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Terrible Towel Tales: T.J. Watt named AFC Defensive Player of the Year

Steelers news and commentary Wednesday, January 24th

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Welcome to the Terrible Towel Tales, where we’ll highlight some of the latest stories permeating Steelers media for your reading pleasure every Monday through Saturday. In today’s news…

Steelers’ T.J. Watt Named AFC Defensive Player of the Year | Nick Farabaugh, Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Year by the 101 Committee on Tuesday over other players like Myles Garrett. Watt has won the same award three times: in 2020, in 2021, and now, in 2023.

Watt joins rare company with his brother J.J., Reggie White, Ray Lewis, Aaron Donald, and Bruce Smith as the only players to win three or more awards in their respective conferences. He has already earned a Pro Bowl and First-Team All-Pro nod so far this season.

Steelers Among Favorites for Vikings QB | Noah Strackbein, All Steelers

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the favorites to land Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. As both teams try to figure out their future at the QB position, a move from Minnesota to Pittsburgh could be in the works for the Pro Bowler.

MinnesotaBets.com lists the Steelers among the top seven teams that could land the four-time Pro Bowler this offseason. Trailing the Vikings (+150), Atlanta Falcons (+600), Denver Broncos (+700), Las Vegas Raiders (+900) and New England Patriots (+900), Pittsburgh has the sixth-best odds at +1500.

Where will the Steelers turn at offensive coordinator? | Brooke Pryor, ESPN

The priorities for those outside candidates: score more points and figure out the quarterback situation.

In each of the past two seasons, the Steelers finished near the bottom of the league in scoring. In 2023, they averaged 17.8 points per game, down from 18.1 in 2022. In 2021, Roethlisberger’s final season and Canada’s first, the Steelers averaged 20.2 points per game, and even that was a drop from 26.6 in 2020.

That’s a trend Tomlin wants — and needs — to reverse.

“I want us to be versatile and dynamic,” Tomlin said, explaining the criteria for an offensive coordinator. “Obviously, we’ve got to score more points. I want to be able to keep defenses off-balance.”