Former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins will have nothing but fond memories of his relatively short tenure at Arrowhead Stadium. However, the 27-year-old admits he was ready for a new challenge, specifically with AFC rivals the Baltimore Ravens.
Here’s what he said to a group of reporters Monday (via CBS Sports):
“I had my fun there. It was an amazing, amazing time [and] a great organization. I just wanted a new scenery for myself. There was one team that stuck out, and it was the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. I heard too many great stories about just the team and the history of Baltimore. But I think when they hired one of my favorite guys that I train with in the offseason, [pass game specialist] Keith Williams, and of course [offensive coordinator] Greg [Roman], the offensive coordinator who I worked early in my career at Buffalo, it was like, ‘Man, this will be a good fit.’
“I had my best times there, and I really enjoyed my time. I think my time was up; I just wanted to be somewhere different. I think the best place to be, and to be around some younger guys and another MVP quarterback that’s really good. … You scout around the league like, ‘Where do I fit in?’ Once I took my visit, right away I knew I fit in at the Baltimore Ravens.”
With familiar faces on head coach John Harbaugh’s team coupled with the opportunity to contribute to a franchise desperate for offensive help, seems like the decision wasn’t all too difficult for the former Clemson Tiger.
Watkins Also Wants to Help the Ravens Achieve a First
It’s no surprise the Chiefs arguably have somewhat of a dominance over the Ravens since quarterback Patrick Mahomes became starter. Following the 34-20 rout in primetime last season, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is now 0-3 against the 2021 Super Bowl champions, called the Chiefs their “kryptonite.”
In the same conversation with media earlier this week, Watkins expressed that he’d like to help Jackson finally get his first victory against Kansas City this upcoming season.
“I think it’s pretty cool. I played the Ravens for I think the last two years, and those they’ve been battles,” Watkins said. “They’re the team that we’re probably practicing for in training camp. So, I can’t wait to line up against my other brothers who I played against, practiced against every day.
“I kind of know what they like to do. I can’t wait to line up and have fun and go toe-to-toe, and hopefully, get Lamar his first win against the Chiefs. I think it’s going to be fun.”
A pivotal member of Andy Reid’s offense, in 34 contests with the reigning AFC West champions, Watkins recorded 129 passes for 1,613 yards and eight touchdowns.
Watkins Also Received Advice From Another Former Chief
Seems like he’s following the footsteps of another former Chiefs wideout. Watkins explained that prior to signing with Baltimore, he consulted with De’Anthony Thomas, who also had a stint with the Ravens after saying goodbye to Kansas City.
“One guy, my guy that came from the Chiefs, De’Anthony Thomas, told me this is one of the best places to be in your career, because everything is fun, it’s great energy, great vibes. Coach (John) Harbaugh sets the tone in the building, and just really, they take care of their players, they’ve got a great weight program. He was like, ‘Man, you’re going to really like it. It’s definitely different from the Chiefs, as far as the workout plans and different things.’
“But he just told me, ‘Man, you’re going to love it.’ And as I walked into that building, just being around everyone, I just knew this is a great vibe, this is what I need. This feels like a college atmosphere, and I just can’t wait to get started with those guys to fix my body, do whatever I have to do to stay available on the field and have fun and go out there and play games.”