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Watkins Comfortable In First Start

Posted Oct 10, 2011

It looks like the past few weeks on the sideline taking mental reps for first-round pick Danny Watkins paid off.

Watkins made his first career start as the Eagles amassed 489 yards and scored 31 points in Sunday's loss to the Buffalo Bills. Watkins battled another first-round draft pick in Marcell Dareus and while Dareus had a couple of pressures on quarterback Michael Vick, they appeared to not be Watkins' responsibility.

"I felt very comfortable out there," Watkins said after the game. "It's a lot easier when you know what you're doing."

On a third-and-4 late in the second quarter, Vick took the snap out of the shotgun and threw an incomplete pass to tight end Brent Celek after he was pressured by Dareus. But Dareus was engaged with tackle Todd Herremans on that play and beat him to the outside.

Late in the third quarter, Vick made an amazing play on a first-and-10 to throw the ball out of bounds as he was being taken down to the ground by Dareus. On that particular play, Watkins and center Jason Kelce combo-blocked Dareus until the Bills looped defensive end Kyle Williams on a stunt and Watkins picked him up.

The one play that Watkins will want to have back resulted in an illegal use of hands penalty that negated a Vick touchdown run in the fourth quarter as the Eagles tried to rally from 14 points down. Watkins was surprised to get the call against him, but it was clear that he used his hands to push against Dareus' facemask.

"You just have to make your chances when you can. Getting in the red zone, I had that penalty. I didn't necessarily agree with it," Watkins said. "We've got to make touchdowns when we get opportunities like that."

The Eagles settled for an Alex Henery field goal. The Eagles scored 10 fourth-quarter points after not scoring any in the previous three games. However, it was not enough to ward off a fourth-straight loss.

"It's a long season. We're going to have to put this behind us, learn what we can and press forward," Watkins said. "It's on us to execute the plays and we just weren't executing, firing on all cylinders. It seemed like we were finally executing. We just couldn't get it."

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