“I think it’s funny, personally,” said Maclin. “The only people that really understand what happened on that play are the people that are down on that football field. It wasn’t like I was easing off because I didn’t want to get hit, I thought I couldn’t make the catch on the ball so I was bracing myself for the hit. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
The play happened early in the third quarter. On first down Nick Foles targeted Maclin, who had Dallas safety Gerald Sensabaugh bearing down on him. Maclin appeared to cut off his route and prepared to absorb the hit.
“He saw Sensabaugh sitting there in the safety position, and he didn’t want any part of it,” Aikman said. “He knew it was going to be a big-time collision had he continued to go in and make a play on that ball, and he just said ‘No thank you.’”
Maclin had the 44-yard touchdown catch later in the drive.
Here are some still shots from the All-22 film:
Maclin injured his back after being flipped earlier in the game and had to leave the field briefly. He said that was not connected with the play in question.
“It has nothing to do with that,” said Maclin. “It was just the course of the play. I was taking a different angle, the ball is on a different angle. Simple as that.”
The ball looks catchable on film, hence why Maclin has been catching flak this week. To his point, though, it’s impossible to know what the actual angles were unless you were right there. It may very well have not looked like an uncatchable ball from his vantage point.
“So at the end of the day, if you want to call that soft or scared, so be it,” he said. “But anybody who understands, who has been here, I have gone across the middle and have gotten hit plenty of times and made plays, simple as that.”
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.