There’s an unwritten rule around the league when a player or coach leaves one organization for another. If they cross paths as opponents, they are expected to divulge any information on their former employers to give their new team a schematic advantage — no matter how major or minuscule.
When the Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs square off this Sunday night, they’ll be facing two-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. for the first time since trading him back in April. It will also be the first time that veteran wide receiver Sammy Watkins faces the Chiefs as a Raven after spending the last three years in Kansas City. He helped them make three straight AFC championship appearances and advance to back-to-back Superbowls over the past two seasons.
Brown Jr. was asked earlier this week if he would help Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo better prepare for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens with inside information.
“I’m not gonna snitch, man,” said Brown Jr. in response to the question.
Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman is confident in the character of Brown Jr. not spilling the beans to the Chiefs coaching staff. However, Watkins appears to be cut from a different cloth and will offer whatever insight he can to help his new team emerge victorious.
“I’m trying to win at the end of the day,” Watkins said. “So snitch or no snitch, anything I can give Wink [Martindale] and the defense, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m not particularly giving up plays, but ‘Hey, do this on this guy and do this on that guy.’”
Even though it came in a losing effort, Watkins had an impressive regular-season debut against the Raiders on Monday Night. He led the team in receiving by hauling in four of his eight targets for 96 yards, with a long reception of 49 yards that was one of the best plays of the game.
“Sammy Watkins is a great receiver. We’re lucky we have him; he’s a really valuable member of this team,” Roman said. “If we continue to get looks, we want to get him the ball. When he’s rolling, he’s rolling. I’ve seen it before.”
After being relegated to an intermediate-level possession receiver during his time with the Chiefs, Watkins relished the opportunity to show that he can still stretch the field vertically. He said being able to do so on a national stage was “special.”
The eight-year veteran doesn’t hold any ill will toward the Chiefs and doesn’t view this Sunday as any sort of revenge game. He enjoyed his time there but is focused on doing his best to help the Ravens clear the one hurdle that has stumped them each of the last three regular seasons: a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City team.
“I honestly think they already know what type of player I am. It’s not me proving anything to them,” Watkins said Thursday. “I love those guys over there. I had fun. I had my best time winning. I just thinking I’m on the other side now. I just want to go out there, have fun, make big plays, and will a win.”
Hopefully he can be to Lamar Jackson what he was to Mahomes and then some, since he will be given opportunities to be a deep threat. The Ravens will need ‘Playoff Sammy’ to show up earlier than he’s accustomed in order to salvage what is a already shaping up to be a rough and long game for Baltimore.