|Eagles G Jake Scott was sitting on his sofa a few weeks ago. Today he's starting along with a few other players who didn't think they would be playing with the first team. (US Presswire)|
Three weeks ago, Jake Scott was sitting on his sofa watching NFL games, half-convinced his own career was over. Four weeks ago, Dennis Kelly hadn't played a single snap at right tackle in his life, and it appeared his rookie season would be spent buried on the bench. A little more than two months ago, Dallas Reynolds had never started an NFL game in his life and had spent the previous two seasons on the practice squad.
That motley crew is now part of the Eagles' starting offensive line, a unit that struggled for most of the season as it tried to overcome injuries to four of the starting five positions, but also a unit that played much better in Sunday's 38-31 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
One big name is missing from that lineup, however -- Danny Watkins, a first-round pick last season, has lost his starting job at right guard to Scott, which became official on Wednesday when the Eagles released their new weekly depth chart. Watkins was sidelined for a while with an ankle injury, but he's healthy now and coach Andy Reid has opted to stay with Scott, a nine-veteran who was out of work until the Eagles signed him on Nov. 12.
“The way the offensive line played was a positive, so I'm sticking with that group,'' Reid said on Wednesday. “They're playing well together.”
Kelly said the steady play of Scott is a big reason why the Eagles played so much better against Dallas, a game in which quarterback Nick Foles was sacked just once and the running game averaged 7.0 yards per carry.
“He's been in the league a long time and he's seen just about everything, so we're naturally going to look to him,'' Kelly said. “He does a great job helping me keep things in perspective. A lot of times he'll remind me not to worry about things outside my responsibility and don't try to do too much.''
But Scott laughed when he was told that the younger players look to him for advice.
“Heck, they've helped me more than I've helped them,'' he said. “Those guys are young, but they've been in this system a lot longer than I have and things come more naturally to them.
“So, it's been a nice give and take and I think the whole team has benefitted. I can help those guys because of my experience in the league and they can help me because of their experience in this system. It's been a good combination.”
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the Philadelphia Eagles from blogger Kevin Noonan, follow@CBSEagles.