Former Clemson star does not care about stats or money anymore, it’s about helping his team win
In an era of professional football where stats and fantasy football sometimes take precedence over who actually wins a game, Sammy Watkins is a breath of fresh air.
The former Clemson star does not worry himself anymore about how catches, yards or touchdowns he has accumulated and how much money it will add up to. Instead, Watkins is focused on just playing the game at its purest form. Having fun and trying to help his Kansas City Chiefs win a second straight Super Bowl.
“It is hard to keep coming back year after year, and I am not saying getting stats is easy or it is too hard, but ultimately the person I am, I love to win. And the reason we play this game is to win Super Bowls,” Watkins said. “It is not for stats. It is not for fame. It is not about me going out there and caring about stats and catching balls. It messes up the person I am when I focus on that.
“I think I am a genuine person as far as my teammates. I put my teammates first and I want to win.”
Last year’s Super Bowl performance backs up Watkins’ words. He did not score a touchdown in the Chiefs’ win over San Francisco in Super Bowl LIV, but he made the play of the game when he produced a 38-yard catch-and-run late in the fourth quarter to set up what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
Watkins finished his first Super Bowl with five catches for 98 yards. He also had a 60-yard game-clinching touchdown in the AFC Championship win over Tennessee that sent the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl in 50 years.
The former No. 4 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is comfortable in his role as a role player instead of being the No. 1 receiver. There was a time, when he was a young player at Buffalo, he did not feel that way.
“I think early in my career, I wasn’t like that. I was that guy that I wanted the ball. Even if we were losing, I wanted the ball every time,” Watkins said. “And I am not saying that I am not like that (at times), but I know how to control that, I am older now. I understand the team goals and what we are trying to do and what type of team I am on.
“So far, in the three years I have been here, we had an opportunity to play in Super Bowls, and I think that is what it is about.”
Watkins and the Chiefs will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday in Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.