Scott fills in on Eagles' patchwork O-line
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Just six days after he was signed and just four days after his first practice, Jake Scott started at right guard for the Eagles.
“I don’t think I had many mental errors -- maybe a couple,” he said after Sunday’s 31-6 loss to the Redskins, “but i think I played pretty well for the most part.”
Scott shook off some early false start penalties and played a fairly decent game for an offensive line that continues to be the team’s most unstable position. He became the ninth different lineman to start this year for the Eagles, who started their fifth different offensive line combination in 10 games. Since the 2010 season opener, the Eagles have started 19 different offensive line combinations.
The line might have played slightly better against the Redskins, but the results were largely the same. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles was sacked four times in his NFL starting debut and Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy averaged just three yards per carry and couldn’t break a run longer than nine yards.
“We’ve got to keep working, I guess,” said an exasperated King Dunlap, who started at left tackle for the third different time this season, just one week after starting at right tackle. “That’s all there is to do. We’ve just got to keep getting better.”
The most encouraging signs from the offensive line were an effective screen game -- McCoy piled up 67 yards on six catches, with a good chunk of those yards coming on screens -- and Scott’s ability to hold up for an entire game despite being unemployed for the first 10 weeks of the season.
Scott, 31, had played his past four seasons with the Titans after spending his first four with the Colts.
“It’s impressive to have to do that,” left guard Evan Mathis said of Scott. “We signed him on Monday and he comes in here and starts. I think he played well.”
Scott took the place of right guard Danny Watkins, who missed his fourth straight start as he continues to deal with an ankle injury. Watkins practiced all throughout last week but Friday seemed to hint that the second-year lineman might not play.
After the game, Reid said the team was still concerned about Watkins’ ankle. Strangely, Watkins was active for the game and played on special teams.
Scott, who said he put in extra hours last week with the playbook, said he learned Friday that he would get the start. He hadn’t started since last year’s season finale, when he played for the Titans.
“I felt like I was ready,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been out there if I wasn’t ready. You don’t play if you’re not ready.”
Scott was whistled for three false starts, two of which came on the Eagles’ second possession. The second followed a holding penalty on Dennis Kelly that had negated a 13-yard Bryce Brown gain and then staked the offense into a 1st-and-25 situation.
Two plays laters, Foles was pressured on a 3rd-and-21 pass into traffic that was picked off by safety Brandon Meriweather.
“I just needed to settle down and I did,” Scott said. “From that standpoint it got better.”
Scott said he’d be ready to start Monday night against the Panthers if Watkins is sidelined again. As far as having answers for the team’s six-game losing streak, he remained optimistic but also pragmatic.
He recalled the 2009 season, when he started at right guard for Titans, who opened the season with six consecutive losses but managed to finish 8-8.
“There is no cure. There is no magic formula,” he said. “You show up tomorrow and study the film and make the corrections and you show up on Wednesday and start getting ready for another game. It’s not rocket science. You turn it around with hard work. You don’t turn it around with some magic formula.”E-mail Geoff Mosher at firstname.lastname@example.org