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Eagles News: Quez Watkins is staying humble while shining

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 8/27/21.

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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How Quez Watkins went from backup to budding star - NBCSP
What sets Watkins apart is that he was a sixth-round pick, he hasn’t had anything handed to him and he’s kept that long-shot mentality even as he’s secured a roster spot. “I still got to earn my way,” he said. “Every day is an interview, and I keep stacking my days.” The most interesting thing about Watkins’ development is that he’s expanded his game to the point where the coaches are now comfortable putting him in the slot, which allows them to get their three best receivers on the field and gives the Eagles tremendous speed across the board. For a young speed receiver to polish his game to the point where he can flourish in the slot is rare. “I learn how to play small ball when I come to the slot,” he said. “On the outside, I have to become big and use my speed as well. In the slot, I learn how to be shifty.”

A fantasy football guide to the Eagles offense, from Jalen Hurts to Zach Ertz - The Athletic
Quez Watkins: Watkins went from the roster bubble to the starting rotation, and he could be an intriguing sleeper option — especially if Smith or Reagor suffer injuries. (Both players have missed time this summer.) Watkins’ 4.35-second 40-yard dash speed has translated to the field this summer. He has big-play potential and the Eagles like him out of the slot. When everyone is healthy, the targets might not be present. He’s nonetheless an intriguing gamble.

Weapon X Mailbag: Have your Eagles expectations changed since the preseason started? - BGN
I’m a Jalen Hurts believer. He struggled early in camp, but has gotten incrementally better and seems to have had his best practices in the last couple of weeks against legitimate opposing teams, not just the Eagles’ own D. DeVonta Smith will be the most exciting Eagles rookie since DeSean Jackson in 2008. Quez Watkins is blossoming. Sure, I’m an Eagles homer, but I was ready to throw the entire team in the dumpster last September. I call ‘em like I see ‘em. In a normal division, this isn’t a playoff team, but I maintain that this team will have a record above .500 (lots of divisional wins down the stretch) and win the woeful NFC East. I wanted to believe that before this month, but now I actually do.

NFC East Mixtape Vol.19: Checking in with Dallas and Philadelphia - BGN Radio
On this week’s episode, Brandon Lee Gowton and RJ Ochoa focus on all things Cowboys and Eagles. Is the Eagles preseason performance so far a reason to be worried? Is this Dak’s MVP year? And so much more!

2021 NFL Preseason, Week 3: 1 thing to watch for from all 32 teams -
Time to unveil the Jalen Hurts-DeVonta Smith connection. Hurts played the preseason opener without Smith, who was recovering from a knee injury, and Smith played last week without Hurts, who fell ill shortly before a loss to the Patriots. Their familiarity as college teammates at Alabama is nice, but also overblown — their time as full-time starters for the Tide didn’t overlap, and the step up in competition brings a whole new set of challenges anyway. Hurts’ ability to extend plays combined with Smith’s ability to separate should generate some big off-schedule gainers this fall, but that chemistry needs to be built, not dusted off. ... Rookie Jamien Sherwood will get fire-tested this week. Already dealing with a transition from college safety to pro linebacker, he’ll now try to do so in the Jets’ starting unit as the best-option-for-now replacement for injured LB Jarrad Davis, who will be out a couple months. A fifth-round pick in this year’s draft, Sherwood will need all the reps he can get in this one.

NFL first-round pick progress reports: How all 32 rookies performed in training camp, plus outlook for 2021 - ESPN+
10. DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles. Smith was sidelined for a couple of weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee and is just now rounding into form. He had a shaky start to his preseason debut against the Patriots with a couple of uncharacteristic drops before settling in and catching two passes for 19 yards. “I know what I did wrong. I’ve got to focus on catching the ball; that’s all that is, just taking my eyes away too early,” Smith said. “Those are plays I’ve got to make.” When healthy, Smith has been crisp in his route running and silky smooth

Reviewing all 32 first-rounders through NFL preseason Week 2 - PFF
10. WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles53.2 overall | 26 snaps. Smith has been exceptional getting off the line of scrimmage for the Eagles. He’s caught two of his four targets for 19 yards, though he has dropped one pass. Unfortunately, he’s already been dinged up a couple of times in camp, but it has been nothing too serious.

Eagles release Kerryon Johnson off injured reserve - PFT
Field Yates of ESPN reports that Johnson has been released off of the Eagles’ injured reserve list. Johnson was waived with an injury designation when the Eagles trimmed their roster to 85 players last week.

Summer of Soul creates special bond among Eagles players -
As the buses left the team hotel on Tuesday morning for the 15-minute ride to the Jets’ training facility ahead of the first of two joint practices, the conversation at the front of one bus was not about the final week of the preseason or the fast-approaching end of Training Camp. It was about the Summer of Soul. Summer of Soul? Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) is the directorial debut for Philadelphia’s Questlove. The documentary unearthed never-before-seen footage of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival that featured performances by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, The Fifth Dimension, among several other influential Black musicians whose legacies still resonate to this day. Over 300,000 people attended the festival at Mount Morris Park over six weekends from June 29-August 24. Everyone knows about Woodstock, the three-day music extravaganza held that same summer. So why not the Harlem Cultural Festival? Footage from the spectacular display of Black pride and unity was hidden in a basement, nearly lost for eternity.

We should be worried about Washington’s kicking team - Hogs Haven
In any case, I think fans and coaches should be concerned, both about Hopkins and Cheeseman’s preseason performances, and that the team - like several other teams throughout the league did - should have brought in special teams competition this offseason.

Giants preseason Week 3 53-man roster projection - Big Blue View
I have thought about this one a lot, and I watched how the running backs were used VERY CLOSELY during the two practices this week with the New England Patriots. I “think” Brightwell is in and Corey Clement is out. I don’t think the Giants will keep both of them. I also think this is a spot in this projection where I could end up being wrong. Maybe I’m projecting my own distrust of Clement, but I have a hard time believing Joe Judge is going to feel good about giving the ball to a player who has averaged a fumble every 33.3 touches during his career. Clement showed vs. the New York Jets those ball-security issues are alive and not so well.

Kellen Moore: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is no longer on a pitch count - Blogging The Boys
With the opener so close now it stands to reason that the Cowboys are beginning preparations for the regular season. This is obviously the part of the year that counts the most which is what the team was waiting for with regards to QB1. Now that real work has to be done they are ready to get him going fully.

Mike McCarthy Is Making Up for Lost Time With Dak Prescott - The Ringer
The second-year Cowboys coach hasn’t had much time to mesh with his star quarterback. Their relationship will go a long way in determining Dallas’s success in 2021.

Some Bills players are ready to throw away everything because of Covid - SB Nation
McKenzie’s childish glee at getting fined, like an edgy teen proud of being suspended from school, comes two days after there was a Covid outbreak on the Bills. A trainer, who was vaccinated, tested positive for the coronavirus, leading to Vernon Butler, Gabriel Davis, Star Lotulelei, and Cole Beasley being sent home from training camp under the league’s Covid protocols. The Bills are believed to be one of the NFL’s least-vaccinated teams. General manager Brandon Beane said the team passed an 80 percent vaccination threshold, but said Tuesday that he wasn’t sure what the vaccination rate is right now. A curious answer from the general manager of a team that needs only basic math to understand how many players on the roster are vaccinated. The silence from Beane, along with head coach Sean McDermott has been deafening at a time their players are either acting like Covid protocols are a game in McKenzie’s case, or rallying against vaccination like Beasley, who has used a semantic argument that he isn’t “pro of anti vax, but pro choice.”

The Look Ahead #51: Defending Lamar Jackson + Preseason Week 3 Preview - The SB Nation NFL Show
Rob “Stats” Guerrera and RJ Ochoa break down the biggest storyline of the week and tell you what you should be paying attention to this weekend. Why the league won’t “figure out” Lamar Jackson. Is everything hunky dory for the Colts now that Wentz is back? How Zach Wilson continues to fly under the radar. The Titans are having a COVID outbreak. The Rams continue to push their chips all in The 49ers are about to do something incredibly stupid.


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