GREEN BAY (Wis.) — Tim Watson takes eight uninterrupted minutes to tell the story about how he got to the 1993 NFL Draft to his first game as a member of the team..
In a telephone interview, that was the abbreviated version.
Christian is his son and he hopes that his path will be easier.
The Packers also selected Watson's younger brother with the second selection of the second round.To do it — this seems like an acceptable bet.
“I believe that Christian is certainly in a different situation than I was in,” a chuckling Tim Watson told ESPN after sharing his circuitous route.
• Winners, losers: |
In 1993, the Packers selected Howard University's safety from the sixth round (No. 156 overall). Tim said the Packers drafted him to be future Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler’s backup.
He has never played in a match.
“He was big and exceptionally smart,” Butler recalled. “So I’m not surprised his kid’s really smart. I was somewhat perplexed by the decision to remove him. He was one of the few guys that knew the defense as a young guy.”
Christian's father was drafted by Packers, according to numerous draft stories. He later went on the play for the Giants, Chiefs, and Eagles. None of these explanations explained why he didn't play in Green Bay. Watson stated that he was only a coach.Long-time team historian, Everett, wrote detailed descriptions of what happened.
Tim says that he suffered an ankle avulsion fracture during training camp.
“When that happened, and you’re a sixth-round draft pick from Howard University, and they’ve got to get ready for the season, what do they do?” he said. “You try to stash that guy on the practice squad. But when they released me, I got claimed by like 17 teams, and so I went on this journey around the NFL.”
Tim recalled that communication was different 30 years ago. He was told that the Patriots claimed him off waivers, and that he would be flying to Boston immediately to join his new team.
“Before I got on the plane, they told me I have to take my physical when I get here so you can’t eat,” he said. “So I got there and went through all of the physicals and I get into the facility to get my uniform on to go to practice and the league office calls them and says there was a mistake.”
It was actually the Browns that should have received Watson off waivers.
He claimed that he boarded the next plane, from Boston to Cleveland, and was again told not to eat as he would need to go through all the blood tests.
“So they take me over to the hospital and by that time my blood sugar level went crazy because I hadn’t eaten,” he said. “I had gone a whole day without eating and taken two physicals where they’ve drawn blood and all that kind of stuff. My body basically went into shock.”
He spent the next three nights in Cleveland Hospital.
The Browns never saw him play before the final cuts. He claimed they tried to convince his to go on injured reserve but he refused.
“So I ended up back in Green Bay,” Tim said.
While you won’t find any record of him ever playing for the Packers in a game, he was on the sideline for one game: Week 2 of his rookie season against the Eagles. According to official stats, one of the inactives for that game was “S25 T. Watson”.
He was signed by the Packers on September 6, 1993. Six days later, he was released by the Packers. He was again released eight days later. A week later, he was signed by the Chiefs. He was a part of four Chiefs games in that season. According to Pro Football Reference, he played in a total 13 NFL games from 1993 through '97.
It doesn’t change the fact that after the Packers drafted his son, they became one of the rare father-son combinations picked by the same NFL team. ESPN Stats & Information and the Elias Sports Bureau couldn’t say exactly how rare that is. All they could say is that it’s happened at least once before: Channing Crowder, in 2005, and his father Randy Crowder, in 1974, both were drafted by the Dolphins.
After his playing days, Tim (now Tazim Wajed) went on to a career as a financial advisor and coach. He spent three seasons in the role of defensive backs coach with the Scottish Claymores, in NFL Europe, between 2004-2006.
Tre, his older son, was also a standout player in football. He played at the University of Maryland, and signed in to the NFL in 2019 as an undrafted agent.
“We lived with the football in our hands,” Christian said shortly after the Packers drafted him on Friday. “Shoot, me and my dad and my brothers — even my mom and my sister — we lived to play football. We loved to play football. We were always in the backyard.”
A late bloomer, Christian’s only Division I scholarship offer came from North Dakota State. By the time Christian was finished in Fargo, his height had reached more than 6 feet 4 inches and he weighed 208 lbs. He also ran a 4.4 40-yard sprint at the combine. He is the Packers' top-ranked receiver since Javon Walker was drafted in 2002.
Christian was still the seventh pick in the draft. The top 18 drafted the first six. Watson was not the only one who got picked.
“I think it may be a little misconstrued when people start talking about him being raw,” Tim said. “Christian started playing football when he was 4. Tre was already playing. Tre had a father who was not only a former pro football player but also a coach.
“What I was able to share with them from the standpoint of the technical aspects of the game and everything there is to know from a football IQ standpoint, I would say he’s going to be one of your more refined young players because we literally built it from the ground up with him.”