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Catching up with linebacker Tre Watson

While everyone is isolating themselves at home and social distancing, we're reaching out to different members of the Dallas Renegades to see how they're holding up, staying busy and staying in football shape. Our first interview is with Tre Watson, the former Maryland Terrapin who was just working his way into more defensive sets when the season was cut short due to COVID-19. 

All right, so obviously, the season ended really abruptly for us, not the way we wanted it to, but the larger societal issues take precedence over football, at that point, but how do you feel, where do you think the team was, at that point, and just walk me through that last week of the season, abbreviated as it was.

Watson: Yeah, absolutely, I mean, I think just, each week up to that point of the season, we were really growing in a different way every week. Obviously, we were 2-3 at that point, and really had played all the best teams, I'd say, the most competitive ones. We had struggled that past week against New York. I feel like we got away from ourselves football-wise, but that week of practice where everything got cut short, I feel like, I mean it's cliche, but those were really our best days. Guys had a renewed vigor and energy for football, and we were understanding that these last five weeks were somewhere we needed to really take off. So at that point, it was unfortunate, obviously, that the season had to end, but guys were in a really great place mentally, and at the end of the day, like you said, the whole country is really on hold right now, and really, the world, as a whole, so things become bigger than football, and it just happened really fast for us. That's just how that situation played out.

Right, so that last Thursday where we were having all the team meetings and everything, everybody packing up their stuff, what was your feeling that day? When you woke up that morning, how did it feel knowing that the season was over?

Watson: It hurt because there was a lot of different things going through my head. Like I said, I was coming off, really, two great days of practice, both for myself, and for the team as a whole, and then on top of that, it was actually gonna be the first week that I was starting in multiple of our packages, so it was very personal for me that everything ended when it did, and I'm sure plenty of other guys had reasons themselves, but just, it felt like it had been five really solid weeks, and guys had really been building on things, myself included, and it felt like we were just getting to the starting point, honestly. We were only gonna go up from there, and I was really looking forward to those next weeks, so in that aspect, it hurt, but at the end of the day, you understand, and just gotta focus on other things right now.

For sure, so once we did get finished with all the meetings, and that stuff, what was your travel like? Where are you now?

Watson: So, ironically, I'm still in Arlington. I had a temporary lease here, set it up myself. I live with my girlfriend, been doing that for awhile now, so we're still here. I know most guys were gone between those next two or three days, or the weekend, but I'm just here, like I said, trying to figure out a way to work out every day. Gyms are closed, obviously, the facility and stuff like that is closed, so we're just doing what we can when we can, really every day.

Right, yeah, that was gonna be one of my other questions. When you're trying to maintain a professional athlete's body, being trapped in an apartment all day, just isn't exactly the best way to go about it, so what have you been doing How are you staying ready?

Watson: Honestly, I've just been trying to figure out little things. Every day has been different. It's all started with pushups, and a lot of different abs. That's really the only thing I can do every day, especially in an apartment. We don't have a ton of space, so I don't really have any weights, or anything like that. I bought some resistance bands from Walmart, so I try to figure things like that out. We've been sneaking around the local high schools, and fields, trying not to get in trouble, trying to not trespass places, so we've gotten in a couple runs that way, but I mean, it's really just been create a workout however you can, whenever you can, but I feel like I've been getting the most that I could, as much as I can, really, and just, hopefully, this part of it ends soon, and we can get to some real gyms, and some real, full-on workouts.

How did the overall experience compare to your expectations?

Watson: I think all of it was really a learning experience. I fee like coming in, I didn't know what to expect. Obviously, coming from high-level college football, and coming from the NFL, and everyone heard the stories of the AAF, and they told us it wasn't gonna be the same here, it wasn't gonna be the same issues, and at the same time as you say I didn't wanna believe those things, you still have to wonder because it's doing it for the first time, it's something new, everybody's new to each other, for the most part, but I feel like everything lived up and surpassed any expectation I could've had. The quality of the football was there. Obviously, there's things to work on. With anything, there's gonna be things to build on, but the quality of football was great, the fan atmosphere was great, and that's what you want. At the end of the day, as a football player, you can still get paid to play football professionally, we can do something we love to do, and have fun doing it, I mean, you can't really complain about that, at the end of the day.