Count Down to Camp: Chris Watt

Oct 26, 2013; Colorado Springs, CO, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) throws the ball over Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Chris Watt (66) in the second quarter against the Air Force Falcons at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Watt had surgery to repair a torn labrum after his senior season in high school, and redshirted in 2009. He backed up Chris Stewart at right guard in ’10, appearing in all 13 games (117 snaps). Started all 26 games at left guard 2011-12. In ’13, started all 11 games playing at left guard. On paper, there doesn’t look like a lot to expect from the Chargers 3rd round selection. That’s where I come in. See, “numbers never lie”, stats are good for evaluation and starting a conversation. However, none of these things tell you the “whole truth” either. The TRUTH, is something you have to dig a little deeper for.

Why Chris Watt?

Versatility. Chris has played Left Guard, Right Guard, and Center. He is a true interior linemen. While at Notre Dame Watt’s pass protection was sound, his strength? Run Blocking. He helped Notre Dame run for at least 200-yards in 7 games. The Chargers averaged 122.6 rushing yards (13th) RM24 had six +100yard games alone.
Chris’s thoughts…

“(Left guard) is the position that I played the most in college,” Watt said.  “I played right guard my freshman year and center is something I also played a little bit in practice but it’s something I’ve been working on pretty hard this offseason.  Coming in here, I’ll be cross-training at the guard and center position and I’m ready for it.” More here…

Now I don’t know about you, but two things need to be done. Keep Rivers off the turf, and open holes to run the football. No matter how well Rm24, Woody, or DB run the ball, no matter who is the starting at WR, the Chargers have FA all across the O-line in ’15. Watt gives them options. The knock against him is his short arms and small hands. Can’t fight nature, moving on…. everything else against him can be worked on in coaching, and the cafeteria.

Telesco on Watt…

“On the offensive line, smarts is very, very big,” he said.  “He has all the intangibles and smarts and initial quickness to do it (play center).” More here…

My 2 cents? Telesco selected Watt  to compete for a guard spot, NOW, and with an eye on the future.  With the possibility of Hardwick retiring after this season, it’s best to have  a young man that wants to embrace the challenge, but can be allowed to grow and earn the start at center, while Hardwick is still here, an surrounded by Vets.

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