Can ex-Badgers T.J. Watt, Joe Schobert replicate Wisconsin’s defensive dominance in Pittsburgh?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense was dominant in 2020, and despite some changes, has expectations to continue on that path.

After the sudden retirement of inside linebacker Vince Williams, the Steelers had a void, and it was clear his replacement was not on the roster.

So when the Jacksonville Jaguars phoned the Pittsburgh Steelers with an opportunity to acquire veteran Joe Schobert via trade, Kevin Colbert and company jumped at it.

When the trade was official, Schobert joined an already Badgers-heavy Steelers roster with T.J. Watt, his older brother Derek Watt and fifth-round rookie defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk.

In 2015, the Wisconsin defense was hailed as the best in the NCAA. Watt, a bright-eyed sophomore, and Schobert, then a senior outside linebacker, were part of a unit that ranked No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.7 points per game. Together, they wreaked havoc off the edge, producing a combined nine sacks, 21 quarterback hits and 66 pressures.

As a pro, Schobert moved to the inside of the defensive line with stellar results. In five seasons, his laundry list of contributions includes nine interceptions (one for a touchdown), 24 defended passes, 11 sacks, 549 tackles and 25 quarterback hits.

And Watt … well, you know the disruption he causes.

Can Watt and Schobert rekindle the 2015 Badgers magic and sprinkle it on Pittsburgh? Let’s hope so.

List

Steelers vs Lions: 4 things to watch for in this week's preseason game