Watt is still driven by his naysayers prior to his rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.
A day before the first round of the NFL Draft, Watt, Pittsburgh’s No.1 pick in last year’s draft, addressed some of the snubs he endured during last year’s draft. Many analysts called Watt a “one year wonder” after he had just one productive collegiate season at Wisconsin. Watt fought through injuries in college while also changing positions from tight end to outside linebacker. He rebounded with a standout season in 2017, recording 11.5 sacks while helping Wisconsin win the 2017 Cotton Bowl wholesale authentic jerseys.
On Wednesday, Watt issued the following tweet while responding to Houston Texans’ receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ comments on the draft.
While he wasn’t present at the draft, Watt celebrated with his family in Wisconsin when the Steelers made him the 30th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. A day later, he was standing next to Pittsburgh President Art Rooney II, GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin while laying out his expectations for his rookie season.
“I’m not satisfied just to be here,” Watt said during his introductory press conference via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m chasing greatness.”
Watt immediately made an impact on Pittsburgh’s defense, recording two sacks and a crucial interception in the Steelers’ Week 1 victory in Cleveland. Watt went on to enjoy a very solid rookie season that saw him tally 54 tackles along with 7.0 sacks. He helped Pittsburgh’s defense set a franchise record for sacks in a season while finishing fifth in the league in total defense, fifth in pass defense, seventh in scoring defense and tenth in rush defense.
Despite he and his unit’s success last season, Watt is driven to help lead the Steelers to even more success in 2018 while adding to Pittsburgh’s collection of Vince Lombardi Trophies.
“It feels great. It’s good to be grinding again,” Watt told Steelers.com following Day 1 of OTAs. “It feels good to be back in town and I can’t wait to see all of the guys. When you are away for two or three months you want to see all of the guys, you want to see all of the progress everybody has been making.
“I want to show everybody the progress I have made as well. Overall conditioning, pass rush, dropping in coverage, getting more comfortable with my body and just improving. I am way more comfortable this time around than I was last year, not knowing where I was going to go. I know the playbook, I know all of the guys. It will definitely help me further my progression in this defense.”
T.J. Watt is ready to take on a more vocal role in Pittsburgh’s defense in 2018 Women Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys.
After spending his rookie season watching and learning from the veterans, the Steelers’ No.1 pick last season wants to be a more vocal part of the team as he enters his second NFL season.
“I’m not learning now,” Watt recently told Steelers.com. “I’m not going to be sitting in the hotel room with Keion (Adams) trying to figure out plays and stuff. I know all the plays, and I have relationships with the players now. I can be a little more vocal. I know who I’m working with out there. I feel like I’m going to be able to take more risks being able to contribute more now that I have more leeway. I feel more comfortable in the system.”
Watt, who finished third on the Steelers with 7.0 sacks during his rookie season, can’t wait to get the 2018 season started.
“I’m more excited than ever to come back for a second year,” Watt said. “Everyone says the offseason is going to fly by. I didn’t have all the Combine training and all that stuff, so it’ll was a little bit of a relief to kind of get away from football for a little bit, but then I got back into training, and am getting ready to go for the season. I’m going to be grinding the whole way. I’m excited.”
Last season, the Steelers’ defense finished first in the NFL in sacks, seventh in scoring, fifth in yards allowed, fifth in pass defense and 10th against the run. The unit was gassed in their playoff loss to Jacksonville, however, as the Steelers gave up 38 points on defense cheap official jerseys.
“I think we’re making progress,” Steelers’ president Art Rooney II said of his defense, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We have a lot of young players on defense. We can get better . . . We need to add people to it, obviously.”
The Steelers did receive several strong individual performances on the defensive side of the ball in 2017. Cam Heyward earned his first Pro Bowl selection after recording a team best 12.0 sacks. Vince Williams enjoyed a solid first season as a starting inside linebacker, recording a career high 8.0 sacks. Watt looks like a star in the making after being the only player in the NFL this season to record at last 7.0 sacks, 50 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble. Ryan Shazier was in the midst of an All-Pro season before going down with a season-ending injury in Pittsburgh’s Week 13 victory over the Bengals cheap sports jerseys free shipping.
But Shazier’s injury was too much for the Steelers to overcome, as Pittsburgh allowed an average of 134 yards per game during the final five games of the season. To help overcome the loss of Shazier and Mike Mitchell (who was released by the team last month), the Steelers signed linebacker Jon Bostic and safeties Morgan Burnett and Nat Berhe.
As they have for the previous five drafts, expect Pittsburgh spend it’s early picks on the defensive side of the ball, specifically on the inside linebacker and safety positions. The Steelers, a year after nabbing Joe Haden, may again look to big up a big name defender in free agency, as Pittsburgh wants to erase any holes in their roster heading into what they hope will be a championship-winning season discount jerseys cheap.
“I think we have the pieces to the puzzle, and we know we can compete at the highest level,” Watt said. “We were in so many close games throughout the year that I think we just want to come back and make the margins a little bit bigger. We want to give ourselves a little bit more room. We want to do so many great things, and we know how close we were but at the same time, we do not like the taste it let in our mouths. I think that will drive us all individually and collectively as a group.”