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September 10, 2013 @ 9:18 am
Current rating: 5.00 Stars/1 Votes

Watson on Bucs Defense: "Funk Will Be Brought"

Written by Gil
Gil Arcia


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For fourth-year linebacker Dekoda Watson, cracking the starting lineup has been difficult – until this season. After his first game as the Bucs starting strongside linebacker, Watson talks highly of his defensive teammates and what they will bring to the table in 2013.
It took Bucs linebacker Dekoda Watson until his fourth season in the NFL to finally see his name at the top of the strong-side linebacker depth chart. Drafted in  the seventh round of the 2010 draft out of Florida State, Watson has been used to making plays for Tampa Bay as a rush specialist on the punt return unit. But this season presents a different challenge for the former Seminoles' captain.

Earning the starting role as the Bucs strongside linebacker this training camp, Watson recorded three tackles including a sack on Sunday against the Jets. Although that was just his fourth start of his career, Watson spoke like a true veteran and leader-in-the-making when he talked about the linebacker play on the season opener.

“We did some great things out there, but there are things we have to capitalize on as a unit,” Watson said. “There are a lot of things we have to be more focused on. We have to be on our P’s and Q’s and cover whenever we need to cover. The other stuff will come. The sacks and things will come. The things that are going to help us win games, the fundamental parts – things we have to do as far as subbing out and subbing in. Those are going to be the key things. We just want to continue to play hungry and play smart.”

Teammate Lavonte David took a lot of heat for his personal foul on rookie quarterback Geno Smith at the end of the game Sunday. David, who finished with eight tackles, one sack, and one interception, had his day overshadowed by that one single play — which at time point the Bucs could have had the game well out of reach. On Monday, Watson stood up for David.

“A lot of people want to sit here and point the finger and say, ‘He did this’ or ‘He did that’ and ‘He lost the game,’” Watson said. “Come on, man. He messed up one time. That’s a future Pro Bowler. Did everybody forget that he had an interception? Did everybody forget that he had a sack? Everybody wants to look at one negative play and point to that, but as a team, we all have to play our part. People looking outside and people that don’t know football that point fingers and don’t know exactly what’s going on – it’s easy to do that.”

While Watson states the linebackers will play hungry and smart, the defense's physical play in New York was on display and he is just glad to be a member of a hard-hitting defense.

“It’s a very physical team and I’m just glad to be a part of it,” Watson said. “I contributed it and actually witnessed it. Most definitely. It’s going to continue to get better.

“I feel like there are a lot of weapons on this team. When you have a Lamborghini you just don’t keep it in the garage. We have a lot of weapons and we have to utilize them and put them in the best position [we can.] Obviously, it’s paying off with the sacks, the sack-fumbles.”

Part of the reason for the physical nature of Tampa Bay's defense is the play of their safeties Sunday. Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson were flying all over the field and making the Jets receivers think twice about crossing in front of them. While the unit was hitting Jets' receivers hard, Watson said that is one thing he is concerned about because of the NFL monitoring hits closely but it does not stop him from enjoying a good hit on the field.

“One thing you want to show is intimidation,” Watson said. “There is going to be some funk brought to the game as far as the hitting. The one thing I’m worried about is more so getting penalized for hitting too hard. They see somebody fall, fold up or just get up too slow and say, ‘Oh, you must have used your head.’ I don’t want it to become a flag football league. That’s what I’m afraid of. Nowadays you can’t even look at the quarterback wrong. Now we’re worrying about receivers coming across [the middle]. It’s football. It’s the nature of the beast. It’s an aggressive game. That’s one thing that frustrates me.

“But it’s also a positive with the intimidation factor. We’re not going to sit here and say that’s going to allow us to win games or anything like that, but I like the big hits, though.”

And for Watson and the Bucs, they hope that intimidation and physicality carries into Sunday's matchup against divisional rivals New Orleans Saints — a team in which the linebacker says they are getting ready for.

“It’s a new year,” Watson said. “It’s a new season and we’re going to focus on what we have now and it’s them coming up.

“We can sit here and say how good of a team we’ve got. Blah, blah, blah. At the same time we have to see how it looks down the line. We started great last year, and you see what happened. We’re not going to sit here and be complacent. We’re not going to sit here and be comfortable. We’re going to continue to grind and get ready for New Orleans.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 10:38

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  • avatar

    I agree with Morgan, I am not sure we can, but we need to win a game.
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    I'm shocked and relieved that Goldson hasn't been fined for the hits he put on Cumberland and Kerley. Since I've heard of other players getting fined like Suh this week I'm assuming Goldson won't be.
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    I was so embarrassed of the performance last Sunday that I had to sell my tickets to the Monday night game against Miami. Can't remember the last time I saw a worst start to a game. All I kept thinking is this isn't happening. Ive been a fan since 89' and always will be. It took me three days to even listen to any football news dealing with Tampa. Seems to be any countability either. After three days I haven't heard of any player saying it's their fault. Freeman..... Five years in the league, second year in the same system and your out shined by a 2nd round pick rookie..... Unbelievable!!!!!!!!!! NO CONTRACT FOR YOU!
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    Admire you for representing us EastEndBoy. It's easy to look at any penalty and cite it as the reason for a loss. But while the hits that were flagged allowed Jets' drives to continue, resulting in a score. The thing that isn't so measurable is the effect those pops had on the receivers willingness to tempt fate again by crossing the path of our safeties. This team needs to get its swagger back. As long as those bone crushers are legal they need to bring it for the psyche of the team. I'm sure the Saints' pass catchers took note.
  • avatar

    and last time I looked it was a new season so how can you call the jets the "worst team in football"? they weren't even the worst team in football last year. That would be the chiefs. The jets had a top 10 defense last year without revis.
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    Oaky - let's all stay united here....we're all buc fans and we all want exciting, hard hitting play that leads to many Ws....GO BUCS!
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    don't matter what the age range is, a true fan is a true fan. I didn't single you out, all I was saying is the flag thrown on the play was 50/50 It looked like just a damn good clean play too me. Yea the zebras threw the flag, but had they not we wouldn't be having this conversation. We as a "BUCNATION' old and young need to start finding the positives in our team and not just always the negatives, we got sacks, revis looked AWESOME, and our safeties are heat seeking missiles. So yes the wins will come, it was the first game.
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    "The wins will come"....I hope so, but we just lost to the worst team in football...."true bucsnation"...unless bucball85 stands for 1885, I was forming bucsnation before you were in diapers....you are entitled to your opinions but not to spout off this name calling..."Jets fan" what an insult, especially after I just sat amidst a crowd of 60,000 of them (enduring chant after chant of J_E_T_S Jets Jets Jets) to cheer on bucnation to an awful loss....how about a little respect please.
  • avatar

    If any of you actually watched the game you would stop saying Goldson and Barron's personal foul penalties. The ref called the wrong Jersey #. Both fouls were on Goldson.
  • avatar

    Not only did I actually watch the game, I was actually at the game! But if it makes you feel better the second penalty on Goldson (called on Barron) was the one to cost us the game.
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    I'm totally with Watson and Pinkstob. The intimidation, the hits, the physicality are what my love for this game are rooted in. Nothing gets me pumped up more than feeling like I've got warriors out there on my team kicking @$$!! I'm all for rules and of course I don't want to see these guys with life alerting injuries but come on man!! Tanard Jackson was nothing more than a scrawny 4th round corner out of Syracuse to me before he leveled Dallas Clark across the middle. From that point on I had love for the guy. John Lynch, Hardy Nickerson, Warren Sapp.. would those guys be in your hearts as some of the greatest and would you have stood behind them with such admiration and pride if they weren't the devastating hitters they were?? Would we have been as successful of a defense with out it?? Absolutely not. The nfl just shelled out 765 million for guys who claim they weren't told this game was violent and that they were putting their bodies on the line?? I understand why this league is changing but for me and I would imagine most fans agree, they're taking away the biggest selling point they have. I want the score to be in my teams favor at the end of the day but hits like those and the pride that swells in my chest for the men that fight like I do is why I consider myself a fanatic. The loss stung but for me the most disappointing thing is to know we finally have enforcers out there again, guys who make me proud to be a Bucs fan win or lose but now their hands are being tied?? 2 Lamborghinis sitting back there at safety with nothing but a slippery slope to drive on. Where's Ronnie Lott!?
  • avatar

    I hear what you (and pinkstob and watson) are saying....but what matters to me is Wins (the Superbowl is my best memory of the Bucs - not the hits dished out by Lynch). Lynch and Sapp and Brooks and Nickerson and all of our greats played in a different time - a time when neither Goldson's nor Barron's penalties would have been called. My point is, the ignorance has to stop - big hits (legal - a.k.a "defenseless receivers" - or not) will get flagged...and Barron's flag did cost us this game...undeniable - it was a trade of maybe 3 points for the 7 they absolutely got, when the Jets had done and could do nothing all game against our D. These big hits have a price and I for one would rather not pay for big hits with a bunch of Ls....what it will take is coaching now - making sure our guys know when a big hit is Okay and when it absolutely is not (like on 3rd and 20).
  • avatar

    C mon man. First game. New additions. Guys playing hard. Trying to impress coaches and peers. Give them a few weeks. If the mistakes continue and the losses pile up, criticism and blame is warranted.Go Bucs
  • avatar

    Freeman brings the funk on offense. As in, he stinks the place up.
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    For all the flags about hits the NFL should allow the coach to challenge the call!
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    I think you're right but the problem on so many of these hits (Goldson's for sure) is that the call is subjective..."hitting a defenseless receiver" was the call...was he defenseless?...I guess so...depends what defenseless means....
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    The defense actually played well on the whole, granted against a sub-par team, but well enough to have hope for them this year still. I don't know what Funk really means as he uses it I guess...I do remember AWB's song...Play that funky music wh@te boy...will Dakota be singing that at the game? I have been in a funk before, I've cleaned funk out of a clogged drain which is gross, but I don't thnk that stuff would stop an offense unless it had MRSA in it.....
  • avatar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qwq7BYOnDrM .......... "We sucked" ......."I just hope we can win a game" Jim Mora
  • avatar

    Actions speak louder than words. Enough talk. We Buc fans have heard it all over the years - just need these guys to produce on both sides of the ball. Be quiet and let your playing do the talking. This is a team that has lost six of its last seven games - they have no right to say didley poo right now.
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    Watch your mouth, now...
  • avatar

    Sounds more like Johnny "Guitar" Watson!
  • avatar

    Our defense rallied because of those hits. A few plays later they created a turnover. I enjoyed those two hits by Goldson more than any play on defense in a long, long time. I loved them so much I'm 50-50 on whether they were worth losing the game over. Football is a game and games are supposed to be fun. I was bouncing off the wall for 10 minutes after those plays! An intimidator like that in the middle of the field is the only, and I mean the ONLY thing giving me a smidge of hope that we have a chance to beat the Saints on Sunday.
  • avatar

    Totally agree pinkstob. Not to mention that at least the one hit we got a very good look at from Goldson was with the shoulder. If he is putting guys to sleep with a great "legal" hit then so be it. He will separate more balls from receivers and cause more doubt in WR's head when coming over the middle then he will cause us penalties over a season. Its amazing to me that after all the terrible secondary play we have had to watch over the years that we would even think about complaining about LEGAL hits being a negative. The problem is the call and the ref being in a bad position. It wont always been like that. Not every time.
  • avatar

    well, I guess I think big hits are nice but W's are nicer. Here's my point illustrated:...on the Jets only TD drive, our defense is playing well, backs the Jets up into 3rd and 21 and out of field goal range. Smith completes a pass short for 8 yards (enough for a long field goal attempt but not a first down) - however Barron and Goldson decide to hammer Kerley (who had no chance of getting a first down)...we get flagged for 15 yards, the Jets get a first down and a few plays later get a TD. Barron and Goldson could have tackled Kerley without trying to decapitate him (and I agree the call was questionable but correct - and regardless, on any play that close the ref is going to flag it...this should be obvious by now!). Instead of possibly giving the Jets 3 .....and a LOSS....we give them a new set of downs, deep in our territory and a TD...and a Win....a big L for us. So yes I think these hits are fun to watch, yes they probably intimidate some WRs, but this one in particular (leaving aside the LvD personal foul which wasn't a big hit at all) cost us the game (undeniably!!!)....and that's more important to me than 1000 big hits.
  • avatar

    Here's what I don't get...after the Jets game (as a fan) I actually felt kinda sick to my stomach...yet all I hear from the coaches and players so far is rah rah rah. I would like someone (maybe LvD - who I agree will be a future probowler, who all of us love and wouldn't trade for anything, who yes made some nice plays earlier in the game) to stand up and say "we were awful, we owe it to the fans, the owners, ourselves to do better than that"..."that effort will never happen again"..."we are sick to our stomachs, and we can't wait get this taste out of our mouths"...and one more thing, yes big hits are exciting and they intimdate WRs, but they also get flags and cost us games...knowing the game situation is something our coaches can and should help these missiles with.
  • avatar

    well said and I agree. I want wins just as much as you. I too actually felt sick after the game, cuz I know we are a better team than the jets. There's no doubt in my mind
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