T.J. Watt Earns Defensive Rookie Of The Week Honors

It’s perhaps not a great shock, given the stat line that he was able to compile, but Pittsburgh Steelers first-round pick T.J. Watt was named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the week for his performance in the regular season opener against the Cleveland Browns, in which he recorded six tackles, two sacks, and an interception.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had the news first that I was able to find.

Watt played all but four snaps in his NFL debut and certainly looked the part of an NFL starter, albeit a rookie starter who is obviously still progressing in his craft. He did trip over his own feet during a late-fourth quarter catch and run by Isaiah Crowell. While he got back on his feet, he was unable to make the tackle before the running back picked up 10 yards and a first down.

That was a minor blemish, however, in comparison to his complete body of work, and the timeliness of his performance. His first two tackles on defense were on Crowell on the first two plays of a drive, both runs, limiting him to a combined four yards to set up a third and long that they did not complete.

His interception was particularly timely, as it came just a play after he was flagged for a late his on the quarterback following an Anthony Chickillo sack that would have set up a second and 18. with the penalty, it pushed the Browns into field goal territory, but Watt was able to make a leaping interception on the next play as rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer looked to float the ball over his head.

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Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • Steve

    TJ Watt had a Great start to his Pro career, this is just what the Steelers need.

  • WreckIess

    When’s the last time we had one of those?

  • srdan

    TJ doing his best James Harrison impression. A sack, a turnover and a personal foul.

  • JNick

    The best of it being he did this against an All Pro LT in Joe Thomas.

  • srdan

    Maybe in title, but not in play. That takes nothing away from TJ, he only plays who they put in front of him.

  • Michael James

    This (sack above) was against Joe Thomas. He actually beat him several times and Thomas was still very good last season.

  • Reginald Pippin

    Don’t they all?

  • Charles Mullins

    They need to try put him in at tight end… that pic was pretty.

  • hdogg48

    OK….we’ll call it a Deebo Hat Trick.

  • Dorian James

    And here I thought Joe Thomas was going to teach him a lesson. TJ sure shut my mouth

  • Steve Johnson

    Yep! Now if Bud can come back, that front seven will look awesome! Heyward, Hargrave, Tuitt, Dupree, Shazier, Williams and T.J. Watt. Even if Tuitt doesn’t play, I think they can get to Bradford, less mobile. I’m predicting at least 3-4 sacks Sunday.

  • BigBodyBeer

    Looked awesome with Chickillo in there. He needs to be in the rotation.

  • MC

    It’s still early but I think a lot of people that hated the pick will eat crow eventually.

  • Yeah, can’t agree there. Browns or not, Thomas is a top 3 LT in the league.

  • colingrant

    His sacks were hustle and coverage sacks, but when you’re good, you reap the benefits of being good. Tenacity has its rewards. One hidden benefit of his play wasn’t revealed until last game. His height and athleticism decreases the window size for quarterback throwing the square rout to receivers on the sideline when linebackers drop back in zone coverage. I didn’t think about it until his interception. Harrison’s short stature and stiffness left that pass somewhat unchallenged underneath. Not so with Watt who has 5-6 inches on Harrison. Kind of a hidden benefit, but a real one nonetheless.

  • derp_diggler

    My guess would be Kendrell Bell.