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Eagles have revamped their offensive line
Watkins took all the reps with the first team throughout training camp and the preseason until Wednesday. DeVan started 21 games at guard for the Colts the last two seasons. He’s the fifth right guard the Eagles have used since former All-Pro Shawn Andrews got hurt in 2008.
“The obvious with DeVan is he started a few years there for Howard and the Colts, and did a nice job for them, was the starting guard on the Super Bowl team,” Reid said. “He knows Howard’s system, which we’re using right now, so that’s a positive thing. It gives us another good offensive lineman.”
“You’ve got to remember with Danny now, and this is an important thing here with him, is that when you move from the college to the pros, that’s a tough deal,” Reid said. “When you move from tackle to guard, that’s another tough deal, and when you move from the left side to the right side, that’s another tough deal and then you add onto it missing part of camp. So he’s been playing a catch-up game all the way through here.
“Even though he’s a little bit older, he’s still a rookie. He’s working his tail off and I’m proud of him for how he’s handled things and he’ll do nothing but continue to get better.”
It won’t be easy for the new linemen in the first two games playing on the road in domes where the noise is louder than usual and they can have difficulty hearing the snap counts.
“I think you just have to keep it simple for the guys and keep them upbeat and confident,” he said. “Experience is the best teacher, and that’s what they’re going to get right now. So we’re going to bear with them and keep them confident. We’ll be able to make that happen.”
NOTES: Special teams coordinator Bobby April said wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will return punts, and rookie Dion Lewis and Ronnie Brown will handle kickoffs. Jackson is a Pro Bowl returner, but there was some thought he wouldn’t return punts this season because he’s somewhat fragile and he’s also in the final year of a contract. “He always wants the ball in his hands,” April said. “And certainly he’s had so much success over high school, college, and the NFL returning kicks, you know, that’s really just a part of his play.”
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