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Quotes from Benjamin Watson’s Conference Call

They’ve had quite an experience with Achilles (injuries) up here, so I guess if there was a place to tear it, it was in Baltimore with the experience that they had rehabbing Achilles tendons and they did a fabulous job of taking me through that grind.
But I know I wanted to play again.
There were still some times last year where I didn’t feel quite like myself sometimes, but I was able to play and I’m very thankful for that.” What motivates you to keep wanting to play, even after an injury like that?
Also, just watching the Saints, which we do in this house, we still watch the Saints in the house because we know players that played there, they played well defensively when we played them in the preseason.
Every team is trying to play complementary football because that gives you the best opportunity to win, go in the playoffs and do the things that you want to do.
Those are a couple of things that were different.” You mention the youth and you were such a leader in your fist tenure with the Saints, do you relish having that role again?
Anytime you’ve over thirtysomething years old and over year ten, you’re automatically in that role.
And now looking back at it, a lot of times you don’t understand the plan while you’re in it, you don’t understand the purpose of why you’re in it, looking back it, I wouldn’t change anything.
If anything, I just want to contribute to this team winning games.” Speaking of the business side of football, what was reaction when you saw two former Saints players in Jermon Bushrod and Patrick Robinson re-sign here in free agency this offseason and what does it say about the organization that former players want to return her?
That’s not uncommon for guys sometimes to come back to their former team, but it seems to happen a lot with the Saints.

New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson speaks with the New Orleans media about re-signing with the New Orleans Saints on Thursday, March 29.

New Orleans Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson


Conference Call With New Orleans Media
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Welcome back and what do you think about your return to the Saints and where you fit?
“I’m excited about returning. Every team is different, where I stand that’s something I will have to figure out through the OTA process, through the training camp process. You have to earn your spot on any team and earn the ability to take the field and the trust and all that. I am happy that there is some familiarity there and that I have played here before, that I know Drew (Brees) and Coach (Payton) and kind of have an idea of the offense. That’s the great thing, coming somewhere that obviously there will be some new wrinkles in the offense, probably some terminology that I don’t know, but everything won’t be totally foreign. I am happy about that. But every year is different and I will be fighting to earn a spot.”

Why do you think you had such a successful return from an Achilles injury suffered in 2016 in the preseason?
“It was really hard. The Achilles was difficult. I’ve had a number of injuries. I’ve had seven surgeries, including ACL and another knee surgery, ankle, the list goes on with football and the things that have happened to me, but the Achilles was tough, given that it’s a tendon and it’s weight-bearing, it doesn’t get a lot of blood flow. You battle your calf muscles being very weak and atrophy. There’s still some strength that I have to get back from that. For a lot of guys, myself included, it takes a couple of years before you get to the best that you’ll ever be. But the Ravens did a good job of rehabbing me. They’ve had quite an experience with Achilles (injuries) up here, so I guess if there was a place to tear it, it was in Baltimore with the experience that they had rehabbing Achilles tendons and they did a fabulous job of taking me through that grind. My family was very supportive. My wife took care of all of us while I was incapacitated in a bed for a month (post-surgery). But I know I wanted to play again. God allowed me to play. He allowed me to come back on the field. There were still some challenges. There were still some times last year where I didn’t feel quite like myself sometimes, but I was able to play and I’m very thankful for that.”

What motivates you to keep wanting to play, even after an injury like that?
“A couple things, number one, this is my job and I look at it that way. This is how I support my family and that’s very, very important to me. Also, speaking of my family when I got hurt, we pray together every night as a family, my kids literally prayed for my Achilles for 365 days straight. Even when I was healthy technically, they were still praying for me to get better and I wanted them to see daddy go through something, go through some adversity and fight back, because that’s something they’re going to have to do through their entire lives. Also, I still believe that if I have the ability to play, this is a great game and I love to play the game and I love the opportunities and the platforms that it gives. So there is no doubt I wanted to come back. It was just a matter of if I could and then when I could it was a matter of continuing to get stronger, which is what I am still doing.”

What looks different about the Saints coming back from when you first left here?
“The youth. I think the whole league was surprised on how well the young players played last year. A lot of times when you have a draft class, you just don’t know how it’s going to go. Sometimes you may miss on an entire draft and sometimes you may get a few players and I think that it was a…

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