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Watkins hopes for discipline from new head coach

Posted Dec 29, 2016

Sammy Watkins is hopeful that Buffalo's new head coach is a strict disciplinarian. He believes that's what is needed to change the team's culture in the locker room.


It’s something that Sammy Watkins has talked about before. Seeing the inconsistency of the team’s performance on the field and in the win column, the receiver has talked about changing the culture in Buffalo’s locker room more than once. Now knowing there will be a new person filling the Bills head coaching post, Watkins believes there’s a key component needed in whoever is picked for the job.

Discipline.

“I think they just have to come in and whatever coach that we have, and I think (Anthony) Lynn is a great coach,” said Watkins. “He has that demeanor, that leadership. But the new coach has to change what needs to be changed. Change the culture, change the mindset and get players on board. If they’re not listening, cut them, kick them out, whatever. Sit them on the bench. I think that will help us move forward.”

Watkins has been a proponent of hard coaching after seeing how effective it was while he was a college player at Clemson.

“Coach Dabo (Swinney) was strict and that’s why I think he changed the culture,” said Watkins. “He changed the players and we started winning. We started to expect to win. Every game I came into I never thought I was going to lose it. That’s what we’ve got to do here.

“Situations here sometimes guys look at games, (they start) name dropping Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, who cares? They’re great players, but they do the same thing that we do. We’ve got to step up and play against those guys.”

Watkins said not making the playoffs in each of his first three seasons with the Bills has been “stressful.”

“In college I probably lost five games, six games my whole career,” he said. “Coming here losing four in a row. It’s a culture. That’s something that we’ve got to change whether it’s players, coaches, organization, the mindset of us. We’ve got to change. We’ve got to think like the fans. Be all in. Whatever happens we win the game, we come out on top. That’s what we’ve got to do.”

And Watkins believes the only way to achieve that is through hard coaching.

“Whatever around the locker room that needs to be addressed, on the field, off the field, (penalty) flags,” said Watkins. “Whether it’s working on things in the summer that we’re not good at and being a professional. As players that’s got to get fixed first. Then the coaches have got to be hard on us, not scared of us. Get at us, yell at us, curse at us, whatever to get the player to do that job the best he can that’s what they need to do.”

Watkins is all too aware that this will be his third head coach as he enters his fourth season with the Bills. But in an effort to practice what he’s preaching, the receiver is taking a different approach to a head coaching change from the last time.

“For me when (a coaching change) happened after two years and I felt like it hurt me because I bought into it, I was like, ‘Man this is the worst thing ever. I never had to go through a transition.’ It kind of hurt me,” he said. “Now I’m looking at the flip side of it. I have to control my mindset and my job and let the owners control all that.”