First Play, First Accolades

August 14th, 2018

Video and a chat with Joe.

Joe always tries to see how rookies fare on their very first NFL play. Most of the time nothing noteworthy happens.

For Bucs rookie fifth-round pick, receiver Justin Watson, he’s got something to talk about.

Joe asked Watson about the rib-rattling hit he laid on Dolphins stud rookie safety Minkah Fitzpatrick last week. Watson had just checked into the game for the first time with the Bucs about to hand off to rookie Ronald Jones from the Dolphins’ 2 yard line.

Watson zeroed in on Fitzpatrick and the No. 11 overall pick was no match.

Jones is Watson’s training camp roommate and friend, and they were quick to celebrate on the field. Watson said his block also went over well in the film room the next day.

“Receivers aren’t usually guys digging out safeties, coming down hill and hitting people, but it’s something I love doing,” Watson said. “I’m going to be on kickoff and kick return hitting people, and I’m sure as heck going to be doing it on offense, too.”

Special teams is a new thing for Watson, who is a legendary receiver at the University of Pennsylvania. He wasn’t a special-teamer there but he must be here to earn a roster spot with the Bucs.

Tackling is a revived skill for Watson, who said he’s channeling his time as a high school cornerback and working closely with Bucs coaches on “pursuit angles.” He’s getting in extra tackling during field goal practice sessions, darting over to hit the tackling dummies and practice wrapping up.

Yeah, yeah, Waston is working on special teams, but he’s also a legitimate talent at receiver, though he’ll have to stop fumbling to get on the field. Joe would be quite surprised if Watson doesn’t make the roster, though. He’s probably too good to sneak on to the practice squad — and too smart to stay with the receiver-loaded Bucs if that scenario arises.

Enjoy Watson’s first NFL play below:

13 Responses to “First Play, First Accolades”

  1. JimmyJack Says:

    I loved this draft pick. I love to see the team build on from positions of strength……just like with that LB they took, Cinchy.

    It shows they are not forgetting long-term just to try and buy a cheap win or two, which is a pit we have seen GMs fall into before.

  2. BigMacAttack Says:

    Can he play Nickel? Asking for a friend.

  3. DB55 Says:

    Lol, you’re fishing Joseph. You highlight that hit but miss the pancake block by #70?

    If you consider that a rib-rattling hit,lol, then I completely understand your affinity with Conte.

    If you wanna see hits by a wr cue up some film of Steve Smith and/or Hines Ward. Stop setting the bar so low for these feel-good stories, they’re nothing special.
    This is funny. First, Joe didn’t miss anything. Second, Joe has no “affinity” with Conte. Third, Joe never called this a Hall of Fame block. –Joe

  4. Not there yet Says:

    Exaggerate much???

  5. 13frain Says:

    I looked at it again and #70 had a tremendous block. Ruben Holcomb another Div 2 gem.

  6. Gregory Kehrer Says:

    That’s great but Michael Liedtke taking out 2 defensive players is pretty great too!

  7. Marc Says:

    Common Josephina, no need to exaggerate. Was it a good block? Sure it was, and we are happy for the kid. But let’s not act like he knocked Minkah’s lights out.

  8. RickinFtMyers Says:

    Good that he likes to block but I watched the clip. Justin Watson made good initial contact with Minkah Fitzpatrick, kept his feet moving, and used good footwork to keep himself between the defender and the rush lane. Overall a good block but the way Joe talked I was expecting Watson to have pancaked Fitzpatrick and thus was disappointed when I saw the clip.

  9. Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    Have to agree with DB55. Joe, you called it a “…rib-rattling hit…”. It was a good block, and I love Watson, but to call it a “rib-rattling hit” is an exaggeration. And wouldn’t a “Hall of Fame block” be a step down from a “the rib-rattling hit”?

    Thank you for keeping us entertained Joe!

  10. TOM Says:

    Watson better make the 53. He will never sneak thru to the practice squad. Martino to the practice squad instead,

  11. Owlykat Says:

    Watson will be a great backup for our top receivers and we’d be very foolish letting him be picked up by one of our opponents. He and Bobo should both make this team.

  12. Jmarkbuc Says:

    How about a high ankle sprain in pre season game four?

    IR for a few weeks

  13. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    Just don’t become Michael Clayton 3.0! It was a good block though