Eagles Notebook: Watkins breaks media silence, Graham takes dig at Castillo
When a player shuns the all-powerful media in this town, it usually gets them into hot water. So when Danny Watkins told a reporter that he didn’t want to talk Monday, the Twitter-sphere blew up.
Two days later, Watkins was in a jovial mood, joking with reporters and inviting them to set up shop at his locker stall. Apparently, it was just a one-day ban on questions.
“You can ask me anything today. I’m fine with that,” Watkins said.
The Eagles starting right guard took a lot of blame for the offensive line’s struggles after the loss to Detroit. Watkins said he took the defeat hard and the finger-pointing even harder. He needed time to collect his thoughts.
“It leaves a sour taste in your mouth,” Watkins said. “You can’t really take your mind off it when you’re trying to relax because it’s all you’re thinking about. Your first day back, first thing you’re getting hounded with, it’s not how I wanted to go into the bye.”
Watkins and his linemates really haven’t put a solid four quarters together since losing Jason Kelce. The center was the glue that held the unit together, the guy who directed traffic and made the calls. Without him, they are still learning on the fly. They are still trying to adjust and adapt to fill-in Dallas Reynolds’ style.
“Dallas is doing a really good job,” Watkins said. “We have to learn his calls, his mentality, where’s he taking us, where we’re going. It’s just a chemistry thing, it’s going to take a little time.”
But how much time do the Eagles have? If they lose to Atlanta Sunday — a third straight loss — there could be more changes, maybe some benchings. Yesterday, coach Andy Reid announced that King Dunlap was taking over for Demetress Bell at left tackle.
“There’s a lingering shadow on everyone, I think,” Watkins said. “We just have to do a better job, that’s it.”
Before he left for treatment on his ankle, Watkins did get one dig in on bloggers covering the team. (The injury isn’t serious; he was a full participant in practice).
“I don’t think a lot of people fully understand the schemes and what we’re trying to do and the assignments and who’s responsible for who,” Watkins said. “Some of these bloggers you read about, I don’t think they have a clue what they’re talking about and then some of them obviously have a really good idea and understand the concepts … you never want to see, it’d be like someone having something negative to say about your best friend.”
You’re saying there’s a chance?
It’s hard to imagine a guy coming back after tearing his ACL twice in the offseason. Yet that’s exactly what Andy Reid indicated yesterday about his All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters.
“There’s a chance,” Reid said. “We’ll just see. He’s got three weeks here.”
The team has until Nov. 27 to decide whether to place Peters on injured reserve (ending his season) or activate him to the 53-man roster. Peters is running and participating in light agility drills. Barring no setbacks, Peters would be eligible to hit the practice field for real by Nov. 6.
New center of attention
The Eagles also welcomed a new center into the fold. The team signed Matt Tennant on their off-day and the newcomer is trying to get up to speed as quickly as possible. Considering the lack of depth at the position, there is a real opportunity for Tennant to make an impact, possibly even steal the starting spot from Dallas Reynolds.
“I’m hoping so,” Tennant said, of making an impact. “I’m just trying to learn the playbook as quickly as possible and do whatever I can to help.”
Tennant played 28 games for the Saints before being released after training camp. The Patriots picked him up briefly before cutting him last weekend. He served as Drew Brees’ snapper in New Orleans and also spent time under center with Matt Ryan while at Boston College.
Graham: Defense predictable under Castillo
Brandon Graham may have inadvertently called out his former defensive coordinator Wednesday. Players are being tight-lipped about the changes new coach Todd Bowles is installing, insisting that the coverages and schemes will be the same, but Graham noted that Bowles has vowed not to be so predictable — especially late in games.
“By the fourth quarter everybody knew what we were going to do. That’s how we got beat,” Graham said of the loss to Detroit. “I think we started running the same stuff over and over.”
Bowles takes over the play-calling Sunday. He’s had less than a full week running the defense.
“I think we went back, did a lot of evaluating, tweaked some things, and we’re going to be able to play some ball,” said safety Kurt Coleman.