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2023 Steelers Exit Interviews: T.J. Watt and Chris Boswell

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2023 NFL season has come to a close. Because the Steelers are among the 31 teams who did not finish fulfilling their ultimate goal, they are in the process of wrapping up their season and moving forward into 2024.

Since the Steelers conduct exit interviews with all their players, and the fact I have done these articles in the past, we thought we would do the same here at Steel Curtain Network. By outlining two players each day, we will be able to look at their season in retrospect as well as looking toward the future. Since Coach Tomlin has previously stated he starts his interviews with rookies and those heading into free agency, we will attempt to do the same to some degree. To start, we will pair the most recent draftees with another player at the same position (if possible) as we work through this process to eventually cover the entire Steelers roster.

Next up are T.J. Watt and Chris Boswell.

T.J. Watt

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Outside Linebacker
Years with the Steelers: 7
Years in the NFL: 7
Contract Status: Signed through 2025
Contract Details: $30,418,694 salary cap hit for 2024. Would cost the Steelers $18,737,388 in dead money if released and save $11,681,306.
Games played in 2023: 17 regular season
Games started in 2023: 17 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 931 (defense), 36 (special teams)
PFF score: 91.9 (5th of 112)
Notable stats: During the regular season, Watt led the NFL with 19.0 sacks. He also had 68 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries with one being for a touchdown, 8 passes defensed, and and interception.

Notes: The argument that T.J. Watt had the best statistical season of any defender in the NFL is an easy one to make. He continues to disrupt offenses as they typically arrange for him to have to run the gauntlet of blockers before getting to the quarterback. Because defeating double teams is something Watt can do quickly, having him have to go past one blocker then defeat a second followed by possibly a third, teams have found this is the way to try to keep Watt away from their quarterback. At the same time, it does commit a lot of attention. The bottom line is T.J. Watt changes the game when he is on the field. Keeping Watt healthy and available for 2024 might be the biggest factor in the Steelers defense in 2024.

Chris Boswell

Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Kicker
Years with the Steelers: 9
Years in the NFL: 9
Contract Status: Signed through 2026
Contract Details: $4,720,000 salary cap hit for 2024. Would cost the Steelers $4,800,000 in dead money if released.
Games played in 2023: 17 regular season
Games started in 2023: 0 regular season
Snaps (regular season): 136 (special teams)
PFF score: 85.9 FG grade (7th of 41)
Notable stats: During the regular season, Boswell was 27 of 28 on PATs (96.4%) and 29 of 31 on field goal attempts (93.5%). Boswell also had 76 kickoffs with 55 going for touch backs.

Notes: Coming off of a season in 2022 where he missed five games due to injury, Chris Boswell came back and was his regular dominant self. Only missing two field goals all season, one of which was over 60 yards, Boswell allows Steelers’ Nation to breathe much easier when the game is on the line. If there is one aspect of Boswell‘s game that could be improved, which may be more philosophy than ability, is putting the ball into or through the end zone on kickoffs rather than run the risk of a decent return. Outside of this one negative, which likely isn’t even his fault, the Steelers have no doubts at their kicker position for 2024.

Make sure you check back each day for another set of exit interviews. If you have missed any of the previous articles, they are listed here:

Broderick Jones & Chuks Okorafor
Joey Porter Jr. & Levi Wallace
Keeanu Benton & Montravius Adams
Darnell Washington & Rodney Williams
Nick Herbig & Markus Golden
Cory Trice Jr. & James Pierre
Spencer Anderson & Dylan Cook
Kenny Pickett & Mason Rudolph
George Pickens & Miles Boykin
DeMarvin Leal & Armon Watts
Calvin Austin III & Allen Robinson
Connor Heyward & Godwin Igwebuike
Mark Robinson & Blake Martinez
Najee Harris & Jaylen Warren
Pat Freiermuth & Diontae Johnson
Dan Moore Jr. & Mason Cole
Isaiahh Loudermilk & Larry Ogunjobi
Pressley Harvin & Christian Kuntz
Kwon Alexander & Mykal Walker
Miles Killebrew & Elijah Riley
Chandon Sullivan & Darius Rush
Cam Heyward & Patrick Peterson
Isaac Seumalo & Nate Herbig
Alex Highsmith & Kyron Johnson
Elandon Roberts & Cole Holcomb
James Daniels & Mitch Trubisky


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