Steelers

Determined, relentless Watt aims to give Steelers an edge

Four months after a third devastating injury, T.J. Watt got called into Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst's office.

It was July 2015 and Watt, then a redshirt freshman, was recovering from a torn medial patellofemoral ligament for the second time in less than two years but was preparing for the Badgers to open fall camp. He walked into the office and took a seat.

Chryst, who was the head coach at Pitt the previous three seasons, asked Watt to switch from tight end to outside linebacker. The head coach even called upon T.J's oldest brother, J.J., the Texans' defensive end and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, to discuss the switch during the meeting.

With his oldest brother — the one whose shadow he had been trying to escape for his entire football career — on speakerphone, T.J. was not sure how to respond. He needed some time to think.

"When they approached me about the move, I think it took me all of 12 hours, if that," Watt said minutes after the Steelers selected him with the 30th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday night. "I kind of went home and thought about it, and came back and told Coach Chyrst I wanted to play defense."

That decision, and the hours of learning both a playbook and the technique needed to be a dynamic edge rusher, led him to the Rooney Sports Complex Friday, where he'll be asked to fill the Steelers' need for a dynamic edge rusher.

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