(Photo via TJ Watt's Instagram)
Sunday will mark the second time in 93 years where three brothers will face each other on the NFL field. The Edmund brothers played each other when the Steelers took on the Buffalo Bills. Both JJ Watt and Derek Watt sat down with the Steelers media this week and took questions. One particular question was from their opponent on Sunday JJ Watt. He asked what gym they practiced in this offseason and what it was like during the quarantine.
"We cut the grass. That was about it," said T.J. "The thing about the club owner is he really liked cutting the grass himself, lining the field for his members. The grass was always pristine, the gym was always clean. We did our best to clean up after ourselves. We are very grateful he let us use his facilities."
"It was kind of a don't make a mess, clean up after yourselves and you get all the perks you want," said Derek. "The fridge was always stocked."
Both brothers opened up about how their parents did a great job raising them to be competitive when they were younger.
"I think our parents did an excellent job always making sure we were outside of the house," said T.J. "We had a cul-de-sac out front. We would roller blade hockey. We had a decent size backyard and so did our neighbors. We would connect the three backyards with neighbors on each side and play football, baseball. Whatever we were doing we were trying to get as many kids in the community to come over to our house and play sports. That always went into the evening. We would come in and play mini sticks or mini baseball in the house."
"Always having that competitive edge. For me, it was super important in my development to play with J.J. and Derek and get beat up on when I was younger, to be resilient, and continue to grow from my experiences playing with those guys."
All three brothers try to stay connected by having a group chat with each other throughout the season. They talk about a variety of things but mostly do it to catch up.
"We talk about what is going on in everybody's daily life, trying to stay connected," said T.J. "Derek is always sending pictures of Logan. J.J. is always talking about how hot it is in Houston. I always have nothing to talk about. We are laid back, not talking much football, and catching up throughout the week."
The Watt brothers have never played a football game with all three of each other ever. This Sunday is more than just a football game to the Watt brothers this is about bragging rights.
"You will get the chippy conversations throughout the weeks to follow," said T.J. "More than anything, as we have grown in the NFL and had these opportunities to play each other and it hasn't worked out, we are so fortunate everyone is healthy. Knock on wood we leave the game healthy. That is the more important thing. We are all so confident in our capabilities individually and collectively as brothers, I think more than anything we want to leave healthy."
"Whoever wins the game or gets the most of Derek and J.J.'s battle, I am sure there will be some pictures and talk and smack back and forth."
TJ and Derek Watt both opened up about how their older brother set the bar high for them. They got to see JJ drafted in the NFL and winning multiple awards in the NFL including Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
"I wouldn't say it was difficult on us at all," said Derek. "He has been that role model for us since we were young, set that standard and bar really high. It was special. We were there when he got drafted. We got to be in the building at some of those award ceremonies. We're proud of him. It definitely motivated us. Just proud of him."
"The coolest thing about J.J. is his openness to us, truly being an open book in any aspect of life," said T.J. "That is what makes him such a great older brother, Derek as well. When I would feel pressure, I would talk to Derek about it. I think J.J. has done such a great job of not forgetting where he has come from and want to help us as much as he possibly can to not only be the best football players we can be but to be the best young men we can be."
The last time the Steelers and Texans played JJ Watt was injured. He was crushed by not being able to play against TJ Watt, but all good things come to those who wait. Finally, all three brothers are healthy and ready to go Sunday against each other. A long-awaited family reunion on the football field.