It’s going to be interesting to watch the progress that Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt makes during his second season and especially with the Wisconsin product switching sides. Watt, who registered 54 total tackles during his rookie season, admitted recently during an interview with Lance Allan of WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, WI that he feels a lot more comfortable this year than he was last year as a rookie first-round draft pick.
“Yeah, I’d say it’s night and day,” Watt said. “It really is just because I know all the guys, I know the playbook, I know the coaches, and I’m just comfortable. I don’t have to be somebody that I’m not, I don’t have to be as quiet. I was really quiet last year, I was just trying to stick to the books and do as best as I can on the field. But now I can have a little bit more of a personality, kind of just be an all-around great football player, but also be a great teammate for my guys. So, I think it’s going to be a great year for not only myself, but for the team and I’m just really excited for it.”
So, does this mean that Watt will be a little more boisterous in his second season?
“Yeah, I just want to show more personality,” Watt said. “I think it’s important for not only my team, but for the fans and people to know who I am as a person. It was just so important to me to be a great football player because unless you’re playing great football, people aren’t going to care about you as a person. So, I really wanted to take care of that business and now I’m showing my personality, but also keep playing football really well.”
As previously mentioned, Watt, who recorded 7 sacks during his rookie season, will move from the right side over to the left this season and that’s the side he predominantly played on at Wisconsin. That move will hopefully produce even more sacks and quarterback pressures for him. In preparation for the season, Watt told Allan that he has gotten a little bit bigger during the offseason and why he felt like he needed to.
“I gained a few pounds,” Watt said. “Nothing too crazy. I’m just trying to stay in great shape and work on things. I thought I could have been a little bit stronger in certain areas last year. So, I’ll be moving to the left side this year, but I feel like some of those left tackles were big and got ahold of me a little bit too much [last season]. So, just working on some stuff and gaining a little bit of muscle helps.”
While Watt wouldn’t announce any specific statistical goals he’d like to reach in 2018, he was quick to share a few generic things he hopes to accomplish in his second season with the Steelers and you can probably guess what the main one is.
“First and foremost is a Super Bowl,” Watt said. “I think as a Steeler, it’s the “stairway to seven,” is what we always say is we want to get to that seventh Super Bowl. Other than that, I just want to keep improving on my season from last year. I think that’s my goal as I’m in the NFL is just to keep improving and putting together great numbers and help my team win games.
“It’s not always the guy who has the greatest stats that helps his team the most, it’s the guy that’s willing to do whatever it takes to get that win and I think sometimes it gets lost with the guys who have the greatest stats. But don’t get me wrong, I want great stats, but at the end of the day I’ll do whatever it takes to win. So if I have to take a double-team on, I’ll take a double-team on to let some other guy get freed up. So, I’m fully invested in Pittsburgh Steelers getting to that Super Bowl.”