- That's Watt he does: It appears no matter what rookie T.J. Watt is asked to do, he does it and then some. Watt was presented the challenge of going against Packers receiver Jordy Nelson in coverage in the middle of the field on Sunday night. He responded by breaking up what should have been a completion at the Steelers 30-yard line, a completion that would have given Mason Crosby better field position when he missed his 57-yard field goal attempt.
"He does a lot of things well," said Coach Mike Tomlin of Watt. "He is very aware. He is a detail guy. He understands what he does and how it fits into the big picture. He understands where his help is. He understands the plays he needs to make, the plays he doesn't need to make. I think overall global awareness helps him and anyone make the type of plays when they are seemingly outmanned. Knowledge levels for a young guy, he has displayed unusual knowledge."
Tomlin said they felt good about what Watt could do in those types of situations before he even arrived in Pittsburgh as the University of Wisconsin used him in the same manner.
"There were very similar schemes," said Tomlin. "There was a lot of carryover in terms of what he was asked to do. That is what made the evaluation process a fun one, because there was very little grey. We watched him do the things at Wisconsin that we ask him to do today."
Setting the standard:** They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, and there is no doubt younger players have done their best, from high school to even young NFL players, to imitate what Antonio Brown does on the field. Brown's ability to work the sideline, where he is 'Tony Toe-Tap,' is definitely an area where he has set the standard for others to follow.
"Over time there are significant people that set the standard for doing something and others mimic it," said Tomlin. "I know in that particular case, on our football team, Antonio's talents along the sideline has raised the bar for all of our wideouts. They all mimic it in preparation. Plays like that have become commonplace on our practice field because of the standard that he sets. Not only in terms of his talents, but his work. I think young guys mimic that. I think the same thing can be said globally about any techniques. I am sure there are probably 16-year old runners out there that are showing patience running like Le'Veon Bell. It is the nature of our game, and all games."
Slippery slope:** Cameron Heyward is breaking away from the pack on the Steelers' defense when it comes to sacks, leading the team with a career-high nine sacks, three more than Vince Williams who has six sacks. Heyward's ability to bring the pressure would have you thinking teams might start double-teaming him moving forward, but because of the pressure coming from so many directions it might be impossible for that to happen. The Steelers have a total of 38 sacks, with them coming from 12 different players.
"I think we are so multiple defensively, particularly in those scenarios, possession downs and so forth, it is difficult to do that, to identity anyone in that way," said Tomlin. "We bring such a myriad of people, defensive backs, outside linebackers, inside linebackers, along with the defensive line. I think that is a slippery slope, trying to minimize his impact. I think that is one of the reasons he continues to be effective. It's difficult to slow down his progress. He is playing really well."
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