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T.J. Watt is not trying to match his older brother sack for sack

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    December 3, 2018 11:39 PM PST

    Honest.It's just sort of happening that way for the second-year Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Atlanta Falcons Womens Hoodie , whose six quarterback takedowns through the first five weeks of the season have him tied with Cincinnati defensive end Carlos Dunlap and Houston Texans star J.J. Watt — the oldest of the three Watt brothers in the NFL — for the league lead."I can't get caught up in any of the statistical things," T.J. Watt said. "I'm sure my mom thinks it's a lot cooler than I do."Connie Watt's not the only one. Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler is pretty impressed too, particularly with the way the 24-year-old Watt has assimilated so quickly. Then again, Butler knows Watt's unique family dynamic played a role in his rapid adjustment to life in the NFL."I think he's kind of grown up in that atmosphere," Butler said. "He had a good idea what it took to be successful in the NFL before we got him."Watt racked up seven sacks as a rookie in 2017 and appears ready to take a leap forward in 2018. He opened his second season by getting three sacks in Cleveland and added three more in last week's 41-17 dismantling of Atlanta , including a strip-sack of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan that teammate L.J. Fort fell on in the end zone for a touchdown."We just wanted to show who we really were," Watt said. "We weren't proud of the performances we put out in the first few showings of the season, and we just wanted to go out there and show what we've been working on for the past few weeks. We just want to show the consistency now."That has been something unattainable for the Steelers (2-2-1) through a wildly uneven opening month.The two-time defending AFC North champions find themselves in an unusual spot heading into Sunday's visit to Cincinnati (4-1), particularly on defense. Pittsburgh is 29th in yards allowed but also tops the NFL with 19 sacks, on pace to surpass the club record of 56 set a year ago.Coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the idea the Steelers are blitzing more this season to overcome shaky play by a revamped secondary. Maybe, but Butler is certainly not shy about sending players from all over.Eight Steelers already have at least one sack. Fort picked up just the third of his six-year career against the Falcons and free-agent signee Jon Bostic's 2 1-2 are a career high. Butler isn't trying to read too much into his team's success creating pressure, perhaps because it has been so spotty.The week before Pittsburgh's pass rush harassed and harangued Ryan, it only brought down Baltimore's Joe Flacco twice in 44 attempts as the Ravens pulled away in the second half."Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not," Butler said. "Sometimes you're good. Sometimes you're bad."Butler called the key to blitzing successfully a mixture of timing and disguise. Having the right people in the right places certainly helps. Pittsburgh overwhelmed the Falcons on the same day veteran cornerback Joe Haden shut down Atlanta star wide receiver Julio Jones. The Steelers also had nickelback Mike Hilton in the mix after he sat out the Baltimore loss with a right elbow injury.The 5-foot-9, 184-pound Hilton has carved out a niche as an unlikely enforcer off the edge thanks in part to impeccable timing. Hilton has a preternatural ability to guess the snap count — he proudly points out he's jumped offside just once in his career — and his quickness and aggressiveness give Butler another option."I try to set the tone any way I can Womens Customized Atlanta Falcons Jerseys ," said Hilton, who had two quarterback hits against Atlanta. "I wouldn't say guys look up to me, but they see how I play and they're like, 'He's the smallest guy on the field and he's playing physical and being aggressive.' It just gives everybody the same energy."The key for Pittsburgh is finding a way to sustain it. Watt's play — massively successful one week, decidedly quiet the next — is symbolic of a unit still rounding into form. He isn't worried about trying to keep pace with his big brother as much as he is trying to make sure he's hardly the only one getting to the quarterback."I don't think anyone in this scheme is meant to eat up blocks," Watt said. "We all have great opportunities. It's awesome when those guys push the pocket. It allows the quarterback to step back and allows us to get a little wider rushes, and also get the quarterback in our hands."And then — Watt and the Steelers hope — on the ground.NOTES: S Morgan Burnett (groin), LB Fort (ankle) and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) did not practice and are unlikely to play against the Bengals. ... S Terrell Edmunds (ankle) and LB Vince Williams (hamstring) were full participants for a second straight day. The Thanksgiving night game on NBC will blur the lines between Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football. Mike Tirico, Tony Dungy, and Rodney Harrison will be in the booth for the Falcons-Saints game.Tirico, one of the finest play-by play voices in all of sports, has done many games. Dungy has been in the booth before, too. For Harrison, it’s all new. Here’s a prediction: Rodney will be great.“This is definitely unfamiliar territory for me,” Harrison recently told Barry Wilner of the Associated Press. “I’m trying to figure what I want to talk about, how I want to focus on the offense or the defense. Mike [Tirico] tells me just to talk about what you see www.falconscheapshops.com , that my being on the field and in the locker room as a player, just talk about what you feel like you want to talk about and have fun. . . .I am not going to try to be Cris Collinsworth or Troy Aikman. I will trust my instincts.”Rodney’s instincts are telling him to say less, not more.“One of the things I am focusing, there are many announcers who think they have to talk about every single thing they see on every single play,” Harrison said. “That’s one of the things that really irks me when I watch a game. I promise I will not be that guy. There will be no one saying, ‘Shut the hell up Rodney, I am tired of listening to you.’ That will not happen.”“I think Rodney really will give some insight they do not really get elsewhere,” Dungy told Wilner. “Especially in a game like this, which will be so much of an aerial attack and passing. So, what should and can be done on defense to counteract it? In that area, I think we will both have good things to say.”Harrison has always provided clear, blunt, and insightful opinions on Football Night in America. Check out the video attached to this post, where Rodney said (to Dungy’s dismay) that Rodney would never hire a defensive coordinator to be a head coach in today’s NFL.