Inside The Bills

Watkins surge gaining attention

Posted by Chris Brown on October 24, 2014 – 8:52 am

Bills WR Sammy Watkins surge in production the last three weeks is garnering more and more national attention. His breakout game last week, which was capped with the game-winning touchdown catch with a second left on the game clock has only increased his gravitational pull on the media. Breaking down the improvements of his game from college however, is not something that many are qualified to do. Former Bills safety Matt Bowen is and he does so in this breakdown of Watkins.

Bowen has a weekly NFL Film Study column, and here’s what he wrote about Watkins.

  1. The Quick Development of Rookie Wide Receiver Sammy Watkins

With any rookie wide recover, my focus is on route running and the ability to create separation within the stem and at the break point versus man-coverage.

In Week 7, Watkins consistently worked the Vikings cornerbacks to gain leverage off the release while showing an aggressive burst at the top of the route to gain that separation back to the football on both inside and outside breaking cuts.

Watkins’ game-winning touchdown on the quick out route versus Xavier Rhodes with the ball on the near hash is a prime example.

His acceleration on the break after Watkins sets up the cornerback at the top of the route is impressive. There are at least two yards to work with (into the boundary) as Watkins secures the catch from Kyle Orton and gets the feet down.

With a matchup on Sunday versus the Jets, Watkins can use the same aggressive route running style to win in the short-to-intermediate passing game while stacking on top to run the 9 (fade) route versus a secondary he matches up well against.


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