Philadelphia Eagles News

Danny Watkins Conference Call

On his reaction to being drafted by the Eagles: "I'm very excited. This is unreal."

On whether he had much contact leading up to the Draft: "I spoke with them at the Combine and at the Senior Bowl and on the phone a little bit, but that was about it."

On whether he got the idea that the Eagles were interested in him: "It was so hard to tell. There was a lot of people speaking to me and showing interest, but I had no idea."

On whether he thought his age would hold him back from going professional: "I don't think it will. My body feels fresh just with being 26 years old. I'm experienced and I've lived the life of a working man at a 40-hour a week job. I'm just really excited to get this role."

On what changed his mind to start playing football: "I went to a junior college to take fire services. The football coach there asked me to come out and play football and I thought 'Oh, what the heck?' So it kind of just took off from there."

On whether he can play tackle: "I played tackle my whole college career."

On if he's under the impression that he may be moved inside to guard: "A lot of the teams I spoke to had plans and projected me to be an (interior) guy."

On whether he can play center: "I was taking snaps at the Senior Bowl."

On the most dangerous thing he had to do as a firefighter: "There's a lot of answers for that, I don't know where to begin."

On how long he worked as a firefighter before going down to college in California: "Five years."

On if he felt he would be a firefighter for the rest of his life: "Yes, I did."

On why he was surprised and if he thought he was going to be drafted later: "I wasn't sure. I heard rumors and heard people talking. I tried to take it with a grain of salt, but to be selected in the first round, I'm so naïve to tall of this. I'm really excited about it."

On what stage of his life did he realize he had what it takes to be an NFL player: "It never really did click with me that I could play in the NFL. I wanted to and I was going to work my butt off to get there. I don't think I'll ever feel comfortable thinking that I can play in the NFL. I think that's what drives me and makes me the person that I am."

On who called him to give him the news that he had been drafted by the Eagles and what they said: "I couldn't really hear who it was, but I thought it was a wrong number (laughing). They asked for me, and I was like, 'Well, yeah that's me.' (laughing). I was really excited. I spoke with the offensive coordinator and about three or four other people."

On Andy Reid's statement about him starting as a rookie and if he feels he can live up to that: "I'm making a personal expectation to myself to start. I'm a highly motivated person. I don't think it's going to be too much of an issue.  I'm looking forward to getting in there and get rolling."

On whether he knows any other offensive linemen that have played for the Eagles: "I do. I'm a little flustered and overwhelmed right now and can't think of their names. I definitely have watched the Eagles before and I'm excited to line up next to them and getting some work in, that's for sure."

On making the transition from tackle to guard at the Senior Bowl and how comfortable he felt: "It felt pretty good. I wasn't sure how it was going to go. I went in there and it felt really comfortable and I was surprised with it. I kept on rolling with it. I wasn't sure how I was doing with it. I was doing pretty well, so I just kept rolling with it and it felt really good."

On the interaction he had leading up to this process: "I spoke with them a few times. I met with them at the Combine and at the Senior Bowl. I was really excited to talk with the offensive line coach—and I have tremendous respect for him, so I always thought it was an honor and a privilege to be one of his guys and have the opportunity to be coached by him."

On what makes a man want to be a firefighter: "Honestly, the guys that you work with and the desire. Today I had some of the Canadian firemen with me and some of the members of the FDNY and it's the same thing on the football field:  You're with the same guys day in-day out and if you're brothers you'll do anything for them, and it's the same in the fire house—they're your brothers and you're with them though he good and the bad. When it comes to that, I've been really lucky. I been with great guys with Baylor and at Butte, and I'm really looking forward to being with the guys in Philly."

On how surreal it is for him to go from playing football at a junior college and is now a first round NFL Draft pick: "It's kind of hard to believe. I don't think it's all set in.  I'm sitting here looking at a Philadelphia Eagles hat grinning still. It's pretty overwhelming. I'm not a flashy kind of guy, I wasn't planning on coming to New York by any means. I was kind of just looking forward to spending some down time with some family, but I decided this would be a great opportunity and you're only going to get one shot to do this, so I'm glad I did."

On what his adjustment was like when he played football at Butte: "It was like any other sport I played. There was just a bit of a learning curve. Other than that, it came pretty natural."

On what it might be like to block for a player with the style of QB Michael Vick: "From just guys that I've heard, the way he conducts himself, he's kind of guy you want to block for. So, I'm really looking forward to lining up in front of him and doing some work."

On his performance against Texas A&M and going against Von Miller: "Von is a heck of a player. I felt that he had a pretty strong game. I remember him from the year before that he was a challenge. I came into that game well-prepared. He won some and I won some, so it was a pretty good match for sure."

On the critics that will focus in on his age: "I don't see it as an issue by any means. I just took a different path to get here. I'm not collecting my 401k. My body is fresh and I've been out in the world and have worked. I've met a lot of guys where they're 19 or 20 and this is their first job. I'm looking forward to it and I know what I'm going to do. I'm coming to work and I'm going to be mature about it."

On if he feels he has to pick things up quickly especially with a labor decision still unsettled: "Yeah. I'm going to do everything that I can. This labor situation is something out of my hands and I'm not going to worry about it. There's nothing I can do about it. Like I said, when there's nothing you can do about it, you can't worry about it. I'm looking forward to getting in there and rolling as soon as possible."

On his approach to line play: "Play time is over when the game starts and I like playing physical. That's the only way I grew up playing sports—being physical and tough. In hockey, you're looking for a hit and in football a guy is six inches from your face. Someone has to win that battle and I like winning."

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