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Work ethic and determination what separate Steelers rookie T.J. Watt from the crowd

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Some view the Steelers pick of T.J. Watt in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft as a stretch, but it is his work ethic and plain determination which set him apart from the field.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Minicamp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Pittsburgh Steelers selected T.J. Watt in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, there were the usual commonalities everyone was talking about. His family pedigree, his brother J.J. Watt and even the university he attended. All of which somehow diminished the Steelers top selection.

However, the more we, the fans, learn about Watt, we learn it is his work ethic and determination which set him apart from others in the past draft class.

Take a look at the comments made when he was interviewed by the Steelers official website:

Why do you play football?
I just love it. I don’t play football for the fame or money. I play it because it’s so much fun to get 11 guys on one unit, on the defensive side of the ball, running around making hits, for one common goal to win the Super Bowl. I think it’s awesome, especially when you get the whole 53-man roster to strive for that one goal, do everything they can in the offseason to work towards it is pretty special.

What motivates you?
Wanting to be the best. A lot of people want to be the best, few people know what it takes. Even fewer people do what it takes to be great. I know what I want to do, how to do it, and when to do it and I think that’s what separates me.

What is your approach to football?
As soon as you get on that field you know the work is done. You know you have worked your butt off to put a good product on the field. The guy across from you knows that I have put in more work than he has and that is what gives me that edge. When you look him in the eye and he knows, and I know, that I worked harder than he does.


What Watt has already put on display throughout the NFL Scouting Combine and the preseason workouts, is an insatiable work ethic, but his internal drive could be just what the Steelers need in a pass rusher. Watt might not be a huge star in his first year, but it doesn’t mean he won’t do whatever it takes to be a true star in the league.

In other words, fans should be ecstatic about Watt, and what he is able to put on the field in 2017 — and beyond.