Should He Win It, T.J. Watt Won’t Treat 2021 DPOTY Award As Individual Honor

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is in Las Vegas, NV this week getting ready for the NFL’s annual Pro Bowl game and that means he’s sure to be asked to do quite a few interviews between now and Sunday’s game. With Watt now being the odds-on favorite to with the annual NFL Defensive Player of the Year award a few weeks now, the Steelers former first round draft pick was asked in a Thursday interview with the NFL Network what winning that prestigious award would mean to him.

“It would be a great honor,” Watt said. “I know I get asked about it a lot and it gets tiresome because it’s such an individual award but it’s so much more than that. So many guys helped me, whether it was guys in coverage, guys in the rush with me as well and just great schemes by the coaches as well. So, it’d be a great honor, but it would be the Pittsburgh Steelers as a whole, for sure.”

After registering a league-best 22.5 sacks in 2021, in addition to tying the NFL’s single season record in that statistical category, Watt seems to be a slam-dunk to win the Defensive Player of the Year award a few weeks from now, which would essentially put the finishing touches on a sweep of the 2021 awards for him. On Wednesday, Watt was selected as The Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year, an award that is voted on by peers, with NFL players and coaches selecting the winner for each category. That honor comes on the heels of him already been voted first-team Associated Press All-Pro, 101 Awards AFC Defensive Player of the Year, PFWA Defensive Player of the Year, All-NFL by PFWA, and voted to the Pro Bowl.

If Watt does ultimately win the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award, he will be the second Watt to receive that honor as his oldest brother J.J. Watt has already won that award three times to date. The younger Watt was asked on Thursday if he thinks he might be able to use winning the award this year as something to hold over his older brother’s head, so to speak. His answer was one you would expect him to give.

“I mean, he’s got three, so he would still gimme a hard time, I’m sure of it,” T.J. Watt said.

Here’s to hoping that T.J. watt can ultimately at least tie his older brother when it comes to that particular award, if not pass him.

The Defensive Player of the Year award will be announced during the annual NFL Honors show, a two-hour prime-time awards special that recognizes the NFL’s best players, performances and plays from the 2021 season. This year for the first time NFL Honors will take place on a Thursday. The show is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. ET and will take place at YouTube Theater at the SoFi Entertainment District in Los Angeles — the same location as Super Bowl LVI.

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