T.J. Watt on Tomlin’s influence, a flourishing Flores and J.J.’s job prospects I The Rush
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt is on the show, chatting with Jared about the quarterback he’s most proud of sacking, sack dance etiquette, playing for master motivator Mike Tomlin, what makes Brian Flores a great coach, his brother J.J.’s job prospects now that he’s retired and how Connie Watt would handle a Watt vs. Watt Super Bowl, which is the scenario Donna Kelce has found herself in with sons Travis and Jason facing off in Super Bowl LVII. Plus, T.J. is stepping up his teeth game with Invisalign aligners, helping him to straighten his teeth and smile with confidence.
JARED QUAY: The Kelce brothers are facing off in the Super Bowl. Their mom Donna made a split jersey of both teams so she could represent both. So if the Watt brothers happened to get to the Super Bowl together, how does your mother handle her fandom?
TJ WATT: I think she'd do the split jersey as well. I remember when JJ was on the Texans, Derek was on the Chargers, and I was in the Steelers, she had like a three-way split jersey. So I mean, I don't know. Kudos to whoever is making those. They can't be the most comfortable things with all the stitching in them. But they are cool looking.
JARED QUAY: What's up, everybody? I'm here with Steelers linebacker and 2021 Defensive Player of the Year, TJ Watt. What's happening with you, TJ?
TJ WATT: I'm doing really well. I'm excited to be here.
JARED QUAY: I was researching. Your name is Trent Jordan. Does everybody know that? Am I allowed to say that, or is that a secret?
TJ WATT: That's correct. And in fall camp, people are begging me for autographs. So I say, if you know my full name, I'll give you an autograph. No one ever knows it. So now the secret's out.
JARED QUAY: You've sacked so many quarterbacks, and so I got to ask you. First of all, who was your most prized sack?
TJ WATT: As far as a quarterback that I've already sacked, I mean, the guy that just retired. Brady has to be there, I think, just because he's arguably the greatest of all time. I don't even know if it is an argument.
JARED QUAY: After a sack, how important is the sack dance?
TJ WATT: You have to be aware of the situation. If it's a two-minute drill, you can't be wasting all your energy because you have to play a snap if there's no timeouts. But a third down, you know you're about to jog off the field, you can use all your energy and have a nice dance.
But I mean, you have to have fun. It's so hard to get a sack in the NFL and to be able to perform at this level that I feel like you have to have as much fun as you possibly can and celebrate a little bit.
JARED QUAY: Your brother JJ just retired from the NFL. Obviously going to have free time, but since you know him so well, what non-sports related job do you think he may be good at in the next phase of his life?
TJ WATT: Wiping babies' butts, because he's got a newborn. But I know that when I babysit, I will not be doing that. So I'll save that for him.
JARED QUAY: He knows football so well, and his former teammate Demeco Ryans is on the Texans coaching staff. You think he might want to join them. Is that something that you think he may eventually get to?
TJ WATT: I don't know. That's a good question. It's one of those things that we've never really fully had true conversation about what he was going to do after his career. Just because when you're in it, you're so committed to the next day in the moment. And so I'm sure when I go down to Arizona this week, maybe we'll have some of those conversations. But I'm not sure.
JARED QUAY: Brian Flores was a trending topic in the media before he became your linebackers coach in Pittsburgh. What's your experience working together, and what surprised you about him?
TJ WATT: I mean, it's a guy that absolutely loves football. He loves his X's and O's. He's a business guy, but at the same time, he's a younger coach. So he can just talk and relax and hang out with the guys, which I think is really cool and special to be able to have a bridge between player and coach. And a guy that has brought success into our defensive room, and I'm excited to hopefully have him back this next year.
JARED QUAY: What is going on in the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room, that you guys just don't have losing seasons? Like, it is impossible for you guys to be below average.
TJ WATT: I think it's Mike Tomlin, it really is. The guy's a motivator. We always say football's a unique sport because you get guys from 50 different states, sometimes different countries, all these different backgrounds. But he finds ways to motivate the collective.
And even individually, there's just so many different interactions that a head coach has to have with different players. But he seems to always be able to find a way, whether we are on a losing streak or on a winning streak, to be able to rally the guys around him and perform to the best of their ability.
JARED QUAY: One of your jobs as a pro athlete is to take care of your body, but I hear you're taking it a step further and you're stepping up your teeth game, man. Can you tell us how you're stepping up your teeth game?
TJ WATT: Yeah, I'm trying to improve my teeth game. There's a lot of guys in the locker room that have been improving their teeth game with Invisalign aligners and braces. And I was on the fence between both of them, and I basically went with Invisalign aligners because you don't have those emergency appointments that come along with it.
And I heard it's not painful, and it hasn't been, in my experience. I've had these since March, and I'm almost done soon, so. It's just one of those things that it was a great partnership for me, and you can hardly tell that I'm wearing them when I'm wearing them. And I can play with them in as well, so that's a positive.
JARED QUAY: Wait a minute, you have them in right now?
TJ WATT: I have them in right now. Can't even tell.
JARED QUAY: What? Oh my goodness, man. Oh, man.
TJ WATT: My teeth are a little-- were not something I was proud of, and now they're actually to a point where I'm super happy and excited about my smile. So it's a whole confidence thing that I'm excited about.
JARED QUAY: Well, TJ, I appreciate you rushing for me today, man.
TJ WATT: Thank you very much, man. Take care. Have a good rest of your day.