Harbaugh on Sammy Watkins: 'He Really Is A Student of the Game'

Veteran wide receiver expected to boost passing game.
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Sammy Watkins is leading by example.

The Ravens wide receiver worked hard during the recent OTAs and now he'll look to take the next step with his new team during this week's mandatory minicamp. 

“He looks good. He’s big and he’s fast," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "He has good hands and he’s a veteran guy. The thing I’ve noticed about him is he really is a student of the game. He really wants to improve his game. He’s very much a stickler for the fundamentals and for pushing himself on the fundamentals; in and out of routes, angles, eyes, hands [and] hand placement. All that stuff has just been something that he works at." 

Over 86 career games, Watkins has caught 321 passes for 4,665 yards with 33 touchdowns. He'll turn 28 on June 14 so he has plenty of solid football ahead of him. Watkins has the speed to get behind secondaries and does an effective job gaining yards after a reception.

Last season, he finished with 37 receptions on 55 targets for 421 yards and two touchdowns over 10 games in 2020. Watkins also helped the Chiefs reach the Super Bowl in each of the past two seasons and that experience will also bode well in Baltimore, which is trying to go further in the playoffs.

"He asks a lot of questions of his coaches," Harbaugh said. "He always wants to know what he can do better. When you see that in a guy … He’s only 27 [or] 28 years old. I’m very hopeful that there’s a lot of maybe his best football is still in front of him going forward. He’s young enough for that to be the case.”

Watkins had the best season of his career in 2015 with the Bills when he finished with 1,047 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Roman was the first-year offensive coordinator that season and Watkins is confident he can continue that strong relationship in Baltimore lining up across from Hollywood Brown and catching passes from Lamar Jackson.

"Greg can put you in a lot of different places, and honestly, I’m learning from the young guys right now," Watkins said. "They’re kind of helping me, putting me in certain spots, and I’m learning certain routes from them, so hats off to those guys. 

"But just really going out there and being able to play fast, and go out there, really, to show my talent. I think that’s the most critical thing – to learn the offense to where I can play fast, block and do all the things I can do on the field.”