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Darius Watts


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The Associated Press reports Denver Broncos WR Darius Watts shined during the team's 16 days of workouts, which included their last minicamp. Head coach Mike Shanahan singled out Watts as the player who made the biggest strides over the offseason. Shanahan said, "I see him feeling a lot more comfortable with the system where he doesn't have to think. He can react. A lot of times when a guy can do that, then catching a ball becomes much easier. He still has great speed, he's very explosive and he can do things a lot of receivers can't do. More importantly for him, I think he feels a lot more comfortable with the scheme so he can go out there and execute and not think. He looked pretty good."

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You could have something there, but Watts has always had tremendous potential with his combination of size and, particularly, explosive speed. He seems to be in a good position right now with the Lelie issue, an aging Rod Smith and Javon Walker's rehabbing knee.

Edited by Crazysight
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I bought the Watts hype and drafted him in almost every Dynasty League Im in, I hope he pans out. But Shanny has a way of getting holdouts attention, by raving about someone about to take their job.



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They ALL look good running around in the springtime with no pads on and no safetys getting ready to take their heads off. I don't make too much of this. He would still only be the #3 receiver---good for, what, maybe 30 catches per year? Shanny better hope that Watts is ready in case Walker's knee can't hold up.

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From the “Best of the Rest” DEN thread:



I know people will be asking about Darius Watts. He's a non-factor, like always. He is an extremely likeable & hard working young man, and he has great physical ability, but he has one problem that he can't overcome that will always be his downfall - he has a crippled hand that he hurt in a car accident in high school. He lost his feeling in a good portion of his hand and 3 fingers as a result. In high school & college, he could get away with it because he was so physically superior to the defensive competition, but in the NFL he can't get the sustained seperation and requires an exact throw so he can either pin the ball with one hand against the crippled hand, cradle the ball, or one hand catch it. It's why you see him make one spectacular catch followed by 3 drops on easy passes when he's wide open. It's really a shame for a kid who is such a good person, but it's the way it is. Watts just can't be a factor at WR in the NFL with his handicap.




Here's one of the stories:


PDF file - Story on page 10


No excuses


Watts won’t blame hand injury for dropped balls


By Pat Graham

The Daily Times-Call


ENGLEWOOD — Darius Watts massaged his right hand as he talked about

the injury.


It was his way of reassuring the hand that everything was fine.


“I won’t use it as an excuse,” the Denver Broncos receiver said.


He easily could. It would explain some of his dropped passes last season.

However, he won’t take that route.


“It’s not an excuse for me,” Watts said again.


In 1999, when Watts was in high school, he was involved in a car accident

that basically turned his right hand into what he’s termed a claw. He was

driving with a friend when they collided with a city bus in Atlanta. Pieces of

metal pierced through Watts’ ulnar nerve, which controls sensation to the

ring finger, pinkie and palm.


Watts had tendons from his wrist transplanted into his hand to allow his ring finger and pinkie to return to normal.


To this day, he has trouble spreading and closing his hand.


And that makes catching a football extremely difficult.


Watts had critical dropped passes against Oakland and Atlanta last season — both in the back of the end zone — yet he never held his hand responsible. He doesn’t like to talk about the injury.


Ask him what happened on the drops, and he’ll simply answer, “I’ve got to make those catches.”






One of the most amazing things regarding Watts and his hand injury is that the Denver sportswriters (except Legwold & Williamson – the Bronco beat writers for the Rocky Mountain News & The Denver Post respectively - who are easily the best DEN football writers DEN has had in 25 years) either forget this fact or simply ignore it.


I was listening to Jim Armstrong (Denver Post & also sports talk show host in the local a.m. on 560 ESPN radio) in the morning last week & he was spouting praise of Watts & how the Lelie situation could spring Watts loose on his career, and I’ve heard Irv & Joe in the afternoon on 950 The Fan saying the same kind of stuff. It’s part of the reason why it’s really hard to get good info out of DEN on the Broncos – some of the sports writers and/or talk show personalities just don’t do their homework or use their head as anything more than a hat rack and you end up with stuff like ”Watts running with 1st team!” being put out there by DEN media like it has any significance.

Edited by Bronco Billy
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