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Watt: Tempered Expectations, Shades of the past

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by thorn058, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    I want to preface this thread by saying I came of age as far as being interested in football in 1992 when Bill Cowher was named head coach and while I did watch some before then in the twilight of Noll's career it was really the Steelers under Cowher that drove my interest. Guys like Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene, blitzburgh and the roar of the Blast Furnace fueled my obsession. Those were the days.

    So that being said I haven't felt with recent drafts that the outside linebackers have held held a candle to those guys. Worilds didn't inspire me, Jarvis Jones although I defended him often seemed more like a Clark Haggins than a Greg Llyod, Bud Dupree has shown some flashes and we have hope, but when they drafted Watt although you couldn't doubt his pedigree and coming from a solid 3-4 defensive program in college you could hope but nothing is ever set in stone on how a player will be. Last night that changed for me, in Watt's performance I was reminded of Lloyd and have some of that old excitement.

    There have been people, media types, coaches, and some fans trying to down play the two sacks last night and tempering expectations and perhaps rightly so but I want to focus on the second sack. Yes Watt was unblocked on what they are describing as a broken play by the Giants however he had the skill to sniff out the fake and stay with the QB and take him down for the sack. Several palys later Moats was in the same position and bought the fake following the RB so for a rookie in his first game to make that read and that play it has to do something to you. It reminded me of watching this Lloyd video the other day.

    especially the two plays where one he breaks up a double reverse vs the Packers, the next he sniffs out another reverse vs the Chargers I believe.

    Now I'm not saying that TJ Watt is as good as Lloyd was or even has his mentality, I'm saying that his play in the game last night reminded me of the days of Greene and Lloyd and while we should have tempered expectations, it excited me and very little about the OLB's has in recent years. I will admit I started looking for Watt jerseys online today.
  2. blountforcetrauma

    blountforcetrauma Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2011
    I will tell you exactly who Watt reminded me of in that first game: Ryan Shazier. More than anybody he reminded me of Ryan Shazier. Am I the only one here who remembers Ryan Shazier's first preseason game like it was yesterday? He absolutely dominated that game. I really would like to see another Kevin Greene in Black and Gold because he's one my all time favorite Steelers. It's funny too that you mention Moats because a reporter mentioned what a great game he had last night during Tomlin's presser and Tomlin seemed very unimpressed and said "well he was like the 11th grader playing in a JV game. He was SUPPOSED to dominate under those circumstances". True but ouch. LOL!
  3. Thigpen82


    Oct 17, 2011
    I agree with both of you. Watt looked quick, alert and just plain driven to get to the QB. As much as the media are talking about the sacks, his other stats were great (was it 5 QB pressures?), and indeed reminiscent of how Shazier was all over everything in his first game.
  4. Wardismvp

    Wardismvp Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2011
    I would like to see TJ add about 10 more pounds better to engage OT's and retain his speed, I like his motor.

    Hope he develops multiple pass rushing techniques, needs to pick his brothers brain.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. SteelCity_NB

    SteelCity_NB Staff Member Mod Team

    Oct 23, 2011
    Watt had an incredible game.

    Ironically, his best past rushes didn't result in sacks but did affect the offensive play.

    His 1st sack was due to pressure up the motor, but still his motor allowed him to be in the right place.

    On the 2nd sack, yes he was uncovered, but he did not bite on the fake and showed excellent change of direction and burst to get after the QB.

    I'm glad he came out against the Giants starting Oline and played the way he did. Had he done nothing we would have heard "Well it's his first game...." kind of what we heard with Dobbs. Not Watt. He proved he can play in the NFL.

    He still has things to work on of course. He needs to keep working on explosion and his burst if he wants to be a 10 sack guy in this league.
  6. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

    Apr 21, 2016
    Knew he would be good. I never had my doubts.

    To say he could explode out of the gates like he did though surprised me. Definitely reminded me of Shazier in terms of impact.

    Most people like the sacks, as did I. His ability to set the edge and maintain his gap responsibilities is what caught my eye. Not only were runs against him yielded little return, he was causing good amounts of disruption and ended up getting a tackle for loss.

    Another plus? I thought he looked very sound in coverage as well.

    His biggest plus from me of that game was his endurance. Playing an entire game while being used in a variety of ways is something to be just as excited about as those two sacks; maybe even more.

    All in all, a fantastic debut for him. If he can do this against one of the best offensive tackles in Jake Matthews next week... that solidifies that this game was no fluke. Again, should he be successful on the 20th of August.
  7. thesteeldeal

    thesteeldeal Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Agree with all that's been said and it's his intangibles that are going to make him very successful. He has the right attitude,he's a "football " player who he himself describes as being " born" to play football. His drive to be great will lead him strongly in that direction. Having JJ as a brother is a big deal too. Not only will he learn from him he will always strive to be better and make his own name ,which is nothing but great news for us......He's got that "I wasn't hired for my disposition " attitude.....
  8. jeh1856


    Oct 26, 2011
    Work in progress. In rewatching the game. After the second sack I'm now seeing a guy getting boxed out by the tackle.

    He was also playing both left and right. That could make a nice rotation with James and Bud.

    He does hustle.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  9. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Do you think it has to do more with Watt getting tired or lack of experience or that it's more like the Giants coaching staff realized he was more of a threat than they thought and told the tackle to focus on shutting him down?
  10. Diamond

    Diamond Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2012
    No one mentioned TJ also had a blocked pass against geno smith which is his brothers signature move, breaking up a pass is a drive killer as well as a sack ...
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. GoalLine


    Oct 16, 2011
    That would finally be nice to see instead of a converted 3rd and 25.
  12. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    One of the nice plays I saw him make was another almost great play. He busted into the backfield and almost got a sack but the Giants ran a draw play, the RB had at least a ten yard gain and was tackled near the sideline with Watt in on the tackle. He could have given up on the play after just narrowly missing blowing it up and I don't think anyone would fault him on it but instead ran the play down from behind.
  13. thesteeldeal

    thesteeldeal Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    I have a soft spot for batted down passes....love em. Cam had one as well. If you can't get home bat it down....really helps against the short passing game and sometimes leads to picks. Very underrated play...
  14. jeh1856


    Oct 26, 2011
    Are you old enough to remember L C Greenwood batting down 2 Fran Tarkenton passes in SB IX?
  15. MadtownDruankard

    MadtownDruankard Well-Known Member

    Aug 31, 2015
    As a badger fan living in Madison I love that we drafted Watt. His motor reminds me of Kevin Greene. We are desperate for a play maker on defense so I hope he fits the bill. All that said this was not only one preseason game it was the first pre season game. We ran a vanilla defense against a vanilla offense. Half the game was played with players that will probably never start a snap in the NFL. My expectations are tempered. Especially this season. Rookies rarely make an impact on our defense. Even the best struggled to excel their rookie year. Troy Polamalu couldn't do it his rookie season and he had skills that most have never seen in this league.

    I think the best we can hope for is an 8 sack kind of season while mainly playing in passing situations. I think Watt is going to have a tough time handling the NFL O-line and running game to start. He needs to add some strength and game skills. Starting O-linemen in this league don't make many mental mistakes and if you only have one move then good luck. We've had so many OLB's on this team over the years with one move and because of that they never amounted to anything. I can think of 3 or 4 off the top of my head over the last 20 years. Lloyd, Greene, Harrison, Gildon, and Porter come to mind. Greene left Pittsburgh 22 years ago, Lloyd left 20 years ago. Gildon left 14 years ago. Man am I old. what the hell happened.
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1
  16. Watt Wack

    Watt Wack Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2017
    You guys are missing one element: it wasn't that he "didn't buy the fake," it was that had the back got the ball, he would have tackled him for a loss (he was right there) AND he had the instincts/speed/motor to also be there for the sack; he had both things covered. That is impressive.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  17. thesteeldeal

    thesteeldeal Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Born yes(1969):smiley1:.......not quite old enough to really remember. Of course I have seen it since....it was a big part of L Cs game...he had those long arms and those big clubs that seemed to do the trick...
  18. dd63

    dd63 Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2017
    Like you I am old enough (1968) but not enough to remember it.
    Kiesel had a knack of knocking down passes, an underappreciated aspect of his game.
  19. Steel_Elvis

    Steel_Elvis Staff Member Mod Team

    Nov 4, 2011
    Great start. He looks like he "gets" it. Most rookies look a bit lost on many plays early on, even if they make a few plays. He looked like a vet on every play. I was happy when we drafted him, and I feel like I'll be happy we drafted him 10 years from now.
  20. Da Stellars

    Da Stellars Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2011
    I'm excited for Watt's potential, but I'm really scared about his injury history.
  21. Blast Furnace

    Blast Furnace Staff Member Mod Team

    Oct 16, 2011
    I think thats a benefit of big brother.

    I was very happy we drafted him, Im not going to make too much out of 1 preseason game but it certainly backed up my thoughts on him.
  22. nor

    nor Well-Known Member

    Oct 26, 2016
    Wasn't he playing against LT Erik Flowers, one of the worst LTs in the league?
  23. fer69

    fer69 Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2016
    I bet you're fun at parties :lolol:
  24. Thigpen82


    Oct 17, 2011
    He was in most of the game, so a lot was against Bisnowaty who's a rookie.

    Nobody's crowning him DPOY on the basis of one game; it's the potential that his showing suggests which is impressive.
  25. blountforcetrauma

    blountforcetrauma Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2011
    I wouldn't worry about that. Our FO is really good about picking people that don't often get injured. Jarvis Jones and Senquez Golson are just a couple of supportive examples off the top of my head. Oh. Wait.
    • Hilarious Hilarious x 1

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