Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins wants more passes thrown his way. He also wants to win. Watkins believes the former will lead to the latter.
caught up on Thursday with Watkins, who spilled out his frustration with his lack of production in the passing game. Watkins didn’t hold much back, and he feels that the team that traded a bounty to get him in the draft in 2014 is strangely overlooking him.Buffalo News’ Ty Dunne
“That’s what I get mad at,” Watkins said, “when I don’t get looked at. I can look at film and his eyes go straight that way and I’m not getting looked at, at all. That’s when I get frustrated. When I have one-on-one coverage, go to me. I don’t care what’s going on over there. I don’t care if he’s open. When I get one on one, just target me.”
The timing of the rant is a bit odd, what with Watkins missing the past two games with a calf injury. But he clearly feels that from the start of the season, the gameplans have not included enough opportunities for him. Watkins was targeted only three time in Week 1, Tyrod Taylor’s first start, with no receptions. It bothered Watkins and clearly hasn’t left him.
“Everybody looks at you getting zero catches, zero yards but when you look on film 90 percent of the time you’re open,” Watkins said. “I understand that these guys are young and they need some time to trust me. Once we get that trust, it’ll be different.
“But for me, I need the ball at least 10 times — I need 10 targets — and I’ll be fine with however many yards I get. And that’s what I addressed in talking with my agent. We reached out to a couple people and tried to pull some strings like, ‘Hey, I need my targets. You came up to draft me and I’m not getting targets — that’s a problem. You’re making me look bad and you’re making yourself look bad. Why not make both of us look good?’”
The “we” includes his agent Eugene Parker, who clearly put in a call to Bills GM Doug Whaley or someone high up in the organziation. But before you call Watkins a whiner, consider that he’s saying he thinks the team will have a better chance of winning if he’s getting the ball thrown his way more. It’s something Watkins thought he was being guaranteed.
“I was told, ‘Look, you’re going to get the targets that you need. You’re going to start getting 100 yards every game,’” Watkins said. “That’s really the focus: winning. If I get 80, 90, 100 yards, we’re winning the majority of our games. That helps, not only me, but the whole offense click. Then I start getting more double-coverage and you run the ball to the right and Percy’s going over the top. That’s the biggest thing.”
And it’s something Watkins has mentioned to the coaching staff.
“You really just put it on film,” Watkins said, “and go to the coach like, ‘Hey, I’m getting open. What’s the deal here?’ Don’t be an [expletive] about it, just go talk to him about the situation.
“I see the bigger picture. I enjoy spreading the ball around. It makes my job easier. But at the same time, for a guy you go up in the draft to take as your No. 1 receiver, you would love those 15 targets that Julio gets, those 20 targets that Odell gets. Of course I’d have 100 yards every game and a TD, if I’m getting 20 targets.”
Selfish guy or team player? Maybe both — but Watkins is putting the onus on his coaches and quarterback to trust him and on himself to produce. He thinks it cane help the Bills win more games.
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