The Pittsburgh Steelers had several players who could have been considered for the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, but even as great as someone like Minkah Fitzpatrick was in a black-and-gold jersey, T.J. Watt’s 2019 season had him in the discussion for the award given out to the league’s best defensive player.
Saturday night, at the NFL Honors showcase, it wasn’t Watt’s name that was called for the award given to the league’s best defender for the season, but none other than New England Patriots’ cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Stephon Gilmore wins AP Defensive Player of the Year award. T.J. Watt was a finalist. #Steelers #dkps— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) February 1, 2020
Some will argue the fact the Steelers failed to make the postseason ultimately hurt his chances at winning this prestigious award. Others will suggest Watt is just starting to prove himself as a superstar in the league.
Either way, Watt had a tremendous 2019 season which had him collect the following stats:
8 Pass Defenses
8 Forced Fumbles
4 Fumble Recoveries
36 QB Hits
14 Tackles For Loss (TFL)
55 Combined Tackles
Watt didn’t leave the 2019 without some accolades though. He was voted the Steelers 2019 Most Valuable Player, was selected on multiple All-Pro teams and was a participant in the NFL Pro Bowl for the second straight season.
While winning the award would be nice, I am going to go out on a limb and suggest Watt doesn’t care about the individual award, and is solely focused on improving his craft to help the Steelers not just reach the playoffs in 2020, but to win the whole thing.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on the black-and-gold as they prepare for a long offseason before the 2020 regular season kicks off.