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Chiefs are building a version of Sammy Watkins the NFL has never seen before

Los Angeles Rams v Tennessee Titan Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

I’m working on a theory. Hear me out, OK?

Maybe Sammy Watkins’ infamous April tweet about being a reptilian solar being isn’t so far off, after all.

If you’ve yet to see or hear about the tweet, Watkins wrote: “I’m a whole different species im convince im not a human never was im more like a advance reptilian solar being I’m very powerful it’s kinda scares me lol...”

First, let me say this: No, I don’t think Watkins is a different species, obviously. And I don’t think he’s reptilian or solar, either.

But it could relate to the Kansas City Chiefs in the the fact that I think they believe that inside Watkins, there is an untapped version—one the NFL hasn’t seen—and that includes 2015 in Buffalo, when he notched a career-high 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns, as well as last season with the Los Angeles Rams, when he was tied for fourth in the league in red-zone touchdowns with seven.

Time travel time.

Let’s go back to mid-March when the Chiefs officially signed the fifth-year wide receiver.

“The thing about Sammy Watkins is he is a good fit for anybody,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “And don’t let the production fool you. If you watch the tape, the guy is open all the time. Literally, open all the time. You are talking about 6’0 and change, 4.38 (40-yard dash), tremendous hands, ball skills, really a refined player. There really isn’t anything you can’t do. Now, he had some injuries and bounced around a couple different places and sometimes it takes some time to develop a cohesive deal with the quarterback and the offense and the rhythm and the timing. You talk about a full offseason with this guy, it is going to be exciting. From a skill standpoint, he was the best player on our board in free agency.”

The line that sticks out to me here is “If you watch the tape, the guy is open all the time.”

And this was before his integration into the Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes West Coast offense, which the Chiefs, Veach and owner Clark Hunt, all likely regard as better offenses than say, Greg Roman’s or Sean McVay’s.

Now let’s speed up to Thursday, when coach Andy Reid spoke about Watkins after practice.

Remember, in Reid’s offense, receivers, running backs and tight ends are all tasked with learning every position on the field, as they can be called to go anywhere at any given time.

“We’re moving him all over the place and he’s handled it,” Reid said of Watkins. “We’ve overloaded him with that. That’s how we do it with this offense. That’s something new for him, again you can tell he’s a guy that takes it away from here and studies.”

When Watkins was asked about learning Reid’s offense for the first time, he was very candid. He even admitted there are still times that he isn’t “clicking on all cylinders” with Patrick Mahomes.

At this stage, he seems slightly overwhelmed.

“This offense is the broadest offense I’ve ever been in,” Watkins said. “It’s definitely a mental challenge, but I think that’s what kind of gets me up every day—studying plays to come out here. Anybody can get the ball, and I got to learn all the positions. I just can’t learn one position. I have to be focused and in tune to meetings. You have to do that off-field work. Stay in the [playbook].”

Reid said he could see Watkins has been handling that off-field work with a great attitude over the first nine days of OTAs.

And Watkins, in turn, has relished the opportunity to work with Reid, seemingly well aware of what the head coach is capable of.

“Full speed guy,” Watkins said of Reid. “Every day, you come out here, every rep is full speed, and that’s just going to help me translate that during the game. I think he’s helped me in this short amount of time with just being a complete receiver, not just being an, ‘Oh you just run go routes.’

“I got to run the whole route tree—my standard that he wants. He called me out in meetings, which, that’s what you need as a player, and I take full advantage of all those things. Like today, I work on all the things that he needed me to work on from yesterday. Those things you look forward to—a head coach calling you out and making you be the best player.”

Watkins is one of the NFL’s premier receivers and he was paid (and some have said overpaid) like it, yet Reid has consistently called him out in meetings.

By his words, one could assume Watkins is treated no different than Daniel Braverman.

And who the hell is Daniel Braverman?

Exactly, and that is what I am talking about.

My theory is that for the first time in Watkins’ five-year career, he feels challenged. Watkins is being motivated by a head coach with 20 years of experience he is certain knows what he is talking about.

“I feel like [Reid’s] obsessed with the game and he makes you want to be obsessed with it, too.”

So, as it seems, the installment of Reid’s offense into Watkins’ reptilian-solar-powered brain is coming along.

Watkins is saying things like he realizes by moving along the line of scrimmage with players like Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and occasionally Kareem Hunt, beating linebackers and safeties should be a lot easier than taking on cornerbacks.

But the crazy thing is that to this point in his career, he’s already made a lot of great cornerbacks look like chumps.

“I’m very powerful it’s kinda scares me lol,” Watkins tweeted.

I’m starting to think the NFL ought to take note.

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