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Steelers’ T.J. Watt making this one goal a priority before any decisions about retiring

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt has an impressive resume that includes an NFL Defensive Player of the Year award, four first-team All-Pro honors and six Pro Bowl selections. He’s also tied Michael Strahan’s record for most sacks in a single season. The star defender has accomplished a lot in his seven seasons in the NFL, but there’s one big thing he’s still missing.

The former first-round pick has never won a playoff game and when looking back on his career so far, the lack of postseason success stands out to him.ย 

The Steelers had four playoff bids since Watt joined the team in 2017 and were one and done each time. The 30-year-old is chasing that postseason W and is one reason he stays motivated on the field.ย 

“For me, it is all about no playoff wins,” Watt said, via The Athletic. “I am trying to do anything I can do. We have so much turnover year to year and so many new guys that it is trying to learn as much as possible coming from guys from other organizations that have done it and won championships since being in the league. I am going to do whatever is possible to win. It is about not taking any day for granted, and when it comes down to executing and working, putting everything aside and getting it done.”

The Steelers went 10-7 last season, making the playoffs but losing in the wild card round to the Buffalo Bills. The team’s last playoff win came in 2016, one year before Watt arrived.ย 

Watt does not have an immediate plan for retirement and is unsure when it will be time to hang up the cleats. “I don’t know if I want to play forever, but who knows? It is too hard to say,” he said.ย 

His brother, former defensive end JJ Watt, retired at the end of the 2022 season at age 33. T.J. Watt said his older brother did not follow his exact plan for retirement.

“JJ always said he didn’t want to play super long, then things happened and he ended up playing longer,” T.J. Watt said. “I won’t know until that moment comes. I feel great right now, so I am kind of just living in the moment.”

The Steelers had a busy offseason, adding two new quarterbacks to the mix. Formerย Super Bowl champion Russell Wilson is expected to be the starter, while former No. 11 overall pick Justin Fields, who played three seasons with the Bears, is set to be the backup.

Back in March, Watt spoke on the Steelers’ offensive additions, saying he is hopeful they can help him finally check off his goal of winning when it really counts.ย 

“To be able to have some big-time new faces and guys who have played at a high level — especially Russ, a guy who’s won a Super Bowl — in the locker room. I’m just hoping that I can learn something from those guys and hopefully, show them how things are done in Pittsburgh as well, what we’ve been doing,” Watt saidย earlier this offseason. “I haven’t won a playoff game my whole career, so I’m open to any type of information, where we can continue to get better. Hopefully, those guys can help us do that.”

According to Caesars Sportsbook, Pittsburgh has +160 odds of making the playoffs. Watt, meanwhile, has the second-best odds of winning Defensive Player of the Year at +650.ย 

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Author: Shanna McCarriston
June 17, 2024 | 2:10 pm

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