The Chiefs didn’t give Sammy Watkins a three-year contract worth $48 million to use him as a decoy. Instead, they plan on giving the former first-round pick plenty of chances, asking him to learn all the wideout positions.
“We’re moving him all over the place, and he’s handled it,” coach Andy Reid said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN. “We’ve overloaded him with that. That’s how we do it in this offense. That’s something new for him. You can tell he’s a guy that takes it away from here and studies. When we’re doing all these different formations, you’ve got to do that. You just can’t get it all when you’re here. You’ve got to go back and you’ve got to review, and he’s done that and he’s really limited the mistakes for all we’ve given him.”
Watkins has never had to do that in his career, Reid added. Watkins played the traditional X receiver in his three seasons with Buffalo and his one season with the Rams. He has only one 1,000-yard season, going for 1,047 in 2015.
“I’ve never been in an offense like this, around a coach that just feels like he’s obsessed with the game and makes you want to be obsessed with it, too, to know more about the offense,” said Watkins. “The more you break it down, the more you can be available and switching different positions.”
On an offense that includes running back Kareem Hunt, tight end Travis Kelce and receiver Tyreek Hill, Watkins isn’t going to be focal point. Then again, that should mean more one-on-one chances than Watkins has ever had.
“Anybody can get the ball,” Watkins said. “I’ve learned all the positions. I just can’t learn one position. I have to be focused and in tune. You have to do that off-field work, staying in your books.”
Watkins, 25, caught 39 passes for 593 yards and eight touchdowns last season for the Rams.