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T.J. Watt Discusses ‘Void’ In Leadership Post-Ben Roethlisberger, Becoming Team-First Player

After the retirement of two-time Super Bowl champion and locker room chief quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers start a brand new period on many ranges. Naturally, high-impact veterans in defensive sort out Cameron Heyward and out of doors linebacker T.J. Watt seem to have assumed management roles. As one of many longest-tenured gamers for the Steelers, Watt’s soon-to-be six-year profession arc has seen a large upwards development on and off the sphere. In an NFL Media interview with Scott Hanson and Kurt Warner, Watt mentioned his management function in addition to his turning into extra of a workforce participant as his profession progressed.

“Yeah, there’s definitely a void in the leadership role, to have that guy that’s been there and won championships at a high level,” Watt said in reference to Roethlisberger’s retirement. “That’s where myself and Cam Heyward can step up and truly be voice guys to show them how we do things.”

Replacing the management function and respect {that a} two-time Super Bowl champion had is way from a straightforward activity. However, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year seems prepared and greater than prepared to embrace the function. Since getting into the league in 2017, it’s secure to imagine that Watt’s many on-the-field accolades, in addition to his respect and admiration for the Steelers group and the town of Pittsburgh, have earned the respect of the locker room.

“My first probably like two or three years, I was very like – statistical goals. I want like fifteen sacks. I want X amount of TFLs, all this, all these stats. And there was a lot of me-stuff,” Watt said relating to his embrace of a team-first mentality. “And at the end of the day, it’s all about how can I help this team be the best team possible and win a Super Bowl. And the goal now is just to wreck games and be an absolute game disruptor.”

As is the case with many gamers getting into the league, Watt’s preliminary concern with stats was solely pure for a younger participant searching for to make an impression. That mentioned, Watt’s capitalizing on the team-first mentality speaks to his embrace of a management function and the instance he seeks to guide by. Moreover, regardless of this embrace of the team-first mentality, Watt has no scarcity of non-public accolades, after tying the NFL’s sack report and successful Defensive Player of the Year in 2021.

Having lately signed an extension with the Black and Gold, Watt might be one of many workforce’s locker room leaders for the foreseeable future, searching for to go his team-first mentality onto youthful gamers. While replicating Roethlisberger’s locker room respect is a tough activity, Watt is definitely on his technique to doing simply that.

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