When the Philadelphia Eagles report for training camp next week, we are all expecting to join in the “potential” and temper the “expectations” of a season glistening in the horizon. Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin had that horizon pushed forward an entire season, and if anyone can believe that Maclin can not only recover, but also regain the elite level of competitiveness that he had prior to the injury, he can provide that extra element to get Philadelphia over the proverbial hump. One of my more favorite movies of all time is “What About Bob?” with Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss which features Bob Wiley(Murray) irritating his doctor, Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss). Jeremy Maclin needs to follow Dr. Marvin’s book Baby Steps and slowly get acclimated to the new system implemented during Head Coach Chip Kelly’s first season. Maclin and Kelly have never had a regular season, nor a preseason, so pedigree and experience are all relative to the previous regime. In my eyes I fully anticipate Jeremy Maclin to establish himself amongst the upper-echelon of wide receivers along with shining rather than fading (sorry DeSean Jackson) when the spotlight is on him.
“In some ways I feel more fresh, more physically strong. I just think you put so much hard work into your rehab process that that’s kind of what happens. You get that leg back. You build that leg back stronger. So like I said, I’m really looking forward to this year.”
While I would love to point to the 104 yard performance against Tampa Bay or the sole touchdown against Dallas in the “air=guitar” game, I think Jeremy Maclin has clearly proven that he is capable of performing at a solid level against NFL caliber secondaries. The question most Eagles fans would ask is, “Can Jeremy Maclin stay healthy?” rather than asking whether he can produce at a pro-bowl level. The “average” season of Jeremy Maclin is 64 1/2 catches for 863 yards which both rank higher than the number of catches and yards of teammate Riley Cooper in 2013. If quarterback Nick Foles can replicate his accuracy from a season ago Maclin and company will have plenty of opportunities to produce after the catch as well.
Excluding last season, Jeremy Maclin outproduced former teammate DeSean Jackson in catches, yards, and receiving touchdowns. Perhaps what gained him a prove-it contract this off-season was that Jeremy Maclin attended meetings, hit the training room, and provided a personable mentality despite being unable to contribute on the field. Nearly a year removed from his ACL injury, Jeremy Maclin represents a key off-season addition to an already explosive offense with or without DeSean Jackson. With the abundance of youth in the locker room, Maclin has an opportunity to lead by example along with pushing everyone in camp. In a little more than one week, Jeremy Maclin and the rest of the Eagles offense will have a chance to improve upon a dynamic first season under Chip Kelly. Believe it or not, the Eagles have a legitimate replacement for DeSean Jackson and it’s not the hyped rookie receiver Jordan Matthews. Instead, it’s the Missouri alum that has a chance to help get the Eagles back to the playoffs and break their four game losing streak in the post-season.