Offering somebody the most money for their services is typically a good way of getting them to say nice things about you. While that was the case for veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins, what he said yesterday about the Baltimore Ravens after signing with the AFC North team in free agency is perhaps fair, drawing comparisons to his time with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s similar cultures. This is a brotherhood, [and] I think here, it’s definitely special”, he told reporters yesterday after OTA practices when he was asked to compare Baltimore with the other places he’s played. “You’ve got a young group of guys on this team and great coaches and a great vibe. [It’s] kind of the same feeling I got from Kansas City, just as far as a winning mentality. So, honestly, it feels like Kansas City to me. It feels like a team that’s ready to win the Super Bowl, a team that’s ready to win and go out there and have fun, put up points – good defense, good special teams”.
The Ravens have long been known to have good defenses and special teams units, to their credit. It’s no surprise for the latter, as head coach John Harbaugh is a former special teams coach. But their focus on defense has been present since the founding of the franchise.
It’s really mostly been in recent years that the offense has truly flourished and become among the most potent in the NFL behind young quarterback Lamar Jackson, whose dual-threat abilities continue to frustrate defenses three years running. Watkins, now entering his eighth season, just wants to be a part of it
“I’m just happy to be here and be involved with a good organization, and I think that’s the most critical thing in my career now”, he said. “I’m in one of the best spots, I think, that I ever chose, probably in my life – just to be on a good team, on a good staff and with good surrounding people”.
Watkins’s reputation as a top receiver has long diminished, but he is expected to be a key cog in the Ravens’ passing game this year after signing a one-year contract worth $5 million to pair with Marquise Brown.
Baltimore also added another first-round wide receiver in April with the drafting of Rashod Bateman, followed by Tylan Wallace in the fourth round. Adding to Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, and James Proche, they now have depth, but must still finalize their offensive identity and what they are capable of in the passing game.