Watkins Talks about the Defensive Secondary

Florida State senior safety Pat Watkins will be relied upon for stability in the defensive secondary as the Florida State football team will field a very inexperienced cornerback corps this year. Renegade Report.com recently caught up with the 6-foot-4 Tallahassee native to get his thoughts on the injuries throughout the defense and what he thinks of the young defensive backs.

Renegade Report: What is it like to have guys like Ernie Sims, Buster Davis and AJ Nicholson in front of you at the linebacker spot?

Pat Watkins: With those guys there, as a safety you don't have to worry about the run as much. They are so talented that they can take the burden of stopping the run off my shoulders so I can just sit back and do my job to stop the pass.

RR: The defensive line has taken a few hits and is pretty young, what is your opinion on those youngsters that are going to have to step up?

PW: They are young but they are real talented. The fact that they have stepped up so far in practice just goes to show you that they can do it. I have confidence that if we need them, they will do what they have to do to get the job done.

RR: The defensive line is young but so are the cornerbacks. What are your thoughts on the youngsters that are going to have to contribute now that Antonio Cromartie is out?

PW: I am a little concerned about the mental aspect of the game. Cornerback is a tough position and I am going to continue to keep working with them to let them know that you can't win them all. As a cornerback you have to have a short term memory because you are gonna get beat sometimes so you can't hang your head. I want them to know that you are gonna win some and lose some. If I see that they are being hard on themselves for making a bad play than I am going to go over there and say, ‘that's not the end of the game' and get them back in it.

RR: As a defense, can you be successful with young cornerbacks?

PW: I think we can. I have always said that I would rather have young and talented than experienced with no talent. These guys are really really talented. We don't need them to go out there and make 110 plays; we just need them to get the job done when it's their time.

RR: What do you think about Tony Carter moving into the starting spot opposite Gerard Ross?

PW: Man, Tony Carter is real good. All those young guys are real good but Tony has kind of separated himself at this point. He plays the pass really well. He's no Cromartie but if he can get the job done than that's all that matters.

RR: Gerard Ross is a guy that isn't young but he is inexperienced. What are your thoughts on him as a player?

PW: It's hard to say because he is inexperienced but at the same time, the times I have seen him on special teams or wherever; he gets the job done. He brings leadership of knowing what's going on in the secondary and he makes the young guys better. The young guys are gonna look up to him when the game gets crucial and he's gonna be there to keep their heads in the game.

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