T.J. Watt a victim of Hack-a-Shaq? Pittsburgh Steelers grapple with holding glut

Defensive star T.J. Watt is spreading fear and terror among NFL quarterbacks. To stop the Pittsburgh Steelers star, opponents are resorting to unfair means with a famous NBA past – at least that’s what the Pittsburgh Steelers claim

When edge rusher T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushes towards the opposing quarterback, things get uncomfortable for the opposing offense. Watt has already recorded 14 sacks this season.

In order to block him, many O-linemen resort to unfair means. At least that’s what Teryl Austin, defensive coordinator of the Steelers, criticizes: “What happens to all elite rushers happens to T.J.. The opponents hold and hold until they can’t anymore because that’s the only way they can block him.”

Illegal holds that are too often overlooked by NFL referees? “It’s almost like Hack-a-Shaq,” says Austin.

Background: When NBA star Shaquille O’Neal dominated numerous opponents with his physical superiority at the turn of the millennium, opponents reacted with deliberate fouls to force O’Neal to make free throws – not exactly his prime discipline. The tactic was named “Hack-a-Shaq” after O’Neal’s nickname

Recipe for success against Shaquille O’Neal also against T.J. Watt?

“People worked Shaq over all the time. He got fouled so many times, and everyone knew it was a foul, but after a while they stopped whistling it because he was so damn good,” said Austin, who sees parallels to Watt.

And what does Watt himself say about the supposed lack of flags after holding calls against him?

“The NFL has something against me,” Watt said Sunday. “So I don’t want to continue to be negative about them. I don’t know what I did to them, but I’ll leave it at that. “

3 months ago
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