How convenient is it to be able to model your game after your very successful older brother? By the time T.J. Watt was drafted 30th-overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017, J.J. had already been the NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times. And while the older Watt is bigger, the two bear a lot of similarities in terms of their game, obviously specialized toward their individual strengths.
With the Watt brothers’ game show debuting recently, they have all been on the media circuit lately. T.J. yesterday sat down for an interview with Evan Washburn of CBS Sports to talk about a wide range of subjects in an interview spanning about half an hour. At one point, Washburn asked him how much he feels his game resembles that of his older brother.
“Me personally, I think a lot”, he said. “I’m obviously not as big or as strong as him, but, I can do some speed moves that he can’t do and, and he can do a lot of things that I can’t do. But from just a nuts and bolts football player, I think that there’s a lot of similarities there”.
J.J. is larger and stronger, but T.J. has more strength and agility, and each of them uses these individual strengths greatly to their advantage. Where their core skillsets intertwine, however, they remain common resources to one another. Of course, with J.J. being the mentor more often, as somebody who has been in the league for going on a decade already, and having done everything first.
“A lot of people have their favorite player that they grew up watching, their favorite pass rusher. Mine just happens to me my brother”, he said. “He’s always been a text away, a call away. From when I switched over to defense in college, we would just, I could send him videos and he would send me a video of what it’s supposed to look like”.
“The hard work and the hustle and all the behind the scenes things that I could see as a brother, as a fan, and just as a guy who wants to improve my game, I could see all the things that other people couldn’t see, the hard work that went into it”, he added.
It’s one thing to watch a great player on film and see the moves that they perform. It’s another to watch the process unfold about how he puts it all together. T.J. has gone through his career with a real-time, firsthand look at the making of an elite, Hall of Fame talent.
You better believe he has used that to his advantage, even while he was still at Wisconsin, converting over from tight end. And now he certainly feels like he’s on the precipice of claiming a Defensive Player of the Year title for himself one of these days.