when they’re actually anything but the status quo. As Watt continues to build on his Hall of Fame legacy, it’s important to really appreciate him as a transcendent talent while avoiding taking him for granted.
There’s been a lot of comparisons between Watt and his former teammate James Harrison. Earlier this season, the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year broke his mentors franchise sack record. This week, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin shared some similarities between the two all-time greats, illustrating what makes those guys different.
“If you know either guy, what they’re willing to do to tee up a performance. Not only over the course of a game week, over the course of a calendar year and career, is unique.” Tomlin said. Watt transformed into an impact player very early in his career and his preparation is undoubtedly a huge reason why he’s been so disruptive year in and year out. His head coach definitely understands that aspect and explained that “you don’t get unique results from regular processes.”
In the early going of the 2023 season, Watt has already firmly planted his name in the mix for another Defensive Player of the Year award. Through six games, he’s near the top ten in sacks, QB hits and pressures despite playing one less game than some of his peers. That’s all pretty standard stuff that we have grown accustomed to seeing on a yearly basis. What truly sets him apart from the pack is the game-altering plays that flip the script in his teams favor.