Last week, Jake Scott's schedule went something like this: Sign with the Eagles Monday. Practice Wednesday through Friday. Travel to Landover, Md. Saturday. Start for the Eagles at right guard Sunday.
How did he do it?
"Throw on a helmet and some cleats and go do it," he said. "It's about that simple. You just do it."
Of course, it's not really that simple. Scott has played in the NFL since 2005, has won a Super Bowl, and is familiar with offensive line coach Howard Mudd and his blocking scheme. Nevertheless, Scott's performance was impressive.
Scott started in place of an injured Danny Watkins Sunday. After a couple early false start penalties, the veteran played a solid game. And the coaches seem to agree – head coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that the offensive line that started against the Redskins will stay together for Monday night's game against the Panthers.
Scott wasn't afraid to give an honest assessment of his performance, though he definitely has confidence in his ability going forward.
"It wasn't perfect, and obviously we lost, so it wasn't good enough," he said Wednesday. "But I think I'll improve this week; I think I'll play even better this week … I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of the offense. I knew what to do most of the time. It wasn't as crisp as it could be, but everything was okay.
Scott said he will go forward this week assuming he's the starter. But beyond that, he'll take it week by week. Who starts at right guard obviously depends on who gives the Eagles the best chance to win, but it also depends on the health of Watkins' injured ankle.
Watkins started the first six games of the season, but he has not seen the field since the team returned from its Week 7 bye. Watkins was active on game day against the Redskins, but had been a scratch the previous three weeks. His injury is just one of many on the offensive line; of the five linemen projected to start the 2012 season, only one played last week.
"I've been disappointed since I got injured," Watkins said. "The team's not doing very well and you want to be out there helping the guys. We're just not getting the wins. Quarterbacks are getting pressured and hit, so yeah, it's frustrating."
Watkins said Wednesday that his ankle isn't "quite where it needed to be", but wants to return to the fold and help the Eagles break out of their losing streak.
"You can't be out there helping and you want to be contributing and doing something," he said. "You just want to pull your hair out. There's nothing you can do right now, so I'm just working hard getting ready to get back out there."
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