Former Buffalo Bills great and the all-time sack leader Bruce Smith is quite impressed with Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt and the start he has to his NFL career. So impressed that he thinks that Watt could potentially break his sacks record one day.
In a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Smith, who holds the NFL’s all-time sacks record with 200, gave his thoughts on Watt, who enters the final week of the 2020 season as the league’s sack leader with 15.
“You have to understand there has to be a level of consistency that will last for 14, 15 years,” Smith told TMZ Sports. “So, there are a lot of factors that go against you from being able to, heck, even reach 130 sacks or 140 sacks. … The number one factor is health.”
If you do the math, Watt is currently on pace to break Smith’s record of 200 sacks, as he currently has 49.5 sacks in his first four years in the NFL. Smith, in case you’re curious, had 44.5 sacks in his first four years in the league from 1985-1988, five fewer than what Watt has through his first four seasons in the NFL with the Steeles
“T.J. Watt is playing outstanding, Smith told TMZ. “I had a chance to work with him at the Pro Bowl this past year and meet and talk to him. Just an outstanding young man from the Watt family. And his technique, his desire to play the game, obviously with great coaching from Mike Tomlin and some of the other defensive coaches, I am impressed with this young man.”
Smith produced sacks consistently for nearly two decades in the NFL on his way to registering double-digit sacks 13 times in his 19 NFL seasons.
Wat obviously will need to stay consistent for many more years to come if he wants to have a shot at breaking Smith’s all-time sack record. It’s not unthinkable, but with that said, playing 19 seasons in the NFL is a rarity these days.
Watt was named the Steelers team MVP for the second consecutive year on Thursday and is now the odds-on favorite to win the 2020 Defensive Player of the Year award after the season ends. Watt, who will not play in the Steelers Sunday regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns, enters Week 17 leading the NFL in sacks (15), tackles for a loss (23) and quarterback hits (41).