5 questions the Steelers must answer in Week 1 vs. Bills
By Andrew Falce
What is T.J. Watt’s role with the Steelers?
One of the hottest storylines with the Steelers this offseason was the potential new deal for edge rusher T.J. Watt.
The fourth-year veteran has earned it, as he has turned into one of the league’s best defensive players and most potent pass-rushers. While he was active in training during camp, he didn’t participate in drills to protect himself until a long-term deal is reached. With the first game of the season just around the corner, one has to wonder what his role on the defense will be.
Now, to be clear, a deal can and should still be expected for Watt. The team has a history of getting these deals done late in the offseason, with some as late as on the flight to the Week 1 game.
However, Watt has had limited practices with the team in camp. He may not be ready to play a full workload for the Steelers by Week 1. Unless reports come out that he is back and practicing this week, there is a real chance Watt is limited against Buffalo.
While Melvin Ingram and Alex Highsmith are fine edge rushers, both pale in comparison to Watt. The team needs to get this contract out of the way sooner than later, and Watt needs to see the field against the Bills. If the team wants any shot at being competitive against a talented playoff team like Buffalo, Watt has to have a role.
Even if he plays on a rotational basis due to his limited camp reps, Watt needs to be on the field by next Sunday.
The Steelers have had an up and down offseason, and it has all culminated into this first game of the season. The team certainly has a few questions to answer in Week 1, and more than likely they will aid in determining the final outcome of the game. These five questions will all have to be answered by the time the Steelers’ game against the Bills ends.