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T.J. Watt Hopes New Steelers Quarterbacks Will Lead to Playoff Wins



Steelers OLB T.J. Watt

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ seven-year playoff drought is the longest for the franchise since pre-1972. They only have two players on the current roster who’ve experienced a playoff win with the Steelers — Cam Heyward and Chris Boswell.

Steelers All-Pro outside linebacker T.J. Watt has a long list of achievements in his seven-year career, but he has yet to win a playoff game. He’s hoping that will change with the acquisitions of quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Justin Fields this offseason.

“I’m excited for both of them,” Watt told FOX4 Kansas City at the 101 NFL Awards ceremony. “To be able to have some big time new faces and guys who have played at a high level — especially Russ, a guy who’s won a Super Bowl — in the locker room. I’m just hoping that I can learn something from those guys and hopefully, show them how things are done in Pittsburgh as well, what we’ve been doing.

“I haven’t won a playoff game my whole career, so I’m open to any type of information, where we can continue to get better. Hopefully, those guys can help us do that.”

The entire AFC is loaded at the quarterback position, but it’s especially tough in the AFC North with reigning League MVP Lamar Jackson in Baltimore, Joe Burrow in Cincinnati and Deshaun Watson in Cleveland.

“It’s tough. It’s a very tough, competitive league,” Watt said. “There’s so much parity, especially in our division. You look at all the quarterbacks. I’m just glad that we have one. It’s all about staying healthy and being on the rise. And that’s what we have to do this year.”

Wilson is set to be the Steelers’ starting quarterback in 2024. After a horrendous 2022 season, Wilson bounced back and threw 26 touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions in 2023. He also posted a 98.0 passer rating. Wilson said he felt like himself last season in Denver after dealing with a lat injury in 2022.

“I think it’s all about how you look at it,” Wilson said at his introductory press conference with the Steelers. “In life, a lot of times when things don’t go your way, you can look at it as disappointing [or] you can look at it as growth moments. For me, my first year [in Denver] I had my lat. I was playing on it, pushing through it. Should I have done that? You know, you compete every day. You got to do what you got to do. Everything didn’t go our way. This past year, I felt like myself again. I felt like myself again, so I can’t wait to just put on the cleats and go after it.”

Fields took a small step forward in 2023, his third year as Chicago’s starting quarterback. The Ohio State alum threw 370 times, completing 227 for 2,562 yards and 16 touchdowns. He threw nine interceptions and maintained an 86.3 passer rating and a 5.29 adjusted net yards per attempt.

In 2022, he was 192 of 318 for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, an 85.2 quarterback rating and 4.63 adjusted net yards per attempt. Since 2022, Fields has the most rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,800 yards and averages 6.3 yards per carry.