An interesting development in Philadelphia worth mentioning as the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles get ready to open their season on Sunday. The Eagles interior offensive line struggled in the preseason, as we mentioned yesterday, with two rookies holding down the inside. Now, it looks like the Eagles' first-round draft pick, RG Danny Watkins will not start for the Eagles against the Rams this week.
At his presser this morning, Eagles head coach Andy Reid declined to answer a question about whether or not Watkins would start. Geoff Mosher from the Wilmington News Journal reads between the lines that it signals a delay to Watkins' role in the starting lineup. You'll recall that the Eagles signed veteran OG Kyle DeVan this week. Here's Mosher relaying what Reid said about Watkins:
Reid on Watkins: sometimes it's good to take small step back to take a big step forward
DeVan is taking first team reps in the Eagles' morning practice session as I type this.
It's a tough break for Watkins, who many argued would have been the first guard picked in the draft this year had it not been for his age; he's 27. Watkins played just two years at Baylor, replacing Jason Smith after the Rams drafted him second overall in 2009. Prior to playing at Baylor, Watkins played ball at a small community college in Northern California that specializes in training firefighters, Watkins' job before finding football as a calling.
I really liked Watkins as a prospect, and he has the talent to bounce back. The Eagles, having spent like a Steinbrenner last month, don't have the luxury of letting a rookie take his lumps in the game as he learns to ply his trade in the NFL.
Here are my notes on Watkins from his press conference at the Combine this year.
For the Rams, the biggest roster news for this week's game is that they are likely to be without TE Michael Hoomanawanui. Big Mike's calf isn't ready, which is too bad. The Rams could have really used him to create matchup problems with the Eagles' relatively weak group of linebackers.