T.J. Watt credits brothers for improved NFL Combine 40 time

Minutes after attempting his first 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, T.J. Watt received a text.

"4.71," it read, a message from the two elder Watts, the Texans' J.J. and Chargers' Derek, watching at home in Wisconsin and keeping their younger brother up to date on his times.

When it came to his athleticism -- a question mark on his resume due to his limited tape and injury history -- Watt knew he'd have to prove organizations wrong at the combine. As he put it in a conversation with NFL.com, "I really wanted to break 4.7 bad."

Ahead of Watt's second go-around, his brothers offered some clever advice from miles away: "Take off the necklaces. Take off the bracelets, man. Aerodynamics."

The result of the de-glamming? A 4.69, the time Watt had targeted coming into the combine.

"We were all just really pumped," Watt said of his brothers' reactions. "I don't know if it (weighed me down) or not, but I ran faster, so we'll credit it to them for suggesting it."

Unsurprisingly, Watt's relationship with his family, and especially his oldest brother, were the main talking points of his weekend, in his press conference and in meetings with teams.

"Organizations like to know about your family background and what your parents did for a living, about your upbringing," Watt said. "For me, even if people didn't ask about my brothers, it always comes up just because we're so close."

T.J. outpaced J.J. in the combine's marquee event, besting J.J.'s 2011 40 mark by 0.22 seconds, as illustrated by an NFL Network simulcam that got under J.J.'s skin.

"He's not happy that you guys clocked him in at a 4.91," T.J. Watt said. "I was faster, but I'll give him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, because he was 30-some-odd pounds heavier than me, but it is what it is, I guess."

Watt performed well in other testing, as well. The NFL hopeful says he set himself apart from the pack with his position-pacing measurables.

"I know I was getting knocked for not being athletic going into the whole weekend, but I don't think you can knock athleticism when I'm jumping 37-inches high and 10-8 in the broad (jump)," Watt said.

The linebacker measured in at 6-foot-4 1/2 and 252 pounds with 11-inch hands and a 78 1/8-inch wingspan, marks that also sparked some buzz.

Watt, however, said he hasn't been paying much attention to what teams are saying about him outside of his own conversations with them.

He met with almost every team at the combine. The endless onslaught of interview and workouts made for a tiring weekend.

"It's a grind. I'm not going to lie to you at all. It's an absolute grind," Watt said. "You're going to bed late because you have meetings late at night and then you're waking up early for either a drug test or more meetings in the morning. So there really isn't any downtime at all. There were nights where I only got five or six hours of sleep."

He's back in Wisconsin ahead of his March 15 pro day. Watt is ready for some rest and a cheat meal -- he's waffling between pizza and a local hibachi joint -- but the 22-year-old will get back to work soon enough.

"I told coaches this whole week that I'm a health nut and I'm all about getting better," Watt said. "Whether it's getting my eight-plus hours of sleep or staying hydrated or eating healthy, I'm constantly doing all the little things to give me an edge and I think it's just awesome that I finally got to see the results pay off on a big stage.

"I told these coaches, 'I know there's 300-some-odd other players here, but no one is doing the little things like I am."

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