Teryl Austin: I share T.J. Watt’s frustration with holding, just have to deal with it
Steelers defensive coordinator Teryl Austin wants T.J. Watt to be like Shaquille O’Neal.
Watt complained about a lack of holding calls on players blocking him at his press conference after Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals and said he feels “the NFL has something going against me” on that front. Austin was asked about Watt’s comments on Tuesday and said the way teams block Watt reminds him of the way NBA teams used to defend O’Neal in his prime.
“I think T.J. runs into what all the elite rushers do,” Austin said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. “These guys are going to hold you until they can’t because a lot of times that’s the only way they can block. I mean I share in his frustration, but I don’t think there’s anything that we can do about it. We can complain and we can do all that, but that really doesn’t solve the problem. So I think we just deal with it. We just continue to fight and go. It’s almost like the Hack-a-Shaq.”
O’Neal would get opportunities at the free throw line opportunities — often unsuccessful ones — that Watt doesn’t get, but Austin’s larger point is that Watt has to “keep plugging away” in spite of what he feels are uncalled penalties. His next chance to do that comes against the Patriots on Thursday.