May 20, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Menelik Watson (71) at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Menelik Watson apologizes to Raider Nation on twitter for difficult first NFL start

Not many NFL players have to wait until Week 10 to make their first NFL start as a second round rookie draft pick. However Menelik Watson, a talented linemen out of England by way of Florida State is not a typical NFL player in the first place. The rookie didn’t go the typical route of a Pop Warner to Varsity to NCAA to the NFL route, instead picking up the game late and taking the draft by storm after starring for the Seminoles. Showing very nimble footwork in addition to having the standard body of an NFL linemen, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie had one of the true sleepers of the draft when he picked Watson in the second round.

Yet injuries to his calf kept him out during the preseason until the final week, and then before the season even more setbacks kept him out until Week 9 where he was a backup. On Sunday with Matt McCants inactive, Watson got his first start, but it wasn’t pretty.

A motivated Giants pass rush pressured Terrelle Pryor all game, with the already hobbled Pryor struggling with an MCL sprain the lack of protection hamstrung the Raiders offense and was a huge factor in a 24-20 loss. It wasn’t all the fault of the rookie, who did a pretty admirable job lined up against Justin Tuck who was considered one of the best in the game until recently. Still the rookie linemen felt the need to apologize to Raider Nation for his effort, taking to twitter to express that he will be working on getting better.

Watson has had a tough go in his rookie season so far, but has also fought hard to battle through adversity that may have caused other rookies to crumble. Watson has a bright future in Oakland and his improvement is a key to the team’s overall turnaround as their pass rush has made things difficult for offensive coordinator Greg Olson as the lack of time in the pocket has devastated the passing game. It is an encouraging sign to see Watson motivated after a loss and showing the maturity to admit when he has had a bad game and the desire to get better from it.



Tags: Menelik Watson Oakland Raiders

  • raffi5593

    I like this guy he’s a warrior, we need 53 players with that mentality

  • Bob

    Where is the apology from the human penalty machine Barnes?

  • Eric Kench

    Yes where is the apology from Barnes? But then again I would not have drafted an inexperienced player like Watson in the high rounds. Mckenzie has had his head up his ass in these last two drafts.

  • Angel

    Menelik. You dude are a Raider. I can’t wait to see Veldeer on the line with this dude. Wiz had a good game, imagine the 3. No one is blaming Menelik. I’m not.

    Your at home buddy. Don’t worry. You’re no Rolando… We see that

  • Angel

    It’s not Menelik’s fault which round he was selected either. Let’s worry about DJ more than Watson. Sio, I know he’s your boy and you’re the sht!!! We love you but, DJ man…. C’mon bruh

  • Bob Miller

    What’s the status on Veldheer’s return?

  • Silvia Arredondo

    I thought he did good.

  • DanfromVegas

    Head up rookie. You did a good job.

  • Phil Mokate

    Only 1Game bro, You missed 1block and played solid the whole game for no reps and battling injuries. We are glad your on board. Send Dcrak on the plank! You man the ship big man!