COSTA MESA, Calif. — Daily competitors at home and in the weight room back in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Houston Texans star pass-rusher J.J. Watt has had an up-close look at the dust ups between younger brothers Derek and T.J. Watt.
Now, J.J. Watt will have a prime seat in front of his TV to watch both brothers face off on the field when the Los Angeles Chargers travel to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in a nationally televised game Sunday night.
“We were just talking about it in the group text the other day and I basically just said, no cut-blocks,” J.J. Watt told reporters in Houston. “That’s the only thing. Just don’t go at his knees. OtherWISe, everything’s fair.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch. I hope there’s at least one play where they have to — Derek has to block T.J. straight up and we can settle it once and for all and we’ll see, but it will be cool.”
Derek and T.J. Watt played at Wisconsin together, where T.J., 24, moved from tight end to outside linebacker and Derek stayed on offense at fullback. Two years older than T.J., Derek said the two butted heads in practice at times, but never during an all-out live session.
Derek Watt, 26, said the entire family will be in Pittsburgh for the game on Sunday.
A sixth-round selection by the Chargers in the 2016 draft, Derek Watt blocked for running back mate Melvin Gordon at Wisconsin. He has played 100 offensive snaps this season, serving as a lead blocker for one of the most potent rushing attacks in the NFL.
In his second NFL season, younger brother T.J. Watt has totaled 50 tackles, 10 sacks and four forced fumbles on the year.
“We’ve been talking,” Derek Watt said. “We’ve already been on FaceTime twice in the early part of the week, and it’s been pretty normal. We also talk and keep up in a group chat and all that stuff.
“There hasn’t been much smack talk. I know a lot of people have been asking about that. It’s more typical brother stuff. We know what’s happening this weekend. I’m going to see him and my family out there before the game, so it will be a good buildup to a big game.”
J.J. Watt’s Texans host the Cleveland Browns in the early game, so he’ll have enough time to make it home and watch.
“I’m very lucky,” J.J. Watt said. “I’m very proud of them and I can’t wait to watch the game. I haven’t figured out yet — what I’m cheering for or what I’m supposed to be looking for because now they’re on both sides — they’re going against each other.
“I hope T.J. gets a couple sacks. I hope Derek gets a touchdown or a carry, has some great blocks. I mean, he’s a fullback. I hope the game, I don’t know, I guess ends in a tie. I guess that’s probably the best thing for everybody.”