Watkins expects cadre of backers as Eagles visit Seattle

Posted: November 30, 2011

EAGLES first-round rookie guard Danny Watkins hoped his homecoming to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow would be more celebratory than simply pleasant. He hoped the Birds would be among the NFL's best when they visited Seattle.

Instead, the "Dream Team" Eagles are 4-7 and virtually out of the playoff hunt. That will not faze the contingent of Canadians who will cross the border from Kelowna, British Columbia, a city of about 100,000 that lies 300 miles northeast of Seattle.

Watkins was a part-time firefighter there for 5 years before he found football at the late age of 21.

"I know I've got 65 guys from the fire hall coming," said Watkins.

Does he expect 100 supporters? More?

"Oh, yeah," Watkins said.

Watkins acknowledges his season and the Eagles' season have not been what was expected.

Watkins was anointed the starter in training camp, but lost the spot until Game 5. Then, he struggled, another balky cog in the Eagles machine.

His BC buddies have always been in his corner. Four firefighters even visited for the Bears game Nov. 7, which the Eagles lost.

They're all hoping for a better show tomorrow.

Schmitt's sneer

Owen Schmitt landed in Philadelphia last year embittered and angry.

Schmitt returns to Seattle in much the same mood. He played in 30 games in 2008 and 2009, but the Seahawks cut Schmitt out of training camp in 2010, because new coach Pete Carroll's system does not employ a conventional fullback.

"Not that I haven't been playing hard, but I'm sure there will be a little animosity built up a little bit," Schmitt said. "It was a scheme thing. Everybody's got their way of doing things."

The Seahawks have gone 11-16 under Carroll and stand at 4-7 this season. The offense is the worst in the NFC. Does that make Schmitt feel better?

"Nah. After I was done there, it was all Eagles," Schmitt said. "So I haven't worried about it too much."

Until this week.