It must really help having an older brother in the league who has already proven to be able to play the game at a high level, because in the month since he has been drafted, Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick T.J. Watt has consistently spoken with an air of understanding beyond his experience level.
That comes both in terms of his positional novelty and in his inexperience at the professional level. But the thing is, he knows exactly what his limitations are currently and what the process is to work on those limitations. He knows how the offseason is going to unfold because he has already lived it vicariously through J.J. Watt.
Yesterday, while talking to reporters, the young outside linebacker once again spoke from the wisdom of his inexperience, understanding just how little has been accomplished up to this point in the offseason, no matter how many highs or lows he might have already faced.
“We are in week two where we have the playbook down pretty well”, he told reporters. “There are always little mistakes here and there. We are correcting them. As long as we play faster and learn what each and every guy does and how we play off each other”.
But Watt is already looking down the road to training camp and understanding how different it is going to be in look and feel in comparison to these days in May and June. You can be sure that his older brothers have made sure that he is well-versed in how things develop during your rookie season.
“It’s fine and dandy to do all of this without helmets”, he said knowingly. “It’s a whole different game once the pads are on. Right now I am just trying to get the scheme down as much as possible because a lot is going to speed up once we get to training camp”.
As mentioned earlier, he is simply taking everything in stride and not doing too much self-reflection. “I am not getting too high, I am not getting too low”, he said. The OTA period is what it is, and it isn’t what it isn’t, and most rookies don’t have the perspective to fully grasp that.
It lessens the learning curve, however, when you have a better understanding of what it’s going to be like as you head into it, and especially for a player like Watt, who is still relatively new to the position he is playing, having that upper hand is all the more important.
Already, he knows most of what he needs to know when it comes to taking care of his body, how to train, what to eat, how to watch film, how to interpret a play book, what kind of habits are important to have off the field.
It’s almost as though Watt knows what he is going to go through and is getting impatient in the time that it takes to go through it. Not that he is impatient, but he is anxious to move on to the next step in the journey.