While sitting on my couch this morning and drinking coffee, it was a pleasant surprise to see new Saints back up tight end Ben Watson interviewed on NFL AM. Whenever I am watching a sports news show, I always tend to "perk up" and listen more attentively when a story or interview is done on a Saints player unexpectedly.
This was the case Wednesday morning with Watson. Following his first Saints minicamp experience, Watson participated in the NFL Network's broadcast boot camp at their corporate headquarters in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. I don't ever recall seeing Watson on camera before, but it was easy to see why he would be a natural fit in the broadcast booth or studio once his playing career is over.
Watson came across as poised, well-spoken and gave thorough answers to the questions he was asked. What seemed to stand out most from the performance by Jimmy Graham's backup was how much preparation work broadcasters do, they don't just show up on set and start talking. In addition, having played for the Patriots, Browns and now the Saints, Watson obviously has many connections in the league that should serve him well when covering stories.
Watson was also asked about his experience with the Saints and praised the team's determination as well as the leadership of Drew Brees, calling Brees "the glue that holds this team together and makes them go." Of course we already knew this about Brees, but it was still interesting to hear the observation of somebody who is playing with him for the first time.
Watson never stated that his goal was to go into broadcasting at the end of his playing career, but should he eventually he will be following a post-football career path that other former Saints have also made. As I'm sure you know, Heath Evans and Darren Sharper are both studio analysts with the NFL Network, with Sharper having also done work for ESPN.
Football fans tend to have strong feelings about the commentators calling their games as well as their words on set. Which former players, Saints or not, do you feel have made a successful transitioning into broadcasting and which do you should stick to steak houses and car dealerships?