Steelers' TJ Watt praises JJ Watt, won't compare NFL Defensive Player of the Year season to brother's 'prime'

But even after tying a 20-year-old NFL sack record and being named Defensive Player of the Year, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker still believes he has a ways to go before matching brother J.J. Watt’s career. 

During Tuesday’s episode of “The Pivot Podcast,” Watt praised the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive end when asked who he thought was the better of the two. 

Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt (90) celebrates after a first-quarter sack during the Steelers' game against the Baltimore Ravens Jan. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. 

Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt (90) celebrates after a first-quarter sack during the Steelers’ game against the Baltimore Ravens Jan. 9, 2022, in Baltimore.  (Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I want people to understand how great my brother truly was in his prime,” Watt said. “I think it gets lost today, and I know he’d be upset if I said this, but I think it truly is.

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“You go back, and you look, you watch the film, the guy was frickin’ unstoppable. Absolutely unstoppable. He’ll never say it, but it’s like, I think people need to go back and look at that.”

J.J. Watt, a five-time Pro Bowler, was drafted by the Houston Texans in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He earned five first-team All-Pro nods, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times and led the league in sacks in 2012 and 2015. 
 

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills in Houston Jan. 4, 2020.

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) celebrates during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills in Houston Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith, File)

After requesting a release from the Texans in 2021, Watt signed a two-year, $ 28 million contract with the Cardinals but was sidelined by Week 7 last year with a season-ending shoulder injury. 

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“The guy was doing incredible things for four or five years, and I think he can still play at a high level. I think I’m too early in my career to compare myself to him at the moment, honestly,” the younger Watt brother said. 

J.J. Watt (99) of the Houston Texans and brother Derek Watt (34) of the Los Angeles Chargers walk off the field following the Texans' 27-20 victory over the Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif. 

J.J. Watt (99) of the Houston Texans and brother Derek Watt (34) of the Los Angeles Chargers walk off the field following the Texans’ 27-20 victory over the Chargers at Dignity Health Sports Park Sept. 22, 2019, in Carson, Calif.  (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

T.J. Watt tied New York Giants legend and Hall of Fame inductee Michael Strahan’s record for sacks in a single season (22.5) last season, earning his first NFL Defensive Player of the Year award and his fourth Pro Bowl nod. 

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