Entering 2023, T.J. Watt Feels ‘Very Confident’ About Steelers’ Future

T.J. Watt Minkah Fitzpatrick

The Pittsburgh Steelers started the season 2-6. They finished it 9-8 winning seven of their last nine. Although they could not qualify for the playoffs, the team ended the year on a high note and with a lot to look forward to.

One of the players who is excited to the future is EDGE rusher T.J. Watt. In his press conference after the game today, streamed via the Steelers YouTube, he spoke about how confident he feels about everyone inside he Pittsburgh locker room.

“I’ll keep saying on repeat, I feel very confident young, old, whoever’s in that locker room, players and coaches” said Watt.

The Steelers are a very mixed team. While they have some veterans on the defensive side like Cameron Heyward, Tyson Alualu, and Watt himself, on the offensive side they are very young. Pittsburgh started a rookie quarterback in Kenny Pickett most of the season along with a rookie wide receiver in George Pickens. In addition young players like Dan Moore Jr., Najee Harris, and Pat Freiermuth are always some the first names penciled into the starting line up.

Watt credited the Pittsburgh veterans and head coach Mike Tomlin for helping build up the confidence in the locker room and show the young players what it means to be a Steeler by bringing back alumni.

“We have a good mix of young guys who want to work and old guys who want to show the way. And I think that’s very key to what we want to build here as Pittsburgh Steelers’. I think it’s been important all season long. Coach T’s [Tomlin] brought back alumni just to show what it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.”

Given the retirement of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last offseason, the Steelers’ leadership, especially not he offensive side of the ball, took a hit. Roethlisberger was the last player link to the Super Bowl era on the roster and with him gone, no player won a Super Bowl in Steeler colors. By brining back alumni Tomlin tried to show the young Steelers what “The Standard” is and how to work to meet that standard.

While the 2022 Steelers clearly did not meet those standards, Watt is confident that they will be able to meet that standard real soon. With the young players playing at such important positions at good level towards the end of the season it is hard not to look forward towards next season.

If Pickett can take a second year jump the Steelers could be a scary team next year. With veteran leaders like Heyward and Watt in the locker room to help guide the youngsters through tough times, the Steelers came out of the bye week like a whole different team. With the trials and tribulations they went through this year, the Steelers will be ready for whatever 2023 throws at them.

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