“Sami understands the game, he’s a very smart player,” Cope said, describing the advice he gives as similarly rooted in what he shares with young players about the big picture of attacking, but beyond Football 101. “Maybe it’s not about me. Winning a road at a time Certain It’s about opening a window for Lazard to open, and understanding where you fit in on each launch call.
“On any given road, it might sometimes be a little corner a little farther, where we’re doing training and we’re talking through it in the meeting rooms.”
It’s all a process that Watkins, who has had more than 5,000 yards to his career credit, has gone through with competing teams and upper-tier QBs in recent years, joining the Chiefs in 2018 and then the Ravens last year. But with the four-time player of the year entering his 18th year in the league and 15th place as a start, nothing else can really compare.
Add to the fact that Watkins’ chance at Green Bay this season may be his last chance to revive a promising injury-ridden career that he has now traveled so well on, and his borderline obsession with every minute detail makes sense.
“He’s on a different level who wants things the way he wants,” Watkins said of Rodgers. “When you look at him, he trains like coaches. He’s in the field saying things the way he wants to.
“I had Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, but it wasn’t as detailed and that deep…You have to know every little thing…If you don’t, you’re in trouble. You don’t want to be in trouble. You don’t want to be that guy who He likes, “I can’t play with him. I can’t trust him.” That’s what I try to do every day is earn his trust.”
A positive step in that direction may have occurred on the 25-yard bullet in two minutes on Wednesday, as Rodgers extended play briefly, and he got out of trouble in the pocket. Watkins cut his way, stuck with his QB and gave him a small window in the defensive traffic.
In the next moment, the ball was on him, without being caught by the defender.
“He always said to us, ‘Don’t be a robot. If you see something, do it. Move on’,” Watkins said.
After training on Tuesday, Rodgers referred to Watkins as a “player.” When told, Watkins turned the compliment into a target for the type of player who wants to be consistent in practice, and not just when there’s another team playing against him.
In my no-guaranteed league, the combination of Watkins’ intense self-motivation and demand for self-evaluation may or may not bring the profits he seeks in such a short time frame. Rodgers and his teammates expressed confidence in that, as did coach Matt LaFleur, who was Watkins’ offensive coordinator with the Rams five years ago.
But for now, learning, pursuit, and sync are in full swing, and Watkins—without skipping any steps—is eager to see it through.
“I can’t wait to get to the level of Randall Cope and Allen Lazard (similar), where I know every little thing about the offense,” Watkins said. “Where I’m not thinking, I just make plays instead of running around and thinking, ‘Am I running it wrong? Do I see this? Do I see that? “
“I think once I get there, I can really play at full speed, and frankly, that’s when I’m dangerous.”