T.J. Watt is a bonafide star. He’s a former Defensive Player of the Year and making a strong case for a second nod. He’s a three-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler. Former Pittsburgh Steelers safety and ESPN analyst Ryan Clark said he could finish his career as the greatest Steeler of all time, which would be a tremendous honor given the laundry list of Steelers greats.
His seven-year career is worthy of being cocky — yet, he’s one of the most humble guys in the game.
Steelers rookie Nick Herbig earned the first sack of his young career on Sunday versus the Los Angeles Rams. It was only one of two times Matthew Stafford was taken down — Larry Ogunjobi had the other.
Herbig’s six pass-rush snaps were the most he’s taken since Week 2 against the Cleveland Browns. Overall, he’s been in on 67 snaps: 37 run, 24 pass rush and six in coverage.
Watt, a Wisconsin Badgers product a half-dozen years before Herbig, downplayed his influence on the rookie since joining the Steelers via the 132nd pick of the NFL draft.
“He’s had an influence on us too,” Watt told Steelers Wire. “I’ve been speaking with Nick for a couple of years going back to Wisconsin, and ever since he’s came in the building, he’s just brought such a great energy into the room.”
Watt appreciates his hunger for the game and his understanding of the magnitude of what it means to wear the Black & Gold.
“He’s a young guy who just loves football. He doesn’t take this life for granted. He understands the opportunity he has in front of him, and stuff like that is contagious, and I appreciate the want to and the willingness to learn and improve each and every day that he brings. It’s fun to see that hard work pay off because we worked so much after practice.”
Herbig’s performance was the best of the season, and Watt believes it’s just the beginning.
“That’s a special accomplishment, and there’s so many more to come for him.”