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South Alabama DB Charles Watson says Jaguars have to play as one Saturday against Warhawks
South Alabama defensive back Charles Watson talks over strategy with defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer at a recent Jaguars' practice, (Mike Kittrell/mkittrell@al.com)

- withstood all the competition from all the new guys on the block to claim a starting spot in s secondary. And while he is happy with the accomplishment and proud of the achievement, he speaks only in terms of "we,'' not "me.''

So this week, when the Jaguars face one of the Sun Belt Conference's top quarterbacks in's , Watson, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior from Tylertown, Miss., who played at Ocean Springs High School and arrived at South Alabama via Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, he speaks in terms of how the Jags must play, not how he must fare.

"It's been an up and down season for the team,'' he said. "We've faced a lot of adversity and we're still going through that. The season's not over yet and there's still a lot of football to be played. It's really not about me personally, it's about the team and our performance as a whole. It's not one man that makes the defense, it's all the players.''

It will take everyone working together, both Watson and defensive coordinator said, when speaking about competing against one of the Sun Belt's best quarterbacks and offenses.

"It's always tough when you have a scrambling quarterback because that means receivers can break off their route and they can just do what they want to do, freelance and get open,'' Watson said. "Our job is and what we want to do a lot of is scramble mode; after the quarterback breaks the pocket we're going to stay with our man for 10 seconds after the play and hopefully that will help us and give the D-linemen and linebackers a chance to get up there and corral him in.

"The toughest part would have to be discipline. When we're in coverage we have to remember we have to stay on our man no matter how the quarterback looks. If he's running up to the line we still have to stay on our man until he breaks the line of scrimmage.''

While Watson speaks in terms of team, Sherrer took some time to note the progress that Watson, No. 6 on the Jags' defense in total tackles with 42, has made this season.

"Obviously he has experience and he's had a pretty good year as far as developing and kind of starting to understand what his role is and what he has to do and things like that,'' Sherrer said. "I think just the experience and him being a senior gives you some comfort back there.

"We had some competition early in the year and he was running with the twos and the ones and back and forth. He's done a really good job of taking on his role and accepting it and taking over the starting role and keeping it.''

But Sherrer is in agreement with Watson that this weekend's performance must be a team effort; the defensive backs have to stick with their coverages, but at the same time, the defensive line has to get pressure on Browning and force him to do things he doesn't want to do. And when he breaks from the pocket, the key is to contain him.

"Really big,'' Sherrer said of the need for the secondary to play well on Saturday. "Probably even more the front guys, keeping him in the pocket and not letting him get out because he's as good as we've seen as far as when the pocket breaks down and the play breaks down, getting out and making it a positive play and not taking sacks and things like that. We've got to do a really good job of covering who we've got to cover and play the coverage out. And the defensive line has to do a good job of keeping him in the pocket.''

At the end of the season, Watson will let the stats speak for his work, but he said the main thing is what the team has accomplished when all is said and done. And he has enjoyed being a part of the South Alabama program, one that he sees only getting better in the future.

"There's a lot of history to be made,'' Watson said. "It may not be the way we want things to be now, but 10 years down the road I'll be able to look back at this program and it's going to grow a lot. I see a lot of potential for this program and I look forward to the seasons to come.''

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