Jeff Stoutland spent the past two seasons coaching college football’s best offensive line, a group so good that some have even quipped that the Crimson Tide’s unit could out muscle some of the current pro ensembles.
While that’s probably a stretch, Stoutland’s hiring is viewed by most as a crucially important addition as the Eagles look to sure up the offensive line.
The return of injured starters Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Todd Herremans will certainly help, but the Eagles would also get a huge boost with better play out of 2011 first-round pick Danny Watkins.
Watkins has been nothing short of a bust in his first two seasons in Philadelphia. After a slow start as a rookie it appeared that he was finding his way, but he was a total non-factor in 2012, struggling to establish himself in Howard Mudd’s system.
But Stoutland believes Watkins can turn it around.
“I think Danny’s a winner. He’s very athletic,” Stoutland told reporters. “You look to see they have appropriate size, and that they’re explosive, and that they have athleticism. The guys on the other side of the ball are all athletes. You have to have guys on the offensive line who can compete with that. He has that.”
Watkins may have that, but he hasn’t shown much of it since coming out of Baylor. Whether or not Stoutland’s approach can get through to the third-year guard remains to be seen, but if he can’t do it, then Watkins will likely be out of a job.