Eagles

Quez Watkins getting ‘crucial’ workout time with Carson Wentz in Houston 

Quez Watkins getting ‘crucial’ workout time with Carson Wentz in Houston 

Quez Watkins always knew Carson Wentz was big. 

He didn’t know he was that big. 

Watkins has been in Houston this week working out with his new quarterback and a few other receivers, including first-round pick Jalen Reagor. It’s the first time the rookies have been able to catch passes from the Eagles’ franchise quarterback. 

“Truthfully, I didn’t know he was that big,” Watkins said to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark on Wednesday. “I thought he was maybe 6-3, 6-2. But he was like 6-5 and I was like, man, he’s tall. I see how he can sling it now.”

Watkins, 22, got to Houston on last Sunday and is spending two weeks there. His original plan was to meet Jalen Hurts in Houston and work out with him, but he then got a call from Wentz, who was also down there. Watkins still plans on meeting up with Hurts. 

This week, Wentz has been throwing to Reagor, Watkins, Greg Ward and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. 

For Watkins, getting a chance to work out with Wentz is a big deal, especially in this unusual offseason without OTAs.  

It’s crucial,” Watkins said. “Especially being a sixth-round draft pick, it’s not every day that somebody that late in the draft can already get with the quarterback and build a relationship and build a trust. For me, that’s crucial and that will give me a step ahead.

Watkins said he’s really excited about the Eagles’ offense after working with Wentz for a few days. Wentz relayed information about new senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello’s offensive mindset and is helping Watkins learn the playbook. Watkins feels like he’ll be in his element with the Eagles. 

Of course, Watkins isn’t even guaranteed to make the team as a sixth-round pick, especially because the Eagles took two receivers — Reagor in the 1st, John Hightower in the 5th — before him. And then there’s DeSean Jackson, Ward, JJAW, Alshon Jeffery and Marquise Goodwin. 

But getting some extra reps with the starting quarterback in June can only help. 

“With [Wentz], he’s really just giving me signals and really coaching me up and helping me learn the playbook as we go along,” Watkins said. “And just getting reps, learning the different routes and stuff like that.”

The hope for Watkins is that once training camp rolls around in late July, he won’t have to start from scratch with the starting quarterback. Had he not been in Houston right now, his first work with Wentz wouldn’t have come until training camp. 

Watkins was taken with the 200th pick out of Southern Mississippi, but he thinks he would have been selected sooner in a draft that wasn’t so deep at his position. In his final two college seasons, Watkins had 136 catches for 2,067 yards and 15 touchdowns. And then he ran a 4.35 at the combine. He definitely has potential. 

Since the draft, Watkins has worked on putting on some muscle and keeping his speed. And now he’s getting a chance to work out with his new quarterback. 

“I just told him I’m going to do what I can to help the team win games,” Watkins said. “I’m just going to be reliable and always be there for him.” 

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Eagles bringing back receiver Marcus Green

Eagles bringing back receiver Marcus Green

The Eagles are bringing back wide receiver Marcus Green, who spent last season on their practice squad, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Green, 23, was among four Eagles released a week and a half ago. And now he’s coming back. NFL Network first reported the news.   

Green (5-8, 191) was a Falcons 6th-round pick out of Louisiana-Monroe last year. After he was waived at final cuts, Green joined the Eagles in early September and spent the entire 2019 season on the Birds’ practice squad. 

In four years at Louisiana-Monroe, Green caught 202 passes for 2,698 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also had 51 rushing attempts for 492 yards (9.6) and 1 touchdown. He also returned kicks and punts in college. He’s less of a pure receiver and more of a playmaker. 

With Green back, the Eagles have a full roster at 80, although that includes Brandon Brooks and Alshon Jeffery who are both on Active/PUP and are not healthy enough to practice. That 80 does not include Matt Leo who has an International exemption. 

Still, the Eagles are at the 80-man limit to keep them from going split-squad at practices. The Eagles are still in the Acclimatization Period of their collectively bargained training camp. They won’t hold non-padded practices until Aug. 12 and the first padded practice won’t be until Aug. 17. 

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Eagles' Fletcher Cox keeps getting better and it's scary

Eagles' Fletcher Cox keeps getting better and it's scary

He’s going into Year 9 now, he’s made five straight Pro Bowls, and he’s at the point now where some veterans just coast through the rest of their career and pile up the honors and pocket millions of dollars and are OK with just being OK.

Not Fletcher Cox.

This guy will never be content.

“I just want to get better at everything,” Cox said Wednesday.

There’s a lot to admire about Cox. The intensity he plays with. The way he attacks practice. The ferocious physical nature of his game that rubs off on the rest of the team. The team-first mentality that’s built into his personality.

And there’s an impossibly high standard he’s constantly trying to live up to, a standard that drives him no matter how many honors he gets, no matter how many sacks he records.

The great ones all share that trait. Whether it was Reggie White, Seth Joyner or Eric Allen, they all had that burning determination to be even better, that refusal to be content with where they’re at as players.

And that’s the company Cox is in. One of the best in Eagles history. 

If you’re a young player or any player really and you see the highest-paid or most-honored players working their ass off every day, you’re going to follow in line.

That's what leadership really is. Not all that rah-rah stuff. It's setting an example for the people around you.  

That’s why veterans who mail it in are so damaging to any team. 

Because young guys are always going to follow the lead of the established veterans, and if those guys are taking shortcuts and not fully committed, that’s when you get disasters like the 2011 Dream Team.

Cox was at work at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday, self-scouting, watching tape of himself, and that’s all he could think about.

The plays he didn’t make.

I was watching film yesterday, we were all in there, and I saw some things I can get better at, and I’ve got to work on those things during training camp,” he said. “I feel like if I can get off of blocks [better], there are three or four or five [more] sacks out there for me. When you look at it on tape, man, if I would have gotten off a second sooner it’s a sack. Just little things like that. But not only me getting better but the whole group getting better.

Think about Cox’s career.

He’s got 48 sacks in eight seasons despite dealing with constant double teams. And he stuffs the run as well as anybody in the game.

And for a lot of his years here, he’s been a one-man wrecking crew. 

The Eagles haven’t had a double-digit edge rusher since Cox was drafted, although Brandon Graham has been close a couple times. 

And the defensive tackles he’s played next to the most — Bennie Logan, Timmy Jernigan, Cullen Jenkins, Haloti Ngata, Beau Allen, Derek Landri and Isaac Sopoaga — have all been either average, injured, disappointing or washed up. 

He’s never had the benefit of elite talent around him. 

In fact, the only Pro Bowlers Cox has ever taken the field with here are Malcolm Jenkins in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and Connor Barwin in 2014.

Reggie had Jerome, Seth, Clyde, Byron Evans, Wes and Andre and Eric Allen around him.

Cox has carried this defense for almost a decade. 

And all he talks about is getting better.

Last year wasn’t Cox’s best year. He spent the offseason rehabbing the toe injury he suffered in the Saints playoff game and wasn’t really himself until the last month or so.

He still made his fifth straight Pro Bowl just because he’s that good.

But this offseason, he was able to get back to his normal offseason routine, and now he has a healthy Malik Jackson and newly acquired Javon Hargrave next to him, more interior talent than he’s ever seen.

If there is football this fall, the NFL is going to see a Hall of Fame talent wearing No. 91 for the Eagles.

A healthy, motivated, driven Fletcher Cox is scary news for opposing offenses. 

We're lucky to have him.

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