It wouldn’t be a major surprise if standout defensive lineman T.J. Watt just wanted to go home after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ clunker of a playoff showing.
But despite a radio report, that’s not what happened, per Watt himself.
The story starts with popular sports-talk radio host Mark Madden, who said on the air that he heard Watt blew off his exit interview with the Steelers after a disappointing loss to the rival Cleveland Browns in the AFC playoffs.
“I am told that T.J. Watt refused to participate in his exit interview,” Madden said to open his show Monday. “That he was angry about something. That he just said, ‘Send my stuff to Wisconsin, I’m out of here.'”
Watt, 26, begged to differ.
“Would love to hear who Mark’s sources are,” Watt tweeted. “They certainly can’t be myself, Coach T, Kevin Colbert or Coach Butler, all of whom I met with during exit interviews, prior to packing my own things after a hard fought season trying to give everything I have for the city of Pittsburgh.”
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Steelers fullback Derek Watt, T.J. Watt’s older brothers, responded with some tweets of their own.
Madden has a long history in Pittsburgh, and aside from Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, may be the city’s most popular sports figure.
Madden, too, responded to T.J. Watt’s denial.
Watt has compiled 49 1/2 sacks in four seasons with the Steelers, setting a career high 15 this past season, good enough for best in the league. He also recorded 53 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception.