The Former NFL Player and Assistant OL Coach spoke with Shaving Points Podcast about football, the draft, and talent evaluation.
- Hometown: Glen Ellyn, IL
- College: Notre Dame
- Draft Tm: Chargers (2014)
- Rd/Pick: 3rd Rd / #89 Pick
- Positions: OT / OG / C
- Charlie Weiss
- Brian Kelly
- Chuck Martin
- Harry Hiestand
- Frank Reich
- Nick Sirianni
- Ken Whisenhunt
- Chris Harris
Former NFL offensive lineman and current Notre Dame assistant OL coach Chris Watt joins the show to talk about his journey from NFL player to coach. We also talk with Chris about scouting offensive line and fine details of the game. After the interview, we close the show talking final four and NFL news.
Highlights from Chris Watt Interview
SPP: One of the things I am always curious about with guys who go on to play in the NFL is what happens to that fandom that you grew up with? Are you still a Bears fan to this day, or is it something that has waned as you have seen the other side of it?
CW: I would definitely say that I am still a fan. But it does change when you’re in the sport. I think the more you go on playing and coaching you become more of a fan of the sport itself and what’s going on within the game than of a specific team. Especially at the professional level. With college, that fandom for me has always stayed really strong with Notre Dame. But professionally, it just changes a little bit.
Growing up my family would go to Platteville in Wisconsin every year to go to Chicago Bears training camp. We would go to the convention downtown. All of those things that avid Bears fans do, and I felt like I knew everyone on the team. Everyone from the UDFAs to the coaches. I remember another Glenbard West graduate, Rob Boras, meeting him at Bourbonnais and shouting “Go Hitters!” at him. Now, I have met him a couple of times as both a player and a coach. I think your life just becomes more intertwined with what you’re doing. You still love and have a deep passion for the sport, but the surface level fandom fades a little bit, if that makes sense.
SPP: Who did you model your game after growing up? Through high school and into college, who were the guys that you looked up to or watched film on and tried to replicate?
CW: Growing up, number one, just in that era, was Brian Urlacher. Just from a player standpoint and how he played the game. Obviously, I didn’t have his speed or those types of things to play that position… I would really say from an offensive line perspective, Olin Kreutz was one guy. The way he played the game with tenacity. The mentality he played with and the leadership ability that he showed on the field. When I got to college and had more access to film and being able to watch from an OL perspective, Marshal Yanda from the Ravens was a guy I really liked to watch.
SPP: When you’re looking at OL recruits, what are some traits that you consider to be teachable versus not teachable?
CW: Technique is very teachable. It can be learned. Some guys pick it up better than others. I think a lot of that piece is getting guys to believe in what you’re teaching and getting them to believe in their ability to do it. I think some of the things that are non-teachable are more innate, like a guy’s willingness to stick his head into blocks. I think that you might be able to build that over time but just from my experience so far, guys that don’t do that right away just seem to have trouble really getting to that point of craving contact. You can build mental toughness, physical toughness, but the innate throwing your hat into the block, that is something that I have yet to see change over time.