TJ Watt Says He’s Still A Student Of The Game Despite Early Success In His Career

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Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt‘s primary goal with the team is to reach the Super Bowl, and the defensive beast said fighting off complacency is in his DNA.

“It’s not the type of person that I am, there’s still so much that I want to accomplish,” Watt said. “We haven’t gotten close to the Super Bowl since I’ve been here, so I think that’s obviously the No. 1 goal. You only get so many years, good years, to play at this level, and that’s kind of what I’m trying to capture and take advantage of while I have it, ’cause I know that if I didn’t give it everything I had I would regret it when I can’t do the things I can do now.”

While breaking records isn’t something he said he is “consciously thinking about,” the linebacker — who has 17.5 sacks so far — is quickly approaching Michael Strahan’s NFL single-season sacks record with 22.5 in 2001.

“It would be cool, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not something that I’m consciously thinking about,” he said. “All those goals I had earlier in my career, and I realized that it just puts unnecessary pressure on yourself, and then you find yourself in games, a couple of games into the season you’re not anywhere close to be on pace, then you start to try to do too much and then you start hurting yourself and your team, so I’m just trying to impact every game the best that I possibly can, to play the best that I can for my team. A record like that would be cool, but I also think I’d take a Super Bowl any day over that.” 

Watt said he has evolved into more of a student of the game, especially as he’s watched his brother Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt play.

“He’s a very aware player,” T.J. Watt said of his brother. “The more that I realize that he’s studying formations and things that you can expect to see, and certain runs that they like to run out of certain formations that they’re in and certain tells, I’m kind of growing into that role where early on in my career I was more of an instinctual-only player.” 

Watt plans to play against the Chiefs in Sunday’s Week 16 game against the Kansas City Chiefs despite suffering a couple of cracked ribs in Week 15’s win over the Tennessee Titans, reports.

The Pro Bowl pass rusher is no stranger to playing through the pain, though. As Watt has dealt with groin issues that have limited him at various points throughout the season. He’s only missed two games, while reaching a career-high of 17.5 sacks in just 12 games.

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Written by Megan Turner

Megan graduated from the University of Central Florida and writes and tweets about anything related to sports. She replies to comments she shouldn't reply to online and thinks the CFP Rankings are absolutely rigged. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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