New Orleans Saints Tight End Benjamin Watson: A Leader On and Off the Field

Gregory Shamus

Does Ben Watson still have what it takes to excel on the field? Our third contestant thinks so.

Our search for fresh new front page talent here on Canal Street Chronicles continues. In case you missed the introduction to our little talent search, be sure to read it first before continuing. Remember, any and all criticism must be 100% constructive and positive in nature. Keep Da Chronic classy!

Now I present to you the third submission of our writer search.

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Benjamin Watson has had a relatively solid NFL career. Ten years, 321 receptions, 3,776 yards, 28 touch downs, and only three fumbles worth of solid. In his ten seasons, Benjamin Watson has averaged over 10.0 yards per reception seven times including last season with 10.2.

He intrigues most Saints fans as a new member of the team with the possibility of being one half of one of the best tight end tandems in the NFL alongside our golden child Jimmy Graham. While Benjamin Watson has yet to play his first season with the Saints, the anticipation of a solid TE catching passes from Drew Brees is palpable all over Who Dat Nation.

Watson may be 32 years old, but he still has the ability to work inside defenses and wreak havoc. What may also make Watson a great part of the New Orleans Saints isn't often spoken of. I follow him on Twitter and one thing I have realized is his quiet, humble demeanor. Benjamin Watson takes his faith very seriously and relates to others his good will and family man responsibilities with every word spoken or tweeted.

Evidence of this are the two honors he is very proud of; The Call to Courage Award presented by Former Bills QB Frank Reich and Bills Chaplain Fred Raines, given to an athlete who displays exemplary character through adversity and triumph, and being elected to the NFLPA's Executive Committee.

The Call to Courage award, a non football honor, exemplifies a form of leadership in life off the field, to his community, and his family (he is married with two young daughters). The election to the NFLPA Executive Committee shows the kind of leader Benjamin can be in the world of his profession.

In short, it may be the most valuable intangible is his leadership. For a team that struggled mightily last season and trying to rebuild this year, that may be a nugget of gold in a sewage drain.

Watson's leadership also extends from his charity, One More (www.WatsonOneMore.org), which is devoted to spreading Christ's message in meeting durable needs of education and promoting opportunities to others. While it is in the startup phase at this point, Watson is always looking to expand further to fulfill this mission. He shows a way to be a humble servant and great leader of men by taking on such a monumental task.

Watson, like many pro athletes, seems to exemplify leadership and honor in all facets of his life. While on the face of things this may seem insignificant to how he plays football, it is important to see the athlete as a regular human being first. Many times, we realize that person we looked up to for their play on the field has that innate ability to let us down off the field as well.

Benjamin Watson may not be the next Jimmy Graham or a 2013 Team captain (although he wouldn't be a bad choice), but through his strength of character, his veteran status and experience, he certainly makes the team better in and out of the locker, on or off the field.

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