GREEN BAY – Vince Biegel is bringing back his red mullet signature. The rookie outside linebacker of the Green Bay Packers and former star of the University of Wisconsin is making his flowing hair grow, resulting in an uncomfortable, poofy-do that, for the moment, definitely not.
"It's not something that can simply explode, it's a process," Biegel said with a laugh. "I think it will continue to evolve, but do not be surprised if the red mullet returns."
If you're wondering what makes Biegel's hairstyle journalistically relevant, it's not.
This week it was just a silly and conversational distraction to allow Biegel to change the subject of what is an obvious story: that Biegel and his Wisconsin native and former UW pbad rider TJ Watt will be in the same field Sunday night in Pittsburgh, seven months after the Packers gave up the possibility of electing Watt to move from the first round of the NFL Draft.
Instead, the Packers traded with the Cleveland Browns to move back four selections and add an additional fourth-round selection. While the Steelers caught Watt with the 30th overall selection, a selection after the Packers had been on the clock, the Packers took cornerback Kevin King with the 33rd pick and used the extra option they got from the Browns at Biegel.
Since then State football fans compared and contrasted Watt and Biegel, an exercise that intensified when Watt recorded two sacks in his preseason debut in the NFL and Biegel spent training and the first six weeks of the regular season in The list of physically disabled after the offseason surgery on the same foot that cost him two games during his senior season with the Badgers.
Biegel's insistence that "it's not how you start, it's how you finish" was insufficient for those who did not see the 2-for-1 value of turning a draft election into a potentially high-rise cornerback and a pbad rider, both main needs of the team.
Both Biegel and Watt know they will be linked through their careers, but with the NFL's schedule rotation, the Packers and the Steelers only face each other every four years. It happens that their first meeting comes in their rookie years.
"There's no Vince vs. T.J here, it's about playing for our respective organizations and getting a win," Biegel said. "TJ is going to play hard for Pittsburgh, I'm going to try to help the Packers win, that's all it is, obviously, we're (former) teammates and we're competitive, but at the end of the day, it's all football and we're trying to help our teams.
"TJ He's a great player and he's been doing great things in Pittsburgh. But listen to me: I'm focused on what I'm doing. I am focused on what is happening here in Green Bay. "
Watt, meanwhile, is not focused on what could have happened in Green Bay.
Watt said the Packers were on the clock at the end of the first round, he hoped they could take it away: "I thought it was a legitimate possibility," he said, "but they did not want me," but insisted that he is not treating this game as a kind of resentment against the team that grew up encouraging. At least until his older brother JJ was drafted by Houston in 2011.
"Obviously, I'm from Wisconsin and grew up as a Packers fan for most of my youth, until JJ I came to the Texans, of course, I think people are trying to make this game look much bigger than it is, "Watt said in a conference call with state reporters on Wednesday." But to be honest, I did not have big I did not care about where I ended up in the draft. "I just wanted to finish with a good team and a great form and I'm happy to have finished here in Pittsburgh."
Watt started as a big hit in Pittsburgh, recording two sacks and one interception on the regular team. Season opener (However, he only has two sacks since then.) Still, he ranks third among rookies in catches, behind only Carl Lawson (5.5) of Cincinnati and Derek Barnett (4.5) of Philadelphia.
He said that he and Biegel were not connected since the draft, but claimed that it was because of their busy schedules more than anything else.
"I think we've both been so caught up in NFL life and accelerated life, from practice to practice and everything, that we have not had the opportunity to bond," Watt said. "We definitely competed every day during practice and during the games in Wisconsin, but it's not like I went home and checked Vince Biegel's statistics every day, but I'm happy how he came back from his injury and played." .
Meanwhile, Biegel has played in three games and has seen 41 action plays on defense. He was eliminated from PUP by the team's defeat on November 6 against Detroit, then saw action in Chicago in Week 10 and against Baltimore last week, when he almost registered his first NFL sacking. Or at least partial sac.
Biegel was on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and seemed to share a catch with defensive end Dean Lowry, but the official scorer gave Lowry full sack. Biegel said linebackers coach Winston Moss sent the play to the league to be revised, so maybe Biegel gets a piece of his first NFL looting.
Of course, with Pro Bowl outside linebacker Clay Matthews Not likely to play due to a groin injury, Biegel should have ample opportunities on Sunday night to catch up with the Steelers' quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger.
Defensive coordinator Dom Capers said this week that Biegel "needs to be ready for more playing time" with Matthews on the air.
And that's what Biegel is focusing on. Would you enjoy the opportunity to have a great game while the Packers offensive line neutralizes Watt? He will not say it, but of course he would. But do not let the fact that Biegel and Watt are minimizing the confrontation fool you.
"Downplay stuff? I'll be honest with you, in the registry, in everything, that did not cross my mind once," Biegel said. "TJ is his own man, I am my own man, I know the fans and I know that you (in the media) like to build stories and make things bigger than they are, but it really is for me one more week against a big offense in Pittsburgh, and for me it's about continuing to improve every week, I know it sounds cliché, but …
"Since day 1, that has been my goal. And it's really gratifying to see that hard work, that approach pays off. But I still have a lot of football to play and I'm really scratching the surface. I have many things that I know I have to improve, many things that I know I should improve. But I'm waiting for those challenges. "