The Lass Word: Watson Is Worth The Effort

Whatever it takes to keep him on the field is mandatory.

If the Green Bay Packers are going to make it to a Super Bowl in the next few years they are going to need Christian Watson to become a star.  The Dallas Cowboys notwithstanding, the two best teams the Packers defeated during the season just concluded were the Detroit Lions and the Kansas City Chiefs.  The Lions made it to the NFC championship game and had the 49ers down by seventeen points, demonstrating they are legitimate contenders.  The Chiefs are the defending Super Bowl champions and are in the big game again.   

Yet the young Packers beat them both.  It is no coincidence those were the two games in which Watson excelled.  Playing in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day Watson caught five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown in a 29-22 upset victory.  At Lambeau Field a week later Watson grabbed seven throws for 71 yards and two scores as Green Bay hung on for a 27-19 win. 

But as Watson picked up a critical first down on a jet sweep late in that game, he reinjured his hamstring.  He would miss the next three games, during which the Packers would suffer terrible losses to the Giants and Bucs, and just barely escape the Panthers.  Watson made it back to the field for both of Green Bay’s playoff games but caught just one short pass in each contest and was clearly not fully recovered.  The Packers were so close to conquering the best team in the NFC in the divisional playoffs.  It’s hard to believe a totally healthy Watson wouldn’t have made a major difference. 

Unfortunately, after his first two years in the NFL, it’s valid to wonder if Green Bay will ever get a complete season of good health and production out of the former North Dakota State receiver.  Out of a possible 36 games, Watson has been able to play in just 23 of them.  And several of those appearances were limited as coaches eased him back from injury with low snap counts.  Watson has been spectacular in a small handful of games, but either absent or a non-factor in the majority of them.   

 This is frustrating and disappointing.  Watson came at a high cost.  General manager Brian Gutekunst spent two second round draft picks to trade up to pick number 34 in 2022 to take the speedster.  The return on that investment has been mostly lacking thus far.  More than one observer has already labeled Watson a bust because of his dearth of availability.  Diehard fans of the green and gold fear he will fade into the ranks of those promising but injury-plagued prospects who tease you with one or two standout performances each season, but all too often end up watching the action in street clothes on the sideline. 

Matt LaFleur says there will be extra time spent and special emphasis on trying to figure out the source of Watson’s soft tissue problems this offseason.   With good reason.  Watson is not the kind of player you give up on.  He is a rare talent.  On a team loaded with exciting young receivers, none are the total package the way Watson is.  Romeo Doubs is a tremendous catcher of the ball.  Dontayvion Wicks runs precise patterns and has a knack for getting open.  Jayden Reed is fast.  But Watson has shown the ability to do all of those things, and more importantly, to do them against the best teams in the league. 

There were six receivers taken before Watson in the 2022 draft.  They are, in order, Drake London, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Jameson Williams, Jahan Dotson and Treylon Burks.  Watson has played in far fewer games than all but two of them (Burks and Williams).  Yet he has scored more touchdowns than any of them (14). 

Maybe the more interesting comparison is not with those six players, but rather with Alec Pierce of the Colts.  Pierce was taken with the 53rd selection in that 2022 draft.  That would have been the Packers’ slot if they had not traded up.  He would have been available to Green Bay.  Would the Pack have been better off to sit tight at 53 and take Pierce?  By doing so they would also have kept the 59th pick.  Well, after two seasons, Pierce has played in ten more games, and yet has produced just four more catches and only 74 more receiving yards.  His four career touchdowns pale next to Watson’s 14.  That tells me the trade up was well worth it in terms of talent. But if the Packers can’t get that talent on the field more consistently they lose the benefit. 

Right now the 49ers are the standard for the NFC. That’s because in addition to finding a franchise quarterback, they have a handful of other players who have risen to elite level, including Christian McCaffery, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Fred Warner. If the Packers are going to surpass the Niners, and teams like them, they are going to need more than just improvement from Jordan Love. They also will need a handful of other players to rise to the elite level.  

Think in terms of Davante Adams. Which of the young pass catchers currently on the roster has the best chance to develop into another Davante Adams? The answer is Watson.  

To be sure, the Packers have holes to fill. They have weaknesses just like every other team. But the post season run in 2023 indicated this team is close. Much closer than we thought. They have an impressive crop of good young players. Now they need a few to become great. Watson is the best hope. 

 

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Ken Lass is a former Green Bay television sports anchor and 43 year media veteran, a lifelong Packers fan, and a shareholder.

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NFL Categories: 
12 points
 

Comments (84)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:22 am

Ken, I agree that having Watson figure out how to stay healthy would be a huge boost to this team, but we have plenty of other prospects who can create similar, if not QUITE as good, results.

As far as "potentially the next Adams," I'd actually say Wicks; Watson is more like "potentially the next Lofton" (tall, fast, smart, good blocker).

I won't be shocked if Gute selects another WR in this draft too--there are quite a few who could be the Best Player Available when it's the Packers turn to choose. I could see them going for Malachi "Deebo" Corley, or Brenden "Jerry's Kid" Rice, or take a flyer on a freak athlete like Xavier Legette or Troy Franklin.

13 points
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GregC's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:48 am

I thought the same thing about Adams/Wicks. I suppose the Packers could take a receiver high in the draft, but with all of their other needs, I would be disappointed if they did. I'm actually starting to wonder if they should trade one of their receivers for a player at another position.

5 points
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HawkPacker's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:16 am

No trade please. I like the WR's they have and hopefully, though somewhat doubtful, they uncover the secret to Watson's hammy issues.

7 points
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GregC's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:29 am

Melton and Heath don't really have any trade value, so it would have to be one of the top four. I would hate to see them part ways with any of those guys, but it could be tempting if another team is stocked with young talent at RB, safety, or linebacker.

0 points
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Coldworld's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:39 am

The thing about drafting another is where does he play and from whom does he take snaps? Melton needs to be added to the mix based upon late season play as it is, plus we will likely see plants of 2 TE sets.

We will acquire other receivers as there are normally 10 or 11 in camp. About the only draft investment that seems justified is a talk fast perimeter guy. That’s depth we don’t have and perhaps the only type. In reality, that’s not a common beast and would likely have to be a developmental athlete.

We have a full stable of ascending catching talent and, as you say, we have needs elsewhere for starters, depth and pipeline.

5 points
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DoubleJ's picture

February 05, 2024 at 10:26 am

You can draft another WR if you think they are going to be better than Heath or Melton.

1 points
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mnbadger's picture

February 05, 2024 at 12:45 pm

Doubs is another potential DA type player.
I'm still bullish on Malik Heath as well in this offense. Physical, tough, cocky and aggressive. Combined with pretty darn good athleticism, I see him as a real keeper/sleeper.
Give Watson one more year to figure out the physical part of being a professional athlete, helping him along the way.
I don't think we can count him for game in game out positive contributions and that scares me.
GPG!

1 points
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dblbogey's picture

February 05, 2024 at 01:52 pm

You think you're deep with 5-6 talented receivers, until one hurts a knee in preseason, and a few more injuries hit during the course of the season.

2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:03 am

"As far as "potentially the next Adams," I'd actually say Wicks; Watson is more like "potentially the next Lofton" (tall, fast, smart, good blocker)."

I was thinking the same thing. I think Wicks movements are Adams like. He has the ability to create separation immediately, and knows how to get open. Both Adams and Wicks are not burners. Their game isn't based on pure speed, but more quickness. They get off the LOS quickly and just know how to get open.

The player I just can't get out of my mind for a comparison with Watson is Moss. I know those Moss is one of the most dangerous WR's the league has ever seen. And its not a fair comparison to put Watson in that category. But for a Height/Speed combo I can't think of many that compare. The way he was able to absolutely take over some games and draw attention from other teams, was Moss like.
If we stick to Packers only for comparisons the best one I would make is Javon Walker.

3 points
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Minniman's picture

February 05, 2024 at 03:03 pm

I agree with your comment re continuously adding pieces to the receivers room PEO.

The success of this crop of players (over recent years) is rooted in their collective versatility. In past years they really lost great chunks of the play book when the deep threat got removed.

Watson and Bo Melton, with their 3.X speed provide that deep threat that clears the seam and allows Reed, Wicks and Doubs to operate underneath.

..... and in cascade, they too allow Musgrave and Kraft (and the RB's) to attack the area behind the line of scrimmage.

I've seen enough of Watson to know that he is wayyyy more reliable than the last speedster at GB - MVS.

The thing that I really enjoyed seeing this year was the application of the old maxim - "the collective is far greater than the sum of individual parts"........ together, and only together, this group is a defensive nightmare. Individually, they are able to be doubled and rubbed out.

0 points
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CoachJV's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:31 am

I hate to say it, but I'm in the camp of "fade into the ranks of those promising but injury-plagued prospects who tease you with one or two standout performances each season, but all too often end up watching the action in street clothes on the sideline."... He may never be able to stay healthy enough to complete a full season. Too bad too... he's an exceptional talent.

0 points
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Untylu1968's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:20 am

That's the glass half empty insight. On the glass half full side of things, going into his very young and promising third year, he finally figures out the hamstring issues, stays healthy all year, and scores 10 TDs, while opening up the field for the other young and still developing receivers.??

8 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:47 am

Why give up on a player whos just entering his prime? Hes only 25 and affordable. Instead of assigning subjective titles, let things play out.

2 points
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Minniman's picture

February 05, 2024 at 03:29 pm

I remember Casey Hayward having an injury plagued 2nd year, which stifled is third and fourth years.

The Packers let him walk at the end of the 4th year (2015) - he signs with SD and promptly goes on to have back to back pro bowl years and a stellar career.

Don't give up on young players too early coach.

2 points
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 05, 2024 at 04:11 pm

Like the injured Davante his second year in the league. So many fans said he was a bust and not worth a high draft pick. Ridiculous.

1 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:34 am

I'm sure this is the reason they moved on from their current strength and conditioning coach. I hope it helps and they find the best replacement.

This team needs to keep all the young players it can to grow together and help this team get to the next level and stay there.

We were all worried about the young receiver room at the start of the season. That worry's been put behind us. Now let's start getting the rest of the team on the same page.

I worry more about them going longer than a half season figuring out the best O-line. That can't happen again. They need to have the best 5 and (as we saw at the beginning of the season) the best 5 backups.

6 points
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Guam's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:32 am

"I'm sure this is the reason they moved on from their current strength and conditioning coach."

Oddly enough the Packers expressly denied that was the reason they parted ways with Gizzi when they announced he is no longer with the team. I am with you though, I also think that had to be the reason. The author talked about Watson, but Stokes missed almost the entire season with hamstring injuries and A. Jones missed parts of the season with the same problem. Gizzi's inability to deal with this recurring problem with star players certainly seems the likely driver behind his departure.

I hope Gizzi's replacement can find some answers - having Watson, Stokes and A. Jones healthy for the full season could make a huge difference in team performance.

0 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:51 am

Football is a brutal game. Theres no strength and conditioning coach alive who can magically make guys avoid injury. Here's the secret that nobody wants to admit: staying healthy simply comes down to luck. Some teams are luckier than others. Packers have been really unlucky when it comes to injuries and theres nobody to blame for it. Its the nature of the sport.

5 points
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Guam's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:30 am

For many injuries, I would agree. However pulled hamstrings are rarely contact injuries and are more often the product of over strain from quick acceleration or direction change. Those can be helped by proper conditioning, hydration, diet, etc. etc.. A new coach might not be a cure all, but he might be able to help with hammies more than with many other injuries.

1 points
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NickPerry's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:37 am

The guy is special when he's out there, no doubt about it. Pierce was taken at 53 BUT George Pickens was taken 52nd in the same draft. Pickens has caught 115 balls for 9 TDs and 1941 yards. He caught 63 this past season for 1140, 18.1 YPC and 5 TDs.

Obviously had Gute not traded both 2nds to move up Pickens still would have been drafted before the Packers selection. But maybe a 2nd and a 4th gets them to the 40th pick (just for example). Personally I wanted Pickens but after Watson's game vs Dallas I was all in on Watson. I understood WHY Gute took him.

Both Pickens and Watson came with risk. Watson from a small school who mostly ran the ball against lessor competition. Pickens came from a powerhouse (Georgia) but was coming off a knee injury and only played in 12 games his last two seasons.

Watson is truly special when he's on the field. Stating the obvious here, Watson MUST stay on the field. The Packers and Watson are doing everything they can this offseason to hopefully put a end to the hamstring issues. I don't think there's a doubt the Packers are better WITH Watson. Hopefully they can find some answers.

2 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:42 am

The Steelers are dealing with an attitude issue with Pickens blocking too. Watson coming from a school that runs the ball is great at blocking or becoming so.

3 points
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DoubleJ's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:51 am

While Pickens is good, he has a big attitude issue. He is someone who could easily become a locker room cancer.

9 points
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The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:52 am

Pickens is also a clown with work ethic concerns and other behavioral stuff. Green Bay passes on these types of players at all costs. I wouldnt trade any of their top 4 receivers for Pickens. Wouldnt even consider it.

2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:55 am

The Steelers have been very good about drafting WR's. GB has been very good about drafting WR's as well.

One difference between the Packers and Steelers though is that the Steelers WR's are always causing headaches and create drama. The last time a Packers WR created drama was probably Greg Jennings.

I wouldn't trade GB's WR's for Pittsburg's.

1 points
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GregC's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:43 am

The first sentence is too strong. They don't need Christian Watson to become a star in order to make it to the Super Bowl. But other than that, I agree with Ken. Watson is a game breaker when healthy. The good news is that the Packers don't have to make a decision of any kind. Watson is under contract. Let's see if he can stay healthy in 2024. Maybe he's just had a run of bad luck.

12 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:52 am

I recall the hamstring/injury issues 2nd rounder CB Casey Hayward had his first 4 years as a Packer missing around 20 games over 4 seasons...Ted let the talented player walk with little resistance to the Chargers.

Hayward played for the Chargers for 5 seasons, earned pro bowls, and missed just a few games. Meanwhile the Packers were struggling mightily finding productive CBs. Christian is a rare talent. Do not give up on him the way Ted did with Hayward!

I also recall all the angst from many fans about trading up for Watson. However the outstanding fact mentioned in the article that since the 2022 draft, Christian still outproduced all 6 WRs taken before him scoring TDs...even while missing all those games! That is amazing.

It is also my sense the hamstring/soft tissue injuries for the Packers are abnormally high. Not sure if that is the actual case. But the long weekly injury reports seemed to point to it.

9 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 05, 2024 at 02:06 pm

I would have used the #22 on Watson and mocked him there with Wyatt at #28. He is a rare talent. Jefferson had issues this year as well as Davante a few times. Save the two selections in Rd two for the TE and OT ( Bellinger, Jake Ferguson, Abe Lucas), or Sam Williams. Big Dog and Tonyan were way past the due-date. The OT was a problem all through 2022 with Bhak going down....

2 points
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Minniman's picture

February 05, 2024 at 03:31 pm

sorry, I posted something similar above, then read your comment LP.

0 points
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stockholder's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:44 am

Watson could get hurt regardless.
Play him when ready.

2 points
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3
The_Baloney_Stops_Here's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:53 am

Right? Guys get hurt. Its just the sad fact of football life and theres nobody to blame.

2 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

February 05, 2024 at 02:11 pm

He will be getting an evaluation from a specialist in muscle injuries at UW-Madison Medical Center. Devise a training/stretching routine and nutrition program. See how he and Stokes respond.

0 points
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HarryHodag's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:44 am

The greatest running back I ever watched was Gayle Sayers of the Bears. So why don't people mention him now as one of the greatest ever? The shortness of his career. He had several knee injuries-surgeries that cut a brilliant career short.

"If you can't stay on the field you can't help the cause".

4 points
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GregC's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:05 am

Actually, people DO mention him as one of the greatest ever. He made a huge impact in his short career.

7 points
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Savage57's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:12 am

He just needs to get on the ayahuasca. It'll probably take care of his hammies, but I hear it plays hell with your Achilles.

1 points
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NFLfan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:34 pm

LOL

0 points
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Packers0808's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:18 am

I wonder if a 4 string cadaver hammy repair/replacement surgery is a thought?

-1 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:45 am

That sounds icky!

"Return Of The Rout Running Dead"?

0 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:27 am

I have a cousin who is a trainer up in the Appleton area. He has worked with some Packers players and former Packers players. Basically he told me that whatever the strength and conditioning teams are doing is moronic. He told me that a lot of the things they have done are not the way it should be done. (what those things are, I have no idea, but that is essentially what he told me).

I have had that in the back of my mind the last couple of years and I think changing the strength and conditioning coaches is a wise choice. When you see some of these reoccurring injuries you have to wonder if they were handling things the correct way. I especially wonder how they handled players post injuries. One of the players that I know he worked with a lot was one that had an injury, and was trying to come back from it. Last season he was limited most of the year which also made his stats suffer a bit. Forward to this year and we see Watson and Stokes both had hamstring issues multiple times this year. So I have to wonder if the strength and condition teams played a part in the reaggravating of injuries. (I'm not fully blaming them, just wondering).

Watson is a stud! Plain and Simple. He is the most electric WR the Packers have. But he simply hasn't been able to stay on the field. They have to get the problem solved. He is too important for this offense. I really like all of our WR's. But Watson is just different. He helps make the other WR's better as he draws a lot of attention. I don't think it was a coincidence that they put up the most points of the season against Dallas in the playoffs. While he only had 1 reception on 1 target for 9 yards, he was constantly drawing double teams. He had Dallas's attention, most likely because of last years breakout game against them.

If we can keep Watson on the field, our WR group is the best in the league IMO. So keeping Watson on the field should be a top priority this offseason.

6 points
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HawkPacker's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:35 am

RCP, you should ask your cousin if his issues or hammy issues in general are able to be fixed or if you should just learn to live with the issue(s).

Wouldn't it be nice to know if it is a high probability that with proper treatment he can be fixed? I have to believe they think it can be based on what the packers are doing at this point but it seems never ending!

3 points
3
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:07 am

I should ask him that for myself lol. I just know from my own person experience, I pulled my hamstring in HS. And every few years playing softball I will reaggravate it. But I'm not one that works out all the time so, I always feel like its probably my own doing more then anything.

That is what I am wondering. And I'm not trying to accuse anyone of anything. I simply don't know. I just know what he told me, and from there my mind wanders lol.

I do believe though they can get it figured out. I think with the proper training and whatnot they can get it figured out.

1 points
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DoubleJ's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:57 am

I wonder if a bit of the hamstring issues deals with stretching. I have seen that dynamic stretching seems to be in vogue now. However, in my experience I have never gotten as good of a stretch overall doing dynamic stretching as with static stretching. I wonder if doing a better warmup with a combination of those stretching methods would be a good change.

2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:01 am

I have heard that. But I do know you can also over stretch as well. I know a few people that stretched to much and pulled hammys that way.

"I wonder if doing a better warmup with a combination of those stretching methods would be a good change."
I also wonder this. I wonder if this is a big reason why LaFleur decided to part ways with Gizzi.

2 points
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T7Steve's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:29 am

It also could be a combination of getting warmed up and sitting too long before you play or between reps? Might have contributed to the idea of receiving the ball first when possible? Love was a slow starter too when they kicked off first.

1 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:55 am

that is a great point as well. Perhaps they need to do things on the sidelines as well.

There is a lot to it also. Proper hydration plays a part as well.

1 points
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Tundraboy's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:53 pm

Stretching is everything. I played basketball consistently my whole life, walked to work in the city, and always stretched. Lots of stairs. Football is more problematic because of idle time on sidelines followed by sudden quick activity. Come to think of it, the only time I ever had a hamtring injury was in pick up football. Sudden intense movement. So with Watson, a track style athlete ,it always made me wonder and scratch my head when they would try to ease him back into a game and it just doesn't work that way. So makes you wonder what they did during his rehab., rest and baby him but not really getting to the consistent activities and strength part of it.

0 points
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porupack's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:42 am

I wonder if sports medicine is too specialized and silo-ed, and specialists arent emphasizing more cross training regimes. Just wondering. I cut firewood up in the mountains on 30 degree slopes, huffing 120lb, 30" diameter oak rounds into my truck. It requires full body leverage. I load a full cord like that, carrying them up to wherever I can get my truck closest...sometimes 100 feet. I'm 64. I don't pull hamstrings, quads, or have soft muscle problems other than whats between my ears. I don't work isolated muscles on a weight machine. Would you all be in favor of Watson giving me a hand for a couple weeks before spring camp??

9 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:12 am

Something else I have wondered too is how the players train in the offseason. Almost all players go elsewhere to train in the offseason. Well if they are training differently then how they do with the teams, does that have an impact on them?

Sounds like your workout doesn't require any machines to be used. You get your full body workout that way.

1 points
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DoubleJ's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:52 am

Mike Wahle was saying something about that. How you if you don't train to the level needed during the offseason that you can then have issues during the season.

2 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:03 am

And I just wonder if you do however months of this type of training, then switch to a different type if that can create issues. If your body gets used to training one way, then you switch to a different way, can that have an impact?

Again, I'm no health expert, not even a health student. But I do wonder some of these things.

2 points
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Tundraboy's picture

February 06, 2024 at 12:28 am

That's the best training. Keep it up. Definitely wouldn't hurt to send him for some real outdoor training.

0 points
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porupack's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:30 am

That was a very well written case all points. Thanks for comparisons to the other receivers as a reminder. From casual memory, I don't remember him scoring or receiving as much as the stats indicate. Good thing people record such stuff.
Yes, he's definitely worth hiring a new conditioning coach, and worth patience over 2024 to use him well. Probably no more jet sweeps?

2 points
3
1
Rory P Scrotem's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:41 am

The juice ain't worth the squeeze.

The Indianapolis Colts last year showed a willingness to trade
Jonathan Taylor for Christian Watson.

Wonder how the 49-ers game would have turned out with Aaron Jones
and Jonathan Taylor as alternating backs.

I think the Packers are running the risk of falling in love with
some of their players.

-9 points
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14
T7Steve's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:55 am

Should a, could a.

What about a Jones-Taylor tandem as long as we're doing that? With 2 TEs it would be hard to handle. Matches up pretty similar to what the 9ers can field.

0 points
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GB@Germany's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:59 am

Just watched Jordan Love in QB school until week 12 and it's amazing, how often Christian Watson is wide open. He is real difference maker in this offense and I hope, they can fix his hamstring. Would make the road to the Superbowl definetly easier.

4 points
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3
RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:18 am

Watson is one of those guys that is open when he isn't open too. He is a guy that can make plays on the ball.
Unfortunately earlier in the season Love kept throwing balls short to him. But he is a guy that can open up a game.

5 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:29 am

Nice article, Ken. Watson is vital to the Packers future success. Let's hope the new strength and conditioning staff can look at the interconnectedness of all things to bolster overall strength; health should follow. He's special athlete and a good kid.

5 points
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2
PackerBO's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:43 am

Go the Lynn Swann way, he took ballet lessons to keep him in shape and to keep his flexibility

3 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

February 05, 2024 at 10:19 am

"Lords a-leaping!"

I hope the Packers consult with ex-NFL WRs who played long productive careers without extensive soft tissue injuries and review their off season and in season training regimens.

James Loften and Donald Driver come to mind.

1 points
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Lphill's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:51 am

Bo Melton is a keeper he turned down top schools like Ohio state, Penn state, Nebraska and others to remain at Rutgers where his dad played and his brother plays now I Would not trade him.

5 points
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RCPackerFan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:57 am

Bo Melton's brother is entering the draft. He said he wants to go up against his brother.

2 points
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LambeauPlain's picture

February 05, 2024 at 10:24 am

Melton is a keeper. All he needed was opportunities and he rang the bell!

Same for Wicks. What a steal in the 5th round with the pick Gutey secured by trading down twice from 45 to 50. He also got a 6th round pick that resulted in Brooks. And he still selected Reed!

Talk about finding bright diamonds in the rough in Melton and Wicks. Heath looks like a productive keeper too. Packers have a good personnel team.

4 points
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CheeseEdWest2's picture

February 05, 2024 at 02:12 pm

Yeah, Melton delivered. He seems sturdier. Could he play that role?

0 points
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NFLfan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 10:19 am

I remember a time when Christian McCaffrey was oft-injured and San Francisco decided to pay an enormous amount of money to sign him.
I thought that move was foolish. Look at how that has turned out?
I read that San Fran has state of the art facilities which have addressed injuries and their prevention. Cold baths were mentioned, I believe, as one of the mandatory prophylactic measures. SF was plagued with injuries @ one time and that seems to have reversed a bit.
I would retain Watson and upgrade the overall health & wellness practices first. I think that is what they are favoring.

3 points
4
1
Johnblood27's picture

February 05, 2024 at 10:38 am

No need to draft another WR.

Do NOT sleep on Grant DuBose from the PS and IR last year. He hasn't had the chance to impress yet, but I think he just might force one of the top 5 back in the pecking order.

4 points
5
1
SinceLombardi's picture

February 05, 2024 at 10:51 am

The Packers became contenders with little or no contribution from Watson this year. If he doesn’t stay on the field this year ,, that would be three in a row and I would expect him to fade into obscurity.

-3 points
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cheesehead1's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:19 am

We have many young promising receivers and our future looks great. Also, don’t forget about Bo Melton. Big offseason for Watson. Hope MLF, Gute and medical staff can figure it out.

2 points
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splitpea1's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:20 am

Of course he's "worth the effort", as he's a high draft pick with a ton of physical talent. But he has a lot of work to do in order to become a complete receiver. He's still somewhat raw because he hasn't been available half the time. The Packers aren't giving up on him.

But is he the key piece to winning a Super bowl? No. We won six regular season games without him and only a minimal contribution in the playoff win over Dallas. We have an embarrassment of depth at the WR positions right now, and anytime Watson plays I almost view it as a bonus.

"They have an impressive crop of young players. Now they need a few to become great." That includes the defense if we want to go far in the postseason!

4 points
4
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cheesehead1's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:32 am

Agree, D needs to finally make a big jump. I trust Gute will do everything he can to make this happen.

1 points
1
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Packerpasty's picture

February 05, 2024 at 12:27 pm

Sometimes I wonder if the first thing these strength and conditioning coaches want rookies to do is add muscle for the NFL game..is it even good for WR's? .you hear it all the time.."he's added ten pounds of muscle"....some positions on the field yes, but a player who needs speed maybe they shouldn't be trying to add too much muscle...and theres also a school of thought on stretching now..how much is too much and when is stretching implemented, before, during or after workouts...hope the new strength guy gets it right.....or...maybe Watson is just doomed to be a constant hammy injury waiting to happen...in his genes...

-1 points
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1
NFLfan's picture

February 05, 2024 at 09:42 pm

I think that's what happened Rodgers- he had huge calves from daily leg work-outs that might have over-stressed the tendon.

0 points
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CheeseEdWest2's picture

February 05, 2024 at 02:18 pm

In medical research when you see a string of the same problems with a drug or surgical technique it's called a signal. It demands further study. it means you should consider changing how you administer said drug or vax or procedure, changing the dose or timing or follow-up care, etc.

It sure came across as a strong signal to me when all those hammies appeared on the GB squad. So, I'm glad they are changing the strength and conditioning personnel, and hope they get the right people and approah.

I listened to a recent podcast with Andy H. and Mike Wahle, and MW shared some depth of insight into how you set up training programs for individuals to prevent injuries, improve stamina, and support whatever task a given player needs to perform. Worth a listen).

3 points
3
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Oppy's picture

February 05, 2024 at 03:24 pm

Watson is the fastest WR on the Packers, but I don't think he's the best WR on the roster.

To be honest, he might be #3 or #4.

Don't get me wrong, his speed is something defenses need to honor and that is very impactful.. but when you look at the total skill set, he's not the superstar. He'll get the attention and he'll get the big flash plays deep. Bt I think Reed, Wicks, and maybe even Melton might be better all-around receivers. Doubs can't be counted out either, but he's more of a possession type.

Get the hammy right, he's an important piece for the offense. But even if he never played another down for the Packers, I think we're just fine.

-1 points
3
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WestCoastPackerBacker's picture

February 05, 2024 at 04:17 pm

Got any evidence to back up that Watson is #3 or #4 best WR on the team? The numbers and the effect he has on the offense overall are contained in the article. You're just going on what for your conclusions?

0 points
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Oppy's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:44 pm

Well, I guess you caught me red handed- the subjective talent opinion bandit has been caught. I'll turn myself in peacefully, lawdog. :)

But, uh, seriously. I'm just watching the players play. Watson is a physical specimen, but I don't see the route running refinement or feel for the position that I'm already seeing from the other WRs I mentioned.

Will Watson become a complete WR? It'd be great, I guess we'll have to wait and see. With that said, I really like what I'm seeing from Reed, Wicks, and Melton. I think they're way ahead of the curve.

Sorry to get your britches all up in a bundle.

2 points
2
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Jared's picture

February 07, 2024 at 08:02 pm

Hmmm, he made several receptions at the back of the end zone with defenders draped around him.

0 points
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Fubared's picture

February 05, 2024 at 06:54 pm

Sorry I gave up on him. Three seasons and nothing really. For all the hype of his speed I' ve never seen him not having a d hack on his back. A Gordy he ain't. His route running is avg and of course he spent most of his time on the bench.
If they can't fix his problem he's gotta go.

-4 points
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4
porupack's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:31 pm

Well, that was the point of the article I believe, that they need to focus on getting Watson healthy and that he would be worth the patience and effort in 2024. I think most would agree that if Watson is out for most of the next season with recurring hammy injuries, that that would probably spell the end. He's still pretty young as far as WRs take time to really mature in about year 3. So....giving up on a high pick would have cost you DAdams, G Jennings, James Jones, and plenty of others. But, you can give up if you want.

1 points
1
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Oppy's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:47 pm

He's only been in the league 2 seasons.

2 points
2
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11Bravo1p's picture

February 06, 2024 at 04:07 am

And scored 12 touchdowns during those 2 seasons while averaging 15 yards per catch. Hopefully, he can overcome the hamstring problems and reach his full potential

1 points
1
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Big_Mel_75's picture

February 05, 2024 at 07:50 pm

He is a Ferrari that you can never use cause it is in the shop all the time. Time to move on.

-4 points
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porupack's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:32 pm

Or, get a knowledgeable mechanic to work in your shop.

2 points
2
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Oppy's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:47 pm

You would have sent James Jones and Davante Adams packing before they developed, too?

0 points
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PhantomII's picture

February 05, 2024 at 08:42 pm

GB definitely does not NEED Watson to be a star to win a Super Bowl. We need the OL dedicated to the weight room with real goals that must be achieved to gain play time and / or draft bigger stronger players. It's okay to use TE's to block...It's another thing to NEED them to block. I like our WR group and it would be monumentally stupid to trade any of them off. We have multiple #2 WR's which limits who other defenses can take away. Melton has been a sweet surprise also. We need an OL that will enable us to use a 5 WR set especially against really good defenses like SF or any other playoff team. We have an abundance of riches in the WR group and not addressing the OL as the main stumbling block in the playoffs would be the real travesty it already has been since 2019, same problem every year. We have a new DC and we definitely need another top CB and a box Safety and an actual FS. Nobody crowed louder for Watson than I did....I too want the hammy fixed for good. Part of his problem outside looking in is he does not seem to use his speed well slowing down reaccelerating, etc to get separation without having to go full throttle every play. Yoga and more weight training???I don't know.

-2 points
2
4
glblank24's picture

February 08, 2024 at 02:18 pm

Watson does not have to become the #1 to be dangerous. Having Reed and Doubs and Musgrave on the field at the same time opens up the playbook for Watson to use his best asset; speed, to the best effect. Obviously they need to address his hammy situation.

0 points
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