T.J. Watt hits Steelers fans with a harsh reality check nobody wants to hear

Everyone was excited to hear from T.J. Watt, but nobody wanted to hear the words that came out of his mouth.
Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks
Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks / Conor Courtney/GettyImages

It's not up for debate; T.J. Watt is the best player to wear a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform during his time with the team that stretches back to 2017. The four-time First-Team All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2021 and was the runner-up for the DPOY award in both 2020 and 2023.

When it comes to personal accolades, Watt has accomplished nearly everything a professional football player can dream of. But this legendary chapter about a future Hall of Fame player isn't going to last forever.

T.J. Watt spoke to the media during Steelers OTAs and hit us with a brutal statement that nobody wanted to hear: he feels... old.

Teresa Varley's OTA blog on Steelers.com captures what the nearly 30-year-old pass rusher feels like these days. And it's not the inspiring boost of confidence that fans were hoping to hear.

"I feel old. This is the first time in my career that I’ve started to feel old. It’s weird. It’s very strange. But it’s also kind of a check to understand that I don’t get to play this game forever. I understand that I’m not going to be able to play this game for 10 more years, so I need to be able to make each and every day count, each and every year count. I need to and do everything possible to bring another championship back to this city.”"

T.J. Watt, Steelers.com

Watt stated the obvious by admitting that he does not have another 10 years left in the tank, but it's clear that 'Father Time' is catching up with a player whose body has taken a beating over the years.

In 2021, the Steelers star exited games early while dealing with hip, knee, and groin issues. The following year, Watt landed on IR and missed nearly the first half of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.

Steelers fans need to enjoy every snap T.J. Watt has left

It's not like as if T.J. Watt was contemplating retirement with his statement to the media, but this does come as a reality check. Regardless of how utterly dominant Watt has been for the Pittsburgh Steelers since entering the league, those days will soon be coming to an end.

If Watt's career were a round of golf, we can safely say that he's 'on the back nine.' The All-Pro edge defender turns 30 years old in October, and there's overwhelming evidence that pass-rushing productivity and efficiency drops significantly for most players when they reach their 30s.

Watt isn't 'most players', and it's more than possible for him to defy the odds. But if he's feeling old now, how's he going to be feeling in 2025 or 2026?

The latest remarks from T.J. Watt are a reminder to enjoy every snap this future Hall of Famer has left in the tank. Eventually, he's going to feel like he 'doesn't have it' anymore and that will be it. Let's soak up the remaining years of the Pittsburgh Steelers player of this generation.