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Watkins Focusing on Improving Team Performance

Posted Oct 12, 2017

WR Sammy Watkins addressed his social media posts and offensive targets with reporters after Wednesday's practice.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s 16-10 loss to the Seahawks, wide receiver Sammy Watkins created a bit of a stir with a few posts on social media.

The wide receiver did not have a reception in Sunday’s contest after making only one against Dallas the previous week. And on Wednesday, Watkins admitted to letting some frustration get to him, particularly in light of the loss.

“As a player of course you’re going to be frustrated,” Watkins said. “I don't know a player or a wide receiver that’s not frustrated throughout the game if you’re not getting the ball. But that’s the game and like I said each week it could change. They had certain coverages that kind of took me away and that’s part of the game.

Watkins added, however, that the social media comments were “nothing personal to this team or anything like that — we’re just having fun with it.”

The wideout said he did watch film of Sunday’s game with head coach Sean McVay, and they discussed how some perceptions can change from what they were in real time.

“Sometimes you think you’re open and sometimes you are open, but when you watch film critically and look at film — certain things happen, sometimes on me, sometimes of the line, sometimes on the wide receivers,” Watkins said. “There’s not a perfect play out there so I just can’t say ‘I’m open.’ There’s a lot of other things that are taking place on the field.”

While Watkins has only been with Los Angeles since the Rams acquired him via trade on Aug. 12, the wide receiver said he didn’t think any issues were stemming from his knowledge of the offense.

“I think I have the playbook down,” Watkins said. “Like I said it’s different looks — different looks that they’re giving us and sometimes they do a great job of taking away looks. Sometimes I’m confused with what looks they’re giving. Sometimes they do something totally opposite of what we’re looking for. For me, it’s just continuing to go out there and play hard. I’m happy and healthy and my goal is just to put everything on film, stack up wins, and win games.”

There was one route in particular against Seattle that McVay mentioned Watkins did not finish in an ideal manner. On 1st-and-10 from the L.A. 40 midway through the third quarter, Goff launched a deep ball to Watkins in the middle of the field. From viewing the play, it was apparent the wide receiver wasn’t quite running full speed.

“It was on me honestly,” Watkins said. “I kind of read it the wrong way. Me and coach talked about it and cleared it up. But it wasn’t an effort thing — it was that I just thought Earl Thomas was playing it a certain type of way.”

Watkins currently has 14 receptions for 211 yards with two touchdowns. Quarterback Jared Goff has targeted him 20 times this season, which ranks fifth on the team behind wide receiver Robert Woods (30), running back Todd Gurley (29), wide receiver Cooper Kupp (29), and tight end Tyler Higbee (21). But Watkins said he’s not had trouble staying engaged in games.

“It’s a team game. I mean the linemen just sit there and block, so they’re not getting the ball,” Watkins said. “So for me, it’s just to really go out there each week, work hard and play hard. If it’s clearing up guys, getting guys open — that’s my job — I’m fine with that. But also I’m just going to continue to work hard and the ball will follow me.”

“I’m just here and trying to help this team win game,” Watkins added. “For me, it’s just to keep on coming out each week and setting the standard as a wideout and just competing. That’s my focus to put everything on film. Hopefully…me and Jared start clicking.”

Kristen Lago contributed reporting.