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Eagles' Kelly brings change, new opportunity

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Even though Andy Reid was the guy who drafted him, nobody seems happier with the coaching change in Philadelphia than guard Danny Watkins.

Watkins, the team's first-round pick in 2011, struggled under former offensive line coach Howard Mudd.

While many of the Eagles' other offensive linemen, including left tackle Jason Peters and center Jason Kelce, blossomed under Mudd, Watkins had problems learning Mudd's unorthodox pass-set and didn't react well to his tough-love coaching. The Eagles' new offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland, who never has coached in the NFL before, already has established a rapport with Watkins.

Said Watkins: "I think we just feed off each other's enthusiasm. He always makes time for me. If he's in a meeting with coach (Kelly), he'll make a point of shooting me a quick text saying, 'Hey, meet me at this time. We'll meet in the morning and in the afternoon and after practice.' It's good that I have that ability (to do that). He's the kind of guy you want to work for. You don't look at him like he's your boss."

Asked about Mudd, Watkins said, "That's done and over with. That was the old era. (Stoutland) has a different style of coaching (than Mudd). And I think a lot of players respond better to that. It's not the old-school traditional way. The way he's doing it, I like it."

There is very little old school about Kelly and his regime, which is apparent even in something as tangible as energy level.

Kelly is also big on science and nutrition. That has been evident at the team's pre-draft minicamp this week.

As players come off the practice field at the NovaCare Complex, there are personalized protein recovery shakes and fruit waiting for them on tables on the way to the locker room.

Players have been wearing heart monitors during practice and sleep monitors at home.

"It's like he came in and overhauled the building," said Watkins. "Actually, he did take the doors off in some rooms. He's changed everything. Strength and conditioning (is different). Nutrition. How we recover. And the major stuff. The offense and how we're running things out here."
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