Kelly Seeks To Keep Starting Job At Right Guard

Andy Reid made it sound today like Danny Watkins is unlikely to be ready Monday night, meaning rookie Dennis Kelly should expect to get his second straight start at right guard.

“I thought I was very aggressive,” Kelly said, when asked to offer a self-evaluation from last week. “I took the techniques that Howard [Mudd] has been preaching and executed them pretty well. I was a little unhappy on how I did with blockers on the second level, dealing with linebackers. I know one play in particular, I opened up too much and crossed my feet, and the backer went right under me. I just have to work on being disciplined with going over an open space.”

Watkins is dealing with an ankle injury that Reid termed “chronic” last week.

“This will pass here,” Reid said. “It’s not where it’s going to be career-ending or anything like that.”

But the possibility exists that Kelly could play himself into the starting job. Watkins was inconsistent through the first seven games, and Reid was asked if the former first-round pick will definitely get his job back once he’s healthy.

“I want to see how he feels, and then once he gets in there, we’ll take it from there and see how he does,” Reid said, choosing not to offer a definitive “yes” to the question.

As for Kelly, he didn’t hide his enthusiasm for possibly winning the job.

“Hopefully, if I keep playing at a high level, if they give me the spot, hopefully I can run with it,” he said.

Have coaches told him that opportunity exisits?

“Some players have talked about it, just saying, ‘If you’re in there, you’re in there for a reason,'” Kelly said. “Obviously, Danny’s hurt, but there were other options they could have put in. They are telling me to approach it like you can take it, so that’s what I’m doing. I’m just trying to obviously help the team win, but if I can get the starting spot, that’d be great.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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