Watkins embraces patience, hopes his time will come

Watkins embraces patience, hopes his time will come

Even before the start of the 2022 season, Quez Watkins was striving to be a more patient person.

Watkins is 24 now.

He’s no longer the young kid the Eagles drafted in the sixth round of Southern Miss in 2020. He’s really noticed the difference in his patience during this training camp, both on and off the court.

“It’s traffic, it’s life, it’s waiting for someone to bring your food,” Watkins said Friday. “If you’re in a restaurant and the waitress takes forever to come see you, take that as an example. I grow as a human being.

This newfound patience is certainly serving him well this season on the pitch.

Because in the four weeks of the season, Watkins has only been targeted 4 times and has just 2 catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. And both of those catches came in the Vikings game.

Last season in four games, Watkins already had 14 targets, 10 catches and 219 yards. And at the end of the season, he was clearly the Eagles’ second receiver after DeVonta Smith.

This year, things are a little different. During the offseason, the Eagles added AJ Brown and Zach Pascal. Watkins is still the No. 3 receiver, but he’s losing snaps, targets and production.

But he tries his best not to be frustrated by it all.

“Honestly, I’m just trying to be humble, to be patient, knowing my time is coming,” Watkins said. “And if he comes, be prepared. I try not to dwell on not having the ball because when he arrives and I don’t capitalize, it’s on me. So I always try to be ready.

In four games, Watkins has played 166 snaps (49%) but has fewer targets than Brown (38), Smith (27), Dallas Goedert (20), Miles Sanders (9), Kenny Gainwell (8) and Pascal (7 ) .

Despite this, Watkins still feels like his presence makes a difference. He has that 4.35 speed that earned him the nickname Fast Batman and that threat is something defenses need to worry about. It helps his teammates open up.

This is how Watkins manages to stay mentally focused during a game when the ball isn’t coming his way.

“Just feed boys,” Watkins said. “If Smitty catches, shoots, I feel like I caught. Embrace them and try to keep having good energy.

The need for patience is something Pascal knows well. The former Old Dominion UDFA has put up decent stats in his career, but never as the best option on an NFL team. So there were times when he was featured in game plans and there were times when he was kind of forgotten as an afterthought.

Pascal, 27, agreed it can be a learning process for young players to gain that patience.

“I think so,” he said. “Because coming from college, everyone here was probably the man doing their thing. And now you get to a professional level where everyone is good. So now you just have to get yours when you can. Just keep staying ready, keep being ready, and keep helping everyone get better.

Not too long ago, Watkins was hailed at the Eagles’ year-end press conference in January, when Nick Sirainni called him their second wide receiver. Watkins’ opportunities have dwindled since then, but he seems to be handling them with impressive maturity.

Of course, the undefeated record doesn’t hurt.

But Watkins is doing everything he can to stay ready, including working extra hard with Jalen Hurts to keep their connection strong. He believes his day is coming and he will soon be wearing this Batman cape on the sidelines.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Watkins said. “I’m waiting for him.”

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