After a player’s rookie season, the game and everything that comes with playing in the league tends to settle. The same can be said for Derek Watt.
Heading into year two, Watt is taking this offseason in stride. Despite the changes that come with new head and position coaches, he feels a lot better about where things stand compared to a year ago as a rookie.
“I feel better going into year two than I did year one,” Watt said. “Things are very similar, but this year I’m able to feel a bit more comfortable and work on my craft.”
When a Chargers practice ends, you can usually find a couple players spending extra time refining their skills on the field. One of those is Derek Watt.
The fullback was putting in extra work on Tuesday, spending time on the field with tight end Sean Culkin. The pair knew each other from when Culkin took a visit to Wisconsin. Although they play different positions, Watt was willing to help the rookie out with similar techniques they both use.
“I’m trying to show him some of the things that Coach (Anthony) Lynn showed me. At times, he’s doing similar things to what I’m doing. There’s a lot of carry over (between the TE and FB positions). We were working on long snapping and I pulled him over and showed him some of the stuff Coach Lynn and I were working on. It’s good to have somebody with you instead of working by yourself. Having a partner out there is nice.”
As Watt alluded, Lynn has also spent time with Watt after practice. The pair has forged a bond, and Watt is especially appreciative for the guidance, due to Lynn’s running back pedigree. Having a resource like that is essentially invaluable.
“It’s been great. To know his background as a running back shows he cares enough to spend that one-on-one time after practice. And it means a lot to learn from him. He’s the man making the calls so it’s great to have that one-on-one time getting to know each other as well as taking advice and coaching points. He knows what I’m doing on every play. He knows exactly what we’re supposed to be seeing, and he can tell me if he sees something different. He knows the scheme in and out, so to learn from him is awesome.”
As for his goals in year two, Watt is looking to improve while expanding his role. Although the team has been working in shells, Watt has left an impression on Lynn. He believes the extra work they put in after practice could transition to in-game action come the season.
“(Lynn) has seen me run routes and I’ve shown that I can catch the ball, so he’s hoping to utilize me a lot more there. He wants to put the defense in some hairy situations with personnel groupings. Matchup-wise, hopefully that becomes something we can expand on. Running game wise, we’ll see what comes there.”