Philadelphia Eagles News

Watkins Taking Nothing For Granted

Since his first practice with the Eagles at training camp on August 3, 26-year-old first-round pick Danny Watkins has been the first-team right guard. That run may end during the lead-up to the season opener against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday as head coach Andy Reid intimated that newcomer Kyle DeVan, who has started for offensive line coach Howard Mudd before, would work with the first-team offense at right guard this week - a move confirmed later in the locker room by right tackle Todd Herremans.

"You have to remember with Danny now, and this is an important thing here, when you move from college to the pro's, that's a tough deal," said Reid. "When you move from tackle to guard, that's another tough deal. And when you move from the left side to the right side, that's another tough deal. And then you add on to it missing part of camp, so he's been playing a catch-up game all the way through here. Even though he's a little bit older, he's still a rookie. He's working his tail off. I'm proud of him for how he's handled things and he'll do nothing but continue to get better.

Watkins, for his part, wouldn't divulge any information about a potential switch with DeVan, but he did say there are areas in which he can improve.

"When I start understanding the scheme better, I think I'll be more confident and then when I feel more confident I'll be able to play full speed," said Watkins. "I think I'm overanalyzing the plays and thinking. When you think, it slows you down.

"I'm still dedicated to coming in early, learning. I've spoken with coach Mudd and I keep telling him I want to keep learning and building as a player. So it's an ongoing thing."

Reid added that, if Watkins were to spend some time playing behind DeVan and learning the intricacies of the scheme, it could serve the rookie best moving forward.

"Sometimes it's good to take one small step back to take a big step forward," Reid said. "He'll be out there, you'll see him out there practicing. Kyle also can play in that spot so we're comfortable with either direction that we go and that's how I feel."

"That's one of the things we've addressed," said Watkins.  "Looking at some different ideas. It's all going to benefit me in the long run."

And despite his first-round pick status, Watkins, when asked if he thought he should be the starter, said he has so sense of entitlement regarding the right guard position.

"Nothing's for granted," Watkins said. "I don't think I'm some big hot shot or anything, so that's a coaching decision, not mine."

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