Rhodes is also the reason why Irving Fryar, another former Dolphin, signed with the Eagles as a free agent in March. The 34-year-old wideout has 15 catches for 259 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games. It was Fryar's pretty 42-yard slant in the first quarter that set up the Eagles' first score, a three-yard punch-in by running back Ricky Watters. Watters, who won a Super Bowl ring with Rhodes in San Francisco, was one of Rhodes's first free-agent acquisitions a year ago, and he's now the NFC's second-leading rusher, with 782 yards and seven TDs. "If there was no Ray Rhodes in Philly, there'd be no Ricky Watters," says Watters. "He's no trophy-piece coach, he's a fighter."
Watters nearly found that out the hard way on Sunday. With Carolina stacking up to seven defenders between the tackles, Rhodes had to abandon his running game almost immediately, which clearly agitated Watters. After throwing a towel and snapping at his teammates, Watters started whining to Rhodes. The coach took him by the elbow and calmly, yet firmly, explained the situation. Watters then reentered the game, dutifully serving as an extra backfield blocker without further incident. And Rhodes returned to his usual stance. Jaw locked, head bowed, he was ready to mow down the next challenge.
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