The Baltimore Ravens committed to upgrading their passing game this offseason, landing veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins in free agency. The 27-year-old proved to be a major part of the Kansas City Chiefs offense for the past three years and will now try to revitalize a lackluster air attack in Baltimore.
Watkins met virtually with the media for the first time since joining the Ravens and expressed his excitement about playing alongside Lamar Jackson. Baltimore’s newest wideout spoke highly of the rising fourth-year quarterback when talking about his decision to join the team.
However, not everything Watkins said about the organization was positive. In his defense of Jackson, the veteran wide receiver made clear that he thought the Ravens receivers could’ve done a better job at getting open over the past few years.
“To be honest, everybody wasn’t getting open. I think that’s a critical part with this offense,” Watkins said, per Jamison Hensley. “We can blame the offensive coordinators, but as players, we got to do our job.”
Sammy Watkins on what it will take for Lamar Jackson to improve as a passer: "To be honest, everybody wasn’t getting open. I think that’s a critical part with this offense. We can blame the offensive coordinators, but as players, we got to do our job."
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) April 5, 2021
Although Watkins comments might not endear him to his pass-catching peers in Baltimore, he has a point. The Ravens ranked last in passing yards and attempts in 2020, which means both scheme and personnel were to blame.
“I just think coaches call plays and players got to play,” Watkins continued, via Pro Football Talk. “They’re going to put us in the best situations to make those plays. And I think Lamar is going to go out there and kill it and throw for however many yards that he’s been doing and score touchdowns. I just want to be a part of something special and I think we’re going to get the job done.”
Watkins should be able to assist Jackson in the Baltimore passing game, despite a down year in 2020. He made just 37 catches for 421 yards in 10 appearances, but has still shown to be reliable contributor, especially in the postseason.
The Ravens will need Watkins to create separation in the secondary if they hope to make a deep playoff run next year.