Steelers’ TJ Watt Has Explanation for Sack Celebration Fail

T.J. Watt

Joe Sargent/Getty Images T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field on October 10, 2021.

On Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers recorded two sacks en route to a 27-19 victory over the Denver Broncos, one of which came courtesy of inside linebacker Devin Bush Jr. The other was recorded by second-year defensive lineman Henry Mondeaux, who followed up the big play with a celebration that was difficult to make sense of, as noted by James C. Wexell, author of ‘Polamalu.’

After the game, outside linebacker T.J. Watt told the assembled media—including Brooke Pryor of ESPN—that he was supposed to be part of Mondeaux’s bullfighting-inspired celebration but that he failed to play his part.

“I was supposed to do the horns and run through with the olé, but I was too excited,” related Watt, who was pumped to see his teammate notch his first career sack.

“Good dude. He works so hard. I’m so happy he got that play,” added Watt, who has had ample opportunity to perfect his own instantly-recognizable sack celebration, having downed opposing quarterbacks 54.5 times during his four season-plus career.

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Henry Mondeaux’s Next-Most-Recent Sack Came in 2017

But Mondeaux—6-foot-4 and 280 pounds—hasn’t recorded a sack since he was in college at the University of Oregon, when he notched five sacks as a senior in 2017.

Mondeaux originally entered the league following the 2018 NFL Draft, signing with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent. In 2019, he spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs before finding his way onto Pittsburgh’s practice squad, the same place he started the 2020 season.

Mondeaux went on to make his regular-season debut against the Tennessee Titans on October 25, 2020, when he played on offense, defense and special teams during Pittsburgh’s 27-24 victory, which featured Titans placekicker Stephen Gostkowski missing a potential game-tying field goal in the final minute. He appeared in 10 games after that, recording five total tackles along the way.

Predictably, Mondeaux’s 2021 season started in much the same fashion as it did last year—on the practice squad. But thanks to injuries along the defensive line he has already played in three games, appearing on the Pro Football Reference stat sheet in two of the three contests. He figures to get more opportunities in the coming weeks, as nose tackle Tyson Alualu is out for the season with a broken ankle and fellow defensive tackle Carlos Davis has missed four games and counting with a knee injury. Never mind the absence of defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who has spent the entire season on the Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury that seems destined to “bother him for a while.”

As for Mondeaux’s first NFL sack, his spin move, takedown and celebration are cued up immediately below:

VideoVideo related to steelers’ tj watt has explanation for sack celebration fail2021-10-10T22:58:06-04:00

Around the AFC North

With Sunday’s victory the Steelers made up ground on both the Cleveland Browns (3-2) and Cincinnati Bengals (3-2), who lost to the Chargers and Packers, respectively. The Baltimore Ravens (3-1) are back in action on Monday Night Football on Oct. 11, playing host to the Indianapolis Colts (1-3).

The Steelers return to action next Sunday night (Oct. 17) with a home game against the Seattle Seahawks.

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