When it comes to talking defense, Mike Tomlin remains one of the most respected voices in the league. He even decided to make his “vote” known for this season’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Unsurprisingly, the Steelers head coach went to bat for one of his own.
Tomlin said that he thinks T.J. Watt should be the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. He spoke through his reasoning for the young linebacker earlier on Tuesday.
“T.J.’s visiting from another planet, to be quite honest of you,” Tomlin said via NFL Update. “He’s got freakishly unique talent, coupled with freakishly unique work habits — which in my opinion is defensive player of the year quality.”
Mike Tomlin thinks TJ Watt should be Defensive Player of the Year: “TJ’s visiting from another planet, to be quite honest of you. He’s got freakishly unique talent, coupled with freakishly unique work habits — which in my opinion is defensive player of the year quality.”
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) December 29, 2020
In just his fourth pro season, Watt continues to develop into one of the league’s best pass rushers. With just one regular season game remaining, the 26-year-old leads the NFL in sacks (15) and tackles for loss (23). Watt has become a huge part of why the Steelers boast one of the best defenses in the league.
Watt really burst onto the scene last year and was named a first-team All-Pro. He forced eight fumbles and racked up 14.5 sacks through 16 games in 2019.
Of course this year, Watt will have his work cut out for him against some of the other defensive stars of the NFL. Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald can almost always be in the running and definitely should be this year. The 29-year-old racked up 13.5 sacks and 12 TFL. He also forced four fumbles, tied for third in the league. Donald already is a two-time winner of the award in 2017 and 2018.
It’s possible that the race for DPOY could come right down to the last week. The Steelers play the Browns on Sunday and are expected to rest some of their best players ahead of the playoffs.
Watt should be active and maybe just need one more big play to lock up the coveted award.