The Pittsburgh Steelers’ game against the Houston Texans will be host to a very rare occurrence, one that has only happened once in the better part of a century—and Pittsburgh was a central part of that one as well. Three brothers will be on the field on Sunday, the way they were against the Buffalo Bills last year.
That was the Edmunds brothers then, the Steelers will Terrell and Trey, the older brothers; the Bills with Tremaine, the youngest. This time, it will be the Watts. The Texand bring J.J., big brother and by far the most accomplished, but little brother T.J. is stating his own case, and middle brother Derek has forged his own identity as a Pro Bowl-level special teams player and fullback.
While Derek and T.J. have gotten the chance to be on the same team before because they are closer in age, J.J. always got left out. Since arriving in the NFL, he has gotten to chance to face Derek’s and T.J.’s teams (or at least was on the field even if injured). This time, everyone will be healthy and in the same stadium, in uniform, for the first time.
“It’s unbelievable. It truly is incredible”, J.J. told reporters yesterday. “I mean, just to have us all playing at Wisconsin was really cool. Just to have all of us playing in the NFL was really cool. To play against another brother was cool. Now to have all of us at the same time in the same game, it really doesn’t get any better than that”.
“It’s incredible. It’s special”, he continued. “It’s a testament to our parents and everything that they did and all the people in our lives, our coaches, our trainers, everybody who helped us get here. It’s gonna be very, very cool”.
All three brothers were excellent high school athletes, though J.J. had to give the nod to Derek as the best player in their high school years. As mentioned, they all ended up at Wisconsin, but big brother was gone by the time the others arrived, declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft.
He did well for himself, it’s fair to say. A three-time Defensive Player of the Year, a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame in the future, perhaps as soon as he’s eligible, he has been one of the dominant players of his generation, without question, and one only wonders what he might have been had injuries never struck. As it is, he has 98 career sacks in 114 games with 160 tackles for loss and 23 forced fumbles.
T.J., now in his fourth season, is playing catchup. He does have 37 sacks in 49 games with 39 tackles for loss and 15 forced fumbles, plus four interceptions on top of that. Even though they won’t be on the field at the same time, it should be fun to watch them compete to try to one-up each other when it’s their turn to make a stop.