Watkins embracing patience, trusts his time will come


Even before the 2022 season began, Quez Watkins was working to be a more patient person.

Watkins is 24 now.

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

“It’s traffic, it’s life, it’s waiting on somebody to bring your food out,” Watkins said on Friday. “If you’re at a restaurant and the waitress is taking forever to come check on you, just use that as an example. I’m growing as a human being.”

That newfound patience is definitely serving him well this season on the field.

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

Last season through four games, Watkins already had 14 targets, 10 catches and 219 yards. And by the end of the season, he was the Eagles’ clear No. 2 receiver after DeVonta Smith.

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

But he’s trying his best not to get frustrated by any of that.

“Honestly, just trying to stay humble, be patient, knowing that my time is going to come,” Watkins said. “And if it comes, be prepared. I try not to dwell on not getting the ball because when it does come and I don’t capitalize, it’s on me. So I just always try to be ready.”

Through 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 that, 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 have to worry about. That helps his teammates get open.

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

“Just feed off the boys,” Watkins said. “If Smitty makes a catch, shoot, I feel like I made a catch. Embrace them and try to continue to have good energy.”

The need for patience is something Pascal knows well. The former UDFA from Old Dominion has put up some decent stats in his career but never as a top option on an NFL team. So there are times when he’s been featured in game plans and there have been times when he’s somewhat of an afterthought.

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

“I think so,” he said. “Because coming from college, everybody in here was probably the man, doing they thing. And now you come to a professional level where everybody is good. So now you’ve gotta just get yours when you can. Just continuing to stay ready, continuing to be ready and continuing to help everybody get better.”

It wasn’t that long ago that Watkins was being praised in the Eagles’ year-end press conference in January, when Nick Sirainni called him their No. 2 receiver. Watkins’ opportunities have dipped since then but he seems to be handling it with impressive maturity.

Sure, the undefeated record doesn’t hurt.

But Watkins is doing all he can to stay ready, including some extra work with Jalen Hurts to keep their connection strong. He believes that his day is coming and he’ll soon wear that Batman cape on the sideline.

“I’m definitely looking forward,” Watkins said. “I’m waiting on it.”

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