T.J. Watt has a message about staying humble at Steelers training camp
Some Pittsburgh Steelers players may not be thrilled about staying on a small college campus for training camp, but T.J. Watt has a message for them.
After signing an NFL contract, many players indulge in a life of luxury — purchasing fancy cars, the finest clothes, and extravagant houses. So you can imagine that some members of the Pittsburgh Steelers may not be thrilled when asked to live in on a small college campus in a crowded dorm room for over a month.
Last year, Steelers players were able to hang their hats at home as they commuted to Heinz Field for training camp. Mike Tomlin’s team didn’t make their usual trip to Latrobe because of the COVID-19 protocol. However, this year they are back to resuming a tradition that started all the way back in 1966.
On July 26th, all Steelers players reported to Saint Vincent College campus in Latrobe, Pennsylvania for training camp. When T.J. Watt arrived, he was asked about making the adjustment to these living conditions and close quarters. Here’s what he had to say, according to WTAE Sports Anchor, Emily Giangreco:
"“Embrace it. It’s a small cafeteria; it’s a small dormitory. You can look at it one of two ways. You could be, ‘Man I wish we were back in Pittsburgh,’ or you can say, ‘Hey, I embrace this. I love the tradition. I love the history of this place.’ Really just take it all in and put your best foot forward. I think that’s the most important thing for these young guys. We have to remember that we are living our dreams. This is the best job in the world. This is what we dreamed of as kids. So don’t think for a second that you’re better than Latrobe because you’re not."
Despite being the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year and raking in a four-year, $112 million contract last summer, Watt doesn’t let the fame and fortune go to his head. He understands the value of staying humble. After all, he’s right. These guys are all out there living their dream.
This was probably just a response to what he was asked after arriving at Steelers training camp on Tuesday, rather than a statement directed towards any individual on the team. However, the Steelers are no strangers to drama.
Steelers skipped the opening antics at training camp this year
There was a day not that long ago when the media witnessed Antonio Brown arriving at Saint Vincent College in a helicopter only for Brown to ask why they were so obsessed with him. I’ll be the first to say that I’m thankful those days are over.
While I don’t have a problem with a player showing up in style, I prefer to see players (like Watt) who are solely focused on football and getting ready to work. The two are not mutually exclusive.
This year, there wasn’t anybody who felt the need to hog the spotlight and make a scene upon entry to the campus at Saint Vincent College… and I’m quite okay with that.
I would be interested to find out which players would prefer to keep training camp at Heinz Field (like it was briefly in 2021) and which would like to keep the tradition rolling in Latrobe. Whether they like it or not, Art Rooney II made it clear that he intends to keep this long-running tradition going as the Steelers make their home away from home at Saint Vincent.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are beginning a new era, and T.J. Watt understands the importance of practicing humility — continuing to keep his head down and push like he’s a player at the bottom of the roster. Hopefully, the rest of the team will follow his example.