Sammy Watkins wants the ball and he wants everyone to know it. The Buffalo Bills wide receiver told the team recently that he wants the ball more and isn't pulling any punches publicly, either.
"Everybody looks at you getting zero catches, zero yards but when you look on film 90 percent of the time you’re open," Watkins told The Buffalo News, referencing his stat line from opening day "I understand that these [quarterbacks] are young and they need some time to trust me. Once we get that trust, it’ll be different. But for me, I need the ball at least 10 times — I need 10 targets — and I’ll be fine with however many yards I get. And that’s what I addressed in talking with my agent. We reached out to a couple people and tried to pull some strings like, ‘Hey, I need my targets. You came up to draft me and I’m not getting targets — that’s a problem. You’re making me look bad and you’re making yourself look bad. Why not make both of us look good?’"
Watkins went on to compare himself to other number 1 receivers like A.J. Green, Odell Beckham Jr., and Julio Jones. He says when they are in one-on-one matchups, their quarterback chucks it up to them hoping they will make a play. That's what Sammy wants and it's hard to argue with him.
"That’s what I get mad at," Watkins said, "when I don’t get looked at. I can look at film and his eyes go straight that way and I’m not getting looked at, at all. That’s when I get frustrated. When I have one-on-one coverage, go to me. I don’t care what’s going on over there. I don’t care if he’s open. When I get one on one, just target me."
Watkins hasn't spoken up much in his brief time with the Bills. He averaged 61 yards per game as rookie and snagged 65 balls and 6 touchdowns but just missing 1000 yards. While many were hoping he would break out in 2015, he has just 7 catches and 99 yards in three games before a calf injury sidelined him for two weeks. He fully intends to play this Sunday and hopes to get more targets.
"You really just put it on film," Watkins said, "and go to the coach like, ‘Hey, I'm getting open. What's the deal here?' Don't be an (expletive) about it, just go talk to him about the situation. I see the bigger picture. I enjoy spreading the ball around. It makes my job easier. But at the same time, for a guy you go up in the draft to take as your No. 1 receiver, you would love those 15 targets that Julio gets, those 20 targets that Odell gets. Of course I'd have 100 yards every game and a TD, if I'm getting 20 targets."
Are the Bills going to respond with more targets for their young playmakers? Watkins believes they will.
"I was told, ‘Look, you're going to get the targets that you need. You're going to start getting 100 yards every game,'" Watkins said. "That's really the focus: winning. If I get 80, 90, 100 yards, we're winning the majority of our games. That helps, not only me, but the whole offense click. Then I start getting more double-coverage and you run the ball to the right and Percy's going over the top. That's the biggest thing."