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Joey Porter’s Year 2 goals for T.J. Watt: Don’t think, just play

The Steelers’ outside linebacker coach was impressed with T.J. Watt’s rookie season, but knows he has more to give in his second year.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers demand a lot out of their outside linebackers, and the same can be said about their outside linebackers coach. Former player, Joey Porter, has been heavily criticized for not being able to get the most out of his players, and in 2018 he has been given a depleted depth chart in 2018 on top of that.

Porter’s 2018 group, currently, consists of Bud Dupree, T.J. Watt, Anthony Chickillo and Keion Adams. Those are the only players who have spent some time, and very little in Adams’ case, in a Steelers training camp. That won’t deter Porter from having high expectations for his players in 2018.

In a recent media session, Porter talked about a lot of things: expectations, how the game has changed since he played, the switching of sides for Dupree and Watt, but spent a long time talking about expectations for the team’s top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

According to Porter, last year Watt spent way too much time on the field thinking. This is typical for a rookie, but his goal for the former Wisconsin Badger is to stop thinking so much, and just play. This could, and probably should, be a natural progression for Watt after his rookie season.

When you think about it, so much changes for a rookie in the NFL. No longer having to worry about classwork, they can provide 100-percent of their attention to the game of football; however, with that comes the unknown of the regular season. Rookies don’t truly know what to expect until they hit the field in their first live game action. The game is faster, and they realize their goals of getting bigger and stronger were likely considered a waste of time.

In Year 2 is when there is no unknown about expectations. You know what a 16-game regular season looks like. You know how to alter your training and how to take care of your body. Also, you know the team’s systems and which allows you to play at a much higher level.

This is the hope for Watt, as Porter outlined, and if he can take his game to the next level it will only benefit the team in the long run.

Check out Porter’s entire media session in the player below: