There are thousands upon thousands of young football players who someday hope to be in the shoes of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin. As a third-round pick in 2017, not all thought the Penn State rookie would have made much of an impact.
Now, with two starts as a Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver, two five-catch games and one game-winning touchdown reception it’s time for Godwin to get his second season started the best way he can.
When asked how he planned to pick up from his final reception of the 2017 season, Godwin had this to say,
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"“Honestly, I think it’s being conscious of the pass but not harping on it. That was a great play for my career thus far, but that’s not the only play I’m trying to make. I look back on it as an accomplishment but I’m trying to take it day-by-day and just keep improving so I can make more catches like those.”"
It’s easy to hear the coaches and teammates praising Godwin at seemingly every interview or press conference and get lost in what he was able to do last season.
As a rookie, he was Top-5 among fellow first-year receivers in 2017 in almost every significant stat point. One very important one was his first down reception percentage.
Out of 34 catches last year, 79.4% of them were good for a Tampa Bay Buccaneers first-down. This percentage placed him third among all NFL receivers who had 30 or more receptions during the regular season.
All of this is impressive, but what might be even more impressive is his attitude towards the success he has already enjoyed.
As his quote above relays, Godwin isn’t satisfied yet. He views his rookie success as just that. Rookie success. But this isn’t his rookie season.
While he looks to get better, it’s going to be important he doesn’t let himself buy into his own hype. There are plenty of us out there to do so for him.
In fact, just today I logged into my NFL Game Pass account and at one point went ahead and re-watched his game-winning catch against the New Orleans Saints.
The same Saints he’ll face in Week 1 of the 2018 NFL Regular Season.
You can believe the Saints remember the game-winning catch. It didn’t have tremendous meaning on their season as a whole, but anytime a young man scores a game-winner against you, you don’t forget it.
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They’ll know who Chris Godwin is just a little bit more than they did one-year ago. But the player they know is a rookie.
As long as Godwin can stick with his current trajectory and mindset, they won’t see a Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie when he walks into the Super Dome this September. They’ll see the starting caliber player everyone says he’s become.