Watt isn't satisfied

Not satisfied: Last year T.J. Watt won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

Offensive coordinators around the NFL, be warned.

"I feel like my best football is ahead of me. I'm excited for the season," said Watt.

Watt isn't satisfied with what he has done in the past. He wants more.

"There's so many areas where I feel like I can improve, in the weight room, in the offseason, when I'm here," said Watt. "Finding little details to continue to work on. I'm not satisfied.

"I feel like this group can be really successful when we're all clicking. I think that is what this time of year is for."

Watt had an epic 2021 season, tying Hall of Famer Michael Strahan's NFL single-season record with 22.5 sacks, leading the NFL in sacks for the second-straight year.
On his way to tying Strahan, Watt set a new Steelers single-season sack record when he passed James Harrison, who had 16 sacks in 2008.

His success has resulted in younger teammates being sponges, watching what he does on and off the field and coming to him with questions to help their game.

It's something he welcomes.

"It's just one of those things that as I keep continue to progress here, not only being successful on the field, but just continue to be a leader here," said Watt. "It's going on my sixth year. That stuff is just kind of natural, and I'm an open book. I'm not a guy that is uncomfortable sharing information. I'm trying to help this team win a Super Bowl any way possible."

With a lot of offseason roster turnover, and some changes on the coaching staff, Watt said he is still learning himself – learning who everyone is that is.

"It takes time," said Watt. "This is my first week officially back. I was here for the first couple days of OTAs. A lot of new faces, a lot to take in. It's hard to get to everyone and introduce yourself, but as we just continue to be around each other not only in here, but also on the field, you can kind of build an understanding of who people are, what their roles are and a little bit about their personalities."

What he has liked so far about some of the young newcomers is they are taking their role as rookies and young players, sitting back and learning, something he was extremely mindful of himself his first few seasons.

"There's a good core group of veterans here to learn from," said Watt. "No one is coming in here being super loud, which I always appreciate, and trying to be someone that they're not. Asking a lot of the right questions. They're very attentive in meetings, and that's all you can really ask for this time of year."

And there is one thing Watt is asking for at the end of the year. And it has nothing to do with winning Defensive Player of the Year.

"The number one goal has always been to win the Super Bowl," said Watt.

Coming together: The wide receiver room looks a little bit different for the Steelers right now after the offseason departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Washington and Ray-Ray McCloud, but third-year receiver Chase Claypool already likes what he is seeing from the new core group.

"I think we're looking better," said Claypool. "You can see the chemistry kind of starting to form a little bit. So, it's good that we're all here getting some reps in.

"A lot of new or super young, which is super exciting as well. You know we have a new playbook in a sense with (offensive coordinator) Coach (Matt) Canada now that he has fully implemented his game plan, so I think we're having some fun out here."

The Steelers added rookie second-round pick George Pickens and fourth-round pick Calvin Austin III, as well as veteran free agents Miles Boykin and Gunner Olszewski. Claypool is now one of the most tenured Steelers receivers, allowing him to take on more of a leadership role, which is something he welcomes.

"I think it's the first time on the Steelers where I felt like my voice is being actively heard," said Claypool. "And I'm taking that seriously. I try to to help young guys because I was there last year and two years ago."

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