Pittsburgh Steelers second-year outside linebacker T.J. Watt had a solid showing in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns and he was rewarded for his efforts on Wednesday morning when he was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 1 of the 2018 regular season.
Watt, the Steelers first-round draft pick in 2017, registered 4 sacks and 11 total tackles against the Browns in the team’s 21-21 tie. That performance came on the heels of the Wisconsin product missing most of training camp and all of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Watt also became the first NFL player to record at least 10 total tackles & 4 sacks in a game since 2011 (Connor Barwin: Nov. 27).
“You know I thought T.J. was one of the really good performers,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon of Watt’s play Sunday against the Browns.
Sunday’s game against the Browns also included Watt predominantly playing on the left side after logging most of his rookie season playing time on the right. His production from that left side on Sunday didn’t surprise Tomlin, however.
“I’m not going to try to paint with a broad brush after one performance but I will say that I’m not surprise that he had an impactful game,” Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon. “It was schematically set up for him to impact the game and he did.”
Watt became the first Steelers linebacker to be named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week since since Lawrence Timmons won the award for his play in Week 6 of the 2010 season.