Being the first round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers can’t be easy. The high profile team dominates the news feed in the Steel City, at least when the NHL isn’t doing business, and with the first round tag comes lofty expectations.
Throw in being a part of the Watt family, slowly turning into NFL royalty, and you have a whole new set of questions and standards thrown at you on a daily basis. In other words, T.J. Watt has done a lot of talking since being drafted, and who can blame the guy if he just wants to finally play football.
Watt got a taste of that satisfaction on Sunday at Heinz Field when he practiced in front of more than 17,000 fans in attendance, his parents being some of those. It was the first taste of actual football for the former Wisconsin linebacker.
"Anywhere we go these fans follow us and that's why they're the best," Watt told Jacob Klinger of PennLive. "And to come out here and play on the field in front of the new scoreboard, having my parents out here and getting them to watch me play in my first NFL uniform, to see that, it's a pretty special night."
To say Watt is ready to finally hit someone he doesn’t call a teammate this Friday night when the team travels to the Big Apple to play the New York Giants is a gigantic understatement. He isn’t alone either. The entire Steelers defense is likely salivating at the thought of getting after someone not wearing black and gold.
"I think when we go at each other for so long, whether it's high school, college or the NFL, you go against each other for so long throughout camp that you get to a point where you're just ready to face an opponent," he said. "That's why i'm so excited to get going this week against the Giants."
The Steelers, and Watt, will finally get a chance to play, rather than talk, and Watt will get plenty of repetitions Friday night as James Harrison will not be dressing for the first of four preseason games. Despite being at Saint Vincent College, Watt, and the other rookies, haven’t had a chance to get into the usual work week rhythm with a game thrown in the mix. This Friday that all changes, and Watt will likely be chomping at the bit to get after it.