When J.J. Watt eventually calls it a career, a gold jacket won’t be too far in his future.
A similar path might be awaiting his brother, T.J., but the Pittsburgh Steelers star isn’t ready to put himself in a conversation with the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
J.J. Watt had an incredible run with the Houston Texans, cementing himself as one of the most dominant defensive ends in league history. Now with the Arizona Cardinals, injuries and age have caused his play to decline, which is happening as T.J. Watt emerges as one of the NFL’s top defensive players.
It is conceivable that T.J. Watt might one day be the one who has the more successful career. We’re not there yet though, and he gave an impassioned response on “The Pivot Podcast” when asked which brother is better at football.
"See, this is the thing. This is like a real thing. I do think that it’s misconstrued – I want people to understand how great my brother truly was in his prime,” T.J. Watt said. “And I think that it gets lost – and I know he would be upset if I said this – but it truly is, you go back and you watch the film, the guy was frickin’ unstoppable, absolutely unstoppable.
“He’ll never say it, but I think people need to go back and look at that. The guy was doing incredible things for four or five years, and I still think he can play at a high level. I think I’m too early in my career to compare myself to him at the moment, honestly. I have too much respect for him.”
Indeed, neglecting to remember how dominant J.J. Watt was during his prime years would be foolish. While T.J. Watt might be the better player right now, he hasn’t yet built the resume of demonstrated success that J.J. has.
That’s hardly surprising given their age difference, but important to remember as T.J. Watt continues to get better and better. Even if he does one day surpass his brother, it's clear his respect for him will never waver.