Starting Job In Dekoda Watson’s Hands

June 12th, 2013

As Joe’s astute and savvy readers heard Joe tell his good friend, “The Big Dog,” Steve Duemig yesterday on WDAE-AM 620 (you can listen to the audio here), it’s not a good thing if a football team doesn’t know who its strongside linebacker will be in early June.

That is the case with the Bucs. If one had to handicap it (and Joe is not a handicapper, but a lover), it appears to be a two-horse race between Dekoda Watson and Jonathan Casillas for the starting gig.

And if Joe can speculate further, judging by watching the first-team defensive unit work, and listening to Bucs coach Greg Schiano yesterday in his normal post-practice press conference, the job is Watson’s to lose.

This afternoon, Watson took a break from sweating after practice to talk to Joe and others about how he plans to lock down the starting SAM linebacker slot after years of stellar special teams play.

“I just want to take advantage of the opportunities and make sure I don’t get a big head,” Watson said. Just take care of the little things. Make sure I build and continue to build each day from here out.

“I just need to be a student of the game and keep my compusure. Be confident in everything I do. Coaches can [assign tasks] however they want. Whatever they want me to do I can do it. For the most part you have to make sure you contribute each and every way you can. Just make sure you make the most of your opportunity.”

Watson admits he has matured as a player since he was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft.

“I started being a better student in the film room,” Watson said. “Physically, shoot, just continue to lift weights. I’m doing [the off-field homework and working out] so much better now. I am doing a lot better on the mental part of [the game].”

Naturally, Watson has been trying to somehow crack the starting lineup the past three years. Before this season, he was viewed as a versatile linebacker, who could play inside or outside, strong or weak. Now he is just focused on strongside and Watson admits the focus is helping.

“It is very important,” Watson said.

10 Responses to “Starting Job In Dekoda Watson’s Hands”

  1. PRBucFan Says:

    I personally think Watson can be a very special player, I’ve been hoping that he would blossom soon..

    Hopefully this is his season

  2. T in Orlando Says:

    I’ve also been a Watson since he was drafted, and hope he earns the starting spot.

    That being said, I don’t see the big deal about not knowing your SAM linebacker in early June. Would it be better if we had an established starter, absolutely, but of all 22 starters to be unsure about, with the schemes we run, SAM linebacker (a 2 down position in our D) might be the least important.

  3. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I could picture Watson as the SAM.

  4. DC Says:


    Just brings back memories of you writing an ENTIRE article bashing my comment on ESPN for saying dekoda watson should be starting for us this Fall. 8)

  5. WestCoastBucsFan Says:

    I would like to see Watson win the job but what happened to Adam Hayward? How are Watson and Casillas the front runners now? Just king of odd that Hayward filled in, for the most part, when Black went down last season but now he isn’t even in the running? Just seems odd to me. Perhaps he is more valuable as a backup/special teamer?

  6. Braheem Says:

    Nice to hear the Bucs might have a Linebacker Corps….

  7. MTM Says:

    Watson has a huge upside. He just needs consistency.

  8. Fish Says:

    I called this months ago, commenting with evidence to support…

  9. BamBamBuc Says:

    Watson absolutely makes the most sense if he can improve his coverage ability. We already know he can rush the passer, but if he can improve in coverage, we may see David and Watson in on passing downs with Foster coming out. With David making the defensive play calls, Foster doesn’t need to be out there. Foster’s coverage is definitely lacking and he’s not much of a pass rush threat. David and Watson could provide both rush and coverage skills so long as Watson has improved there. I doubt Watson could be much worse in coverage than Foster. This is definitely the right move at this time of year. Let’s see what he can do in OTAs and camp.

  10. scubog Says:

    He has always looked the part. Nice to see him acknowledge that he is working on the mental aspect.