Danny Watkins Signs

Posted: August 1st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 36 Comments »

Rookie Danny Watkins finally agreed to a deal on Monday night. Great news. The Eagles O-line is very much in a state of flux right now and could use his presence. Watkins was penciled in as the starting RG prior to Training Camp opening. He might not be with the starters right away at this point, but has a chance to get that role pretty quickly. The Eagles and Howard Mudd are very high on him.

Couple of items to mention here. First, it was interesting that Danny signed the same day that fellow rookie Julian Vandervelde got reps with the starters at RG. Coincidence? Were the Eagles sending a message to Watkins by having Vandervelde out there? Just something to consider.

The other thing to ponder is how Watkins addition will affect RT. If Watkins and McGlynn are the top guys at RG then Vandervelde could slide over to LG and allow Todd Herremans to see time at RT. I’m not making a prediction so much as just throwing ideas out there.

The Eagles want Danny Watkins to be the RG. They will mix him in aggressively. It is up to Watkins to learn quickly and adjust on the fly. He should have had a playbook since late April. He’s got a very good teacher in Mudd. Watkins will have every chance in the world to be the starting RG. Now it’s time to deliver.

It is critical to choose 5 O-linemen and have them practice together. Last year the interior spots were changing all the time. The line never developed any continuity and that carried over to the regular season. I hope we see a lot of Peters-Herremans-Jackson-Watkins-RT.

* * * * *

I left RT open because I’m not fully sure what to make of the situation. Let me start by saying this…actions speak louder than words. If the Eagles thought Justice was in serious jeopardy of missing a lot of the season I think they would have made a move. This team is gearing up for a Super Bowl run. They wouldn’t leave RT so open unless they felt Justice would be back.

Now, the Eagles have been wrong before. Justice could in fact stay on the PUP list and miss 6 games. I’m concerned about him and RT, but not worried right now. Mudd and the Eagles haven’t gone after any OTs. Former Colts G/LT Charlie Johnson was on the market for a cheap salary, but never got a call. There were rumors of an offer to Doug Free, but I’ve not been able to confirm them.

I really believe if the team was truly worried about Justice that a move would have been made, even if just for a veteran to compete. The Packers let go of Mark Tauscher. The Bronocs former RT Ryan Harris is on the market. Harris played well in the past, but struggled with injuries in the last couple of seasons.

Maybe the Eagles have a deal in the works. They were super-secret in the Nnamdi sweepstakes and that could be the case again. For now, the Eagles either aren’t as worried as fans/media or they are using a great poker face and have nerves of steel.

* * * * *

Juan Castillo seems to be doing a good job with the defense so far. The unit is playing well in camp. The players love his energy and enthusiasm. We all knew Juan could teach and coach. This is the time when he should shine. The big test for him is handling game situations. We’ll find out about that in 10 days.

Dealing with the media is new to Castillo. And it’s been weird. I like the fact he’s candid. He doesn’t talk like most coaches. Juan’s answers really seem to come from the heart. One problem is that he finds an answer he likes and sticks with it.

  • Casey Matthews is ready to be the MLB because he grew up in a football family. Specifically, think about the conversations at the dinner table. It was a valid point the first time, but we need to move on from that.
  • Young players deserve a chance to start. Juan then tells media members that they once got a chance from someone and were able to take advantage of it. Again, valid point, but used up by now.
  • I love how Castillo talks about passion, fundamentals, and teaching, but that message has been received loud and clear. Time for new content.

I’m a lot more concerned with how Juan coaches than what he says to the media. Still, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit wishing he communicated better with them. I’m not able to follow him at practice. I know what I hear and read. That’s who Juan Castillo is to me. It would make me feel better for him to get better in dealing with the media. That would strengthen my confidence in him for those times when things do get rough. There will be a rough patch or two this season.

Juan’s learning how to deal with the media. I do understand that. He’ll get better as time goes by.  I think he should mix in some references to Megan Fox, PBR, and chocolate pudding.  That kind of stuff tells the audience that you are sophisticated, classy, and mega-awesome.

* * * * *

Asante reported to camp today. After hearing him speak to the media most people are sure he’s going to be traded. I’ve got a couple of ideas. I’ll post them on Tuesday morning.

* * * * *

* DE Phillip Hunt continues to impress.  Excellent burst.

* Real glad DT Mike Patterson came to Lehigh in such good shape.  Can’t wait to see what he can do in this scheme.

* I continue to be fascinated with WR DeAndre Brown.  Physically imposing.  Naturally gifted.  Definite NFL potential.

* It is a good thing that Jason Peters is such a skilled blocker.  He’s not exactly addicted to conditioning.  He wins his share of battles vs Trent Cole, but Peters is far from ideal shape right now.

* Dave Spadaro made a real good point on Eagles Live that bears keeping in mind.  Michael Vick has never been a great practice QB.  Don’t expect him to run the offense to perfection.

36 Comments on “Danny Watkins Signs”

  1. 1 Eric said at 11:41 PM on August 1st, 2011:

    Tommy, any chance of McGlynn at RT? Obviously did it in college but not in the pros.

    Or does he lack the ability to slide quickly at the NFL level?

  2. 2 Tommy Lawlor said at 11:42 PM on August 1st, 2011:

    I don’t think Mike has the athletic ability for RT.

  3. 3 Eric said at 11:46 PM on August 1st, 2011:

    Are we convinced now that Mudd is alright with JJ at center? My hopes were AQ (also what you penciled in), but I would think a week or two in, Mudd would have made his decision there by now.

  4. 4 mcud said at 12:07 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Send Patterson and Samuel to the Pats for Mankins and Haynesworth. Then, move Herremans to RT and have Mankins at LG.

  5. 5 Cafone said at 12:08 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Any news on Maclin?

  6. 6 paul 805 said at 12:08 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Any chance Deandre Brown makes the team? Maybe 5th WR, but I hear Moss continues to shine. I’m more worried if we PS him, someone will def snatch him off the roster.

  7. 7 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:13 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    @ mcud…

    That trade idea fascinates the heck out of me. Not likely, but real interesting idea.

  8. 8 Eric said at 12:13 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Why would the Pats want Samuel back?

  9. 9 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:14 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    RE: DeAndre Brown

    Long shot to make the team, but we’ll see what he does in PS games. Looks raw. Ideal for the Practice Squad.

  10. 10 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:15 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    RE: Maclin

    I’ll post news the second I hear/read anything. I’m hoping this turns out to be much ado about nothing.

  11. 11 Flyin' said at 12:16 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    if you were a linebacker…you’d understand.

  12. 12 -Triumph- said at 12:18 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    It looks like Peters and Herremans are going to remain at LT and LG respectively; it is the other 3 positions that Mudd is experimenting with. He was throwing rookies and guys like Austin Howard in to see what they could do.

    I don’t think any of that had anything to do with Watkins deciding to sign tonight; I think that was a prearranged deal with his agent that he would miss no more than 3 regular practices to try and get the extra guaranteed year.

  13. 13 Iskar36 said at 12:19 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    “First, it was interesting that Danny signed the same day that fellow rookie Julian Vandervelde got reps with the starters at RG. Coincidence? Were the Eagles sending a message to Watkins by having Vandervelde out there? Just something to consider.”

    I think you might be reaching here a bit. It’s just as likely that this is a sign that the Eagles desperately needed Watkins to sign because they were not really comfortable with their other options (Vandervelde starting is not exactly a sign that the Eagles are loaded at guard), or it is in fact simply coincidence.

    Going back to the conversation from the previous post, I have to agree with owumd on the idea of getting the best deal you can and trusting your agent. The reality is that most first round picks are confident guys who certainly believe they will be talented enough to be successful football players. Over a four year time span, a first round pick would certainly expect to eventually start, so to them, what is few weeks of missed practices relative to four years. From their point of view, the only thing that could provide a quick end to their career are the things out of their control (such as injuries), so fighting for the extra guaranteed year does make a big difference.

  14. 14 McG said at 12:22 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    I want to see another debate on this blog…

    Did the Eagles upgrade their draft, RCB, and backup QB with 1 trade and 1 FA acquisition?

  15. 15 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:23 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    @ Flyin…

    Well done.

  16. 16 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:25 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    RE: Vandervelde

    I was probably just reaching on that point. It popped in my head while on a walk tonight so I thought I’d write it. No big deal.

  17. 17 McG said at 12:41 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Were the items Megan Fox, PBR, and Chocolate pudding placed in an intentional relation to the other list? i.e. Megan Fox = sophisticated, PBR = Classy, and Chocolate pudding = mega awesome?

  18. 18 Tommy Lawlor said at 12:45 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    @ iskar…

    I understand the importance of trying to get the best deal. I don’t dismiss that as unimportant. Football careers are short. I think these guys should get what they can.

    At the same time, fight a winnable fight. The Eagles weren’t going to give on this point. Agent Eric Metz knew this or should have known this. I can understand missing a couple of days to prove the point, but what was gained?

    Metz had JaMarcus Russell holdout a few years back and that was the beginning of a disastrous career. Getting to camp on time wouldn’t necessarily have saved his career, but it sure would have helped the situation.

    Brodrick Bunkley’s holdout ruined his 2006 season and may have had an adverse effect on his career. The coach is mad at you when you do report because you’re not in shape and behind everyone else. That relationship may never fully get repaired.

    Agents have a responsibility to balance career and money goals for the player. This is a rigged game. The team is going to win the negotiation 98% of the time. Fight when you’ve got a realistic chance to win. Beyond that, make your point and then get the player signed.

    Luckily in this case, we’re only talking about a few days. Let’s hope Watkins comes in ready to go and looks like the real deal right away.

  19. 19 Flyin' said at 12:54 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    This is a good listen…Joe Banner on PFT.

    I don’t think I have ever seen this kind of insight from the Eagles FO before…


  20. 20 Flyin' said at 1:05 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Sorry wrong link…full interview Joe Banner…


  21. 21 -Triumph- said at 1:15 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Yes, I heard the PFT Live interview and for whatever reason Banner had a lot to say.

  22. 22 Tommy Lawlor said at 2:04 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    That was a really good interview.

  23. 23 GermanEagle said at 5:43 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    With all due respect, but some people have to get rid of the idea of trading Asante this season.


    Plein and simple: if DRC or Nnamdi gets injured we’ll be in the same unfortunate position at CB like the year before. Remember when Hanson and Dmitri were starting on the outside. Trevard Lindley any one?! God forbid a serious injury happens to DRC or Nnamdi with Asante not wearing an Eagles jersey this year any more.

    In today’s pass happy NFL having three Pro Bowl Cornerbacks is not a luxury, it’s rather a necessity.

    If that’s really the year the Eagles are going “all in”, the Eagles will have to hold on Asante. Trading him for future picks would only be a “lateral move” and wouldn’t make much sense at all.

  24. 24 Ro said at 6:01 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    Off topic, but an important issue I’ve been contemplating.

    I’m concerned offenses will go with there 2 TE sets (singleback or ace), to limit the advantage of our deep stable of corners.

    What do you anticipate would be the formation to respond to this?

    Ro from Australia

  25. 25 anders said at 6:44 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    Once FA are allowed to train, do you think we could see an oline like this:

    Peters, Mathis, JJ, Watkins, Herremans?

  26. 26 Kevin (RealCrippler) said at 8:33 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    It’s not that easy to use 2TE most of the game. While I personally love the ACE formation because it eliminates the week side (thus, making it harder to blitz off the edge), not every team can run it. Heck, the Giants don’t even have one good TE on their roster. The Packers have Finley and that’s it. The Saints only have Graham (although they could line up Colston on the line).

    Washington/Dallas are the only teams that start off in a base 2TE sets that we’ll play (Witten/Bennett, Cooley/Davis). In that scenario, Nnandi on Bryant & DRC on Austin.

  27. 27 Philly in NYC said at 8:45 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Did you forget Mathis when doing your write-up on the O-Line? Or do you think that Mathis would be better as a backup?

  28. 28 GermanEagle said at 9:25 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    I don’t think we have to sign/trade (for) a RT right now. There will be more O-linemen to be cut in the near future, of which Bryant McKinnie of the Vikings may have the biggest name:


  29. 29 ATG said at 9:39 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Tommy, you mentioned Eric Metz as the agent. I thought the report I read said that his agent was Panos.

    I hope you are right about RT, that is the spot that concerns me the most right now. Unfortunately, I keep thinking back to that one time in ’02. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be the second time you are wrong.

    I didn’t see the actual press conference, but I could interpret Asante’s responses as frustration with the media rather than with the situation. Along the lines of “(you should be asking me how it feels getting ready to make history, but, yeah,) I guess they could trade me if they are tired of my playmaking abilities. (They could trade any of us, you jackass. This is worse than tackling drills. )

  30. 30 Cafone said at 10:35 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    You can’t really blame the press on this. The Eagles FO could come out with a stronger stance on what they intend to do with Assante but they’ve been playing coy.

  31. 31 GermanEagle said at 10:46 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    I totally agree with you that the Eagles FO could/should make a stronger statement with regards to keeping Asante. And of course it wouldn’t really hurt his value, would it?!

  32. 32 Kevin (RealCrippler) said at 10:47 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Frankly, the team doesn’t know.
    They can’t comment either way. The Media is making it worse, not the team/player.

  33. 33 GermanEagle said at 10:54 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    even if the team didn’t know there’s no harm with saying that Asante is not on the trading block.

    Teams will still be able to speak to the Eagles which would only increase Asante’s value. Or in other words: if the Eagles come out admitting Asante’s on the trading block don’t you think that will lower his value?

    Regardless of the Eagles FO’s intention I strongly hope they will keep him though.

  34. 34 Matt D said at 11:05 AM on August 2nd, 2011:


    You have been my #1 source for Eagles news/ commentary for several years. Thanks for all that you do.

    Can we talk rookie kicker, rookie punter? It seems we could get by with mediocre talent at many of the question-mark positions currently debated (RT, MLB, SS, backup RB). But TWO rookies at both K and P scares the bejeezus out of me. I’ve always thought that Akers’ stability impacted the game in a lot of unseen ways, from play-calling to psyche. Now that certainty isn’t there. Thoughts?

  35. 35 Max said at 11:17 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Any chance we pick up Leonard Davis on a cheap 1 year rental…I am sure he would like to stick it to the Cowgirls..?

  36. 36 justrelax said at 11:29 AM on August 2nd, 2011:

    Why would we want Davis when we just dumped MJG? (Sorry, Max.) Big ponderous guys who can’t move are so over.