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Watt: 'It all pays off'

Several times when Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was talking about his younger brother, Steelers No. 1 pick T.J. Watt, he referred to his 'natural talent.'

It was that natural talent that helped T.J. Watt make the smooth transition from tight end to linebacker at Wisconsin, ultimately changing his career path.

Then he caught himself, and made it be known, that while his brother is blessed with natural talent, it's hard work that got him where he is today.

"I don't like using the word natural too much, because I have seen how hard he has worked and the work he has put into it," said J.J. Watt.

And it appears everyone you talk to is in agreement, from family, to coaches, to scouts. One thing is clear. T.J. Watt doesn't shy away from hard work.

"I am a lunch pail kind of guy who yeah, I just got picked in the first round, but I am here to prove that I am worth that pick and I am worth much more than that as well," said T.J. Watt, shortly after arriving at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. "I think some things come easy for me, like the transition over to defense. It came naturally to me, but at the same time there was so much work behind the scenes that no one ever saw. That's what it's so hard to put it into words. It is a lot of God-given ability, but it is so much work that no one will ever see.

"No one will ever know. It's an insurmountable amount of work. That is how you get to places like this and get the opportunity to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It all pays off. It really does."

How hard a worker is he really? Well, let's just say even when J.J. took him and his other brother Derek, who plays for the Los Angeles Chargers, on a 15-day trip that included Dublin, Paris, London and Rome, it turned into a workout.

"We'd be awake in the middle of the night so we'd we go for a jog along the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees," said J.J. Watt during a conference call on Friday. "We found a weight room that overlooks Big Ben. It was really cool to find these incredible gyms and see these landmarks all around the world and realize how far we've come but not forget why we were able to be there."

And it appears, it's a common theme whenever there is a trip. Always find a place to work out.

"When we go on vacation we find the nearest weight room and find ways to compete even if we are miles away, over the pond in Europe or in our back yard," said T.J. Watt. "The biggest take away from that overseas trip was how much we care about each other. We never spent 15 days in a row, just the three of us, in a foreign environment for all of us. We bonded well and realized how much we truly love each other and it ultimately brought us closer together."  


It's been a bit of a whirlwind for Watt since he was drafted by the Steelers, heading from his home in Wisconsin to Pittsburgh this morning, and holding an introductory press conference this afternoon.

Steelers President Art Rooney II introduced Watt during the press conference, and was pleased to welcome him to the Steelers. family.

"He comes from a football family, as you all know, which is exciting to have him be a part of the Steelers' family," said Rooney. "He also comes from a college program we are very familiar with, the college coaching staff we are very familiar with, which helped us in the evaluation process. T.J., obviously had a great year last year. He is still learning his position, but we are excited to have him come here, help him develop here and have him contribute here."

And contribue is something he is ready to do.  

View photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 1st Round Draft Pick , LB T.J. Watt.

"It's been awesome, it's been phenomenal," he said. "Ever since getting off the plane, to being here, seeing the facility, meeting the coaches, getting to meet Mr. (Art) Rooney himself. I am so excited to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.

"We are on the stairway to seven and I am here be that guy that can maybe put us over the top to get that seventh trophy. That is the goal.

"The Steelers are a hardworking organization that does it the right way. They have a great bond within the locker room and with the coaches as well. I am really looking forward to it. It's a great fit for me. It will be a great transition coming from Wisconsin to here and that is why I am so excited.

"It is my job now to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and to work my butt off each and every single day for this organization. I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. This means the world to me, but this is just the beginning. I promise to put everything I have into this organization and to work with my teammates, and to be under the tutelage of these guys just be on the 'Stairway to Seven.' We are here to win a Super Bowl. I feel like I can help this team win games."

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