NFC East Notes: Watkins, Linehan, Orton

The Eagles have concluded their OTA period, and Jimmy Kempski of has highlighted five players who impressed during spring practices. Among those who left a good impression were Arrelious Benn and Darren Sproles. Benn has an uphill battle for one of the roster spots at receiver, and his injury history hurts has chances, but he looks to have recovered from the ACL injury that caused him to miss all of 2013. Sproles however looks custom fit for the Chip Kelly offense, and could be dangerous in the passing game.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC East:

  • Fourth-round pick Jaylen Watkins has wowed the Eagles‘ coaching staff with his football IQ, especially defensive backs coach John Lovett, reports Jake Kaplan of Watkins, who played corner and safety at Florida, has been tasked with learning both cornerback and nickelback in the new defense, even though he is only a rookie. “When you talk to him about his defense at Florida, he knew what everybody did,” Lovett said. “I talked to the defensive coordinator [D.J. Durkin] down there. They put him in at positions that he hadn’t even practiced that week because he knew what everybody was doing. He’s really got a great football IQ.”
  • Scott Linehan will be running the show for the Cowboys‘ offense in 2013, and that should mean a lot of throwing the football, writes Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. In three years with the Lions, Matthew Stafford averaged 42 pass attempts per game under Linehan. Tony Romo averaged only 36 last year.
  • Although Cowboys backup Kyle Orton has already accrued over $150,000 in fines and de-escalators for the time he has missed, but Todd Archer of still believes the veteran quarterback will return to the team and play out the season. Archer predicts Orton could skip the first week of training camp, before reporting around July 27th of 28th.
  • Redskins‘ outside linebacker coach Brian Baker has been working hard to teach fundamentals to his position group, writes John Keim of He also worked on tackling drills during special teams, and the teams has put a special emphasis on that phase of the game, using all their coaches’ skills to benefit their special teams.
  • The Giants have also concluded their OTAs, so Jordan Raanan and Connor Orr of have put together their best guess at the depth chart. A lot can happen during training camp and the preseason, but they have penciled in a presumed lineup for the upcoming season.
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