Scott’s Play Keeps Watkins On Sideline

Jake Scott doesn’t have some dramatic tale to tell about how he spent time preparing for his return to the NFL.

“Worked out four times a week at Vanderbilt,” Scott said. “Stay in shape. Do what I needed to do to be ready.”

That was it. An unsigned free agent for the first 10 weeks of the season, Scott did some work in the weight room. Some conditioning. Maybe a session on the field. Usually no more than 90 minutes per day.

“You play professional football,” Scott said. “If they call you up and say come play, you’ve got to be ready to come play.  You don’t go in and say ‘Well, I’ll be ready three weeks from now.’ You signed me to play this week. I’ll be ready to play this week.”

Scott has come in and played well, starting the last three games at right guard. Nick Foles has been sacked just twice in the last two games, and Bryce Brown has averaged an absurd 8.1 yards per carry on 43 attempts.

Scott and rookie Dennis Kelly have played surprisingly well together on the right side. Kelly, a rookie fifth-round pick, has started the last three games at right tackle.I asked him how playing alongside a veteran like Scott, who has 124 starts under his belt, has helped him.

“Just kind of little tidbits here and there to try and improve something that might not be broken, but maybe a little different approach might give you an extra 5 yards, that extra hole that Bryce has been able to find lately,” Kelly said. “So his experience is definitely something that has helped this line tremendously.”

Of course, Scott’s play has kept Danny Watkins on the sideline. The former first-round pick had been battling an ankle injury, but make no mistake about it. His health has very little or nothing to do with the fact that he’s being replaced by Scott.

“He’s right about there, and he worked in a little bit at the left guard last week when we had people banged-up just a little bit,” Reid said. “I think the group that’s playing right now is a positive. I’m sticking with that group as we speak. They’re playing well together.”

Watkins started the first six games, then sat out for three weeks and has played a reserve role in the last three. While Watkins wasn’t in the locker room before today’s practice, veteran Evan Mathis said he can relate to what the second-year player is going through.

“I told Danny in my third year, I played two snaps of football,” Mathis said. “Your future is in your own hands, and it’s still early for him. He still has a bright future ahead of him.”

But is it hard to stay positive?

“It’s really hard. I’ve been there. It’s really hard to stay positive. That’s why I try to tell him those kinds of things. Keep your head up. Keep working. Take every day as an opportunity to work to get better.”

Watkins will continue to try and do that in practice, while Scott will likely finish out the season on the field.

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  • Anders

    I really hope we can keep Jake Scott for next year and I really wonder why he was on the street.

    • Julian Ivey

      The same reason Demetress Bell isn’t on the street.

    • Septhinox

      It’s been said many times why he was on the street. He didn’t get the contract he thought he deserved.

      • Anders

        Seems he was right. I bet there is a gm or 2 out there kicking them self for not signing him.

      • Wilbert M.

        Why didn’t the Eagles sign him to a 2 or 3 year deal? It’s not like the years are guaranteed. Now they have to get into a bidding war. It seems like Howie screwed up. They’re also locked in with Herremans for $4.2M and can’t cut him because it would count against the cap.

        • southy

          I have no problem with being locked in with Herremans.

          • Wilbert M.

            I’m not saying they should dump Herremans, but he didn’t play like a $4 million OL this year, and if he doesn’t improve, he’ll be a liability at that pay rate. What is odd is that his contract doesn’t appear to be very Eagles friendly. It’s not at all like D. Bell’s. If Bell is cut, there’s no dead money against the cap. If Herremans is cut, it all goes against the cap.

        • Septhinox

          Because it takes two parties to agree to that contract. Seeing as how Scott sat out of football after not getting what he felt he deserved, I’m willing to bet he only wanted a 1 yr deal to price himself and go back on the market.

          I do see the Eagles resigning him though. Peters, Mathis, Kelce, Scott and Herremans with Reynolds, Kelly and Dunlap for depth is nice. Add a late draft pick and they’d be set for next year.

          • morgan c

            I’d say go stud O-Tackle in first round. Seriously. This is assuming Foles shows he can start next year, which I know is still up in the air. Here is my thinking: in a week draft class, may as well go unsexy and find a solid dependable tackle that we can plug in for years. Who knows how Peters will be after surgery (twice) and this would allow us to move Herremans back to his natural position (which he is better at, btw). We’d still have Scott, Kelly, Dunlap, and hopefully another center/guard combo on the bench (a 5th round pick or something better than Reynolds). With that group, our line would be set for years. It says here, the line is the single most important position group in football (other than qb), and as this year proved, we can never have enough QUALITY depth. With Brown and Shady in the mix next year, a green qb (most likely, no matter who he is), and this type of line, hopefully a smart new coach builds our offense around a devastating run game, opening up bootleg play-action (see: Texans, Houston). It will keep our defense off the field.

            Of course, safety and corner in the next two to three rounds after the first.

    • limodriver2750

      Andy was too stubborn to call him up earlier. There could have been others to fill the gaps ‘cept for Mudd’s system.

  • alnguyen386

    To be fair folks Jake Scott has started over 100+ games. Usually it takes 2-3 years to develop an O-lineman to play at a high level.

    • Septhinox

      No, you don’t draft a guard in the first round and need to wait 2-3 years for him to be able to play.

      Furthermore, you don’t draft a 26 yo guard in the first round and need to wait 2-3 years for him to be able to play.

      • Johngiam

        Thankshoward Judd. I quote “Watkins is abig strong kid, with a mean streak and huge wrist”… Thanks for the kid with the big wrists, a lot good those wrists have done. The hiring of Howard mudd, is a microcosm of why the eagles slowly went in the toilet. Reid coaching staff, moved on, got job promotions, 14 years went by, and ndy doesn’t know any oft he young, good, assistant coaches around the league anymore…to the point that he had to go out and coax, this grumpy ol senile senior citizen…so mudd wanted a kid who ONLY has a mean streak when it comes to arguing with Mudd. Thanks for the complex, gimmicky blocking scheme, that takes players two years to learn…this making it impossible to try and acquire lineman mid season when everyone got hurt. How many lineman that can play out there and are on the market, already know his cockamamie gimmicky crap blocking scheme? Yes the stretch play was nice, and with the best LT inte game and Kelse, we can do some good things out of it…but the negatives far out weigh the positive. Let’s not pretend that Peters wouldn’t flourish at whatever System you ask him to play

  • daggolden

    This is the single reason this oline has improved. He is the best healthy olineman on this team. The 26 year old fireman was killing this team. What more can you say when a 1st round pick cant beat out a player who wasnt even in the NFL 3 weeks ago.

  • xlGmanlx

    More like Watkin’s play keeps Scott in the game.