RB, WR, TE Review: Maclin’s Future With the Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy MaclinHere’s a review of how the Eagles running backs, wide receivers and tight ends performed against the Redskins on Sunday:

LeSean McCoy – He suffered the concussion late in the game. Prior to that, McCoy carried 15 times for 45 yards. But he had his most effective game in a long time as a receiver with six catches for 67 yards. The Eagles had a perfect call as he took a screen 20 yards in the first. Two plays later, they ran a fake wide-receiver screen and then came back to McCoy for 25 yards. He has to do a better job of taking care of the football. McCoy now has four fumbles on the season. He had three total in 2010 and 2011 combined. Ups and downs as a blocker. Good blitz pickup on Nick Foles’ first interception. And again on Foles’ 21-yard completion to Damaris Johnson in the second. Poor job picking up linebacker Keenan Robinson on Foles’ second interception. McCoy blocked Ryan Kerrigan to the ground in pass protection in the fourth. But there were issues. The Redskins showed blitz on 3rd-and-9 in the red zone, but only rushed four. That left McCoy on Kerrigan one-on-one, and he gave up a sack/forced fumble. He could not hold his block on third down in the fourth as Foles was forced to scramble and throw the ball away. It looked like McCoy was in position to help Dallas Reynolds after Barry Cofield went right around him, but he didn’t get there, and Foles took a huge hit.

Bryce Brown – If McCoy’s out, he figures to be the primary back. Brown ran five times for 35 yards against the Redskins. He had a nice 13-yard run to the right side in the second and later broke a couple tackles for an 18-yard run (but Jeremy Maclin was called for holding). In his last three games, Brown has carried 12 times for 85 yards (7.1 YPC). He’s getting better as the season’s going on, which makes sense, considering how little he’d played in the past couple of years.

Stanley Havili – A 9-yard catch and run in the first. That was it.

DeSean Jackson – The Eagles had no success getting him the football. Jackson had two catches for 5 yards, and those both came on wide receiver screens. It looked like he might have had a chance at a big play down the right sideline, but Foles’ pass floated out of bounds. Foles looked for him deep against a blitz in the fourth, but Jackson was covered. He did a horrible job as a blocker on one play, not even attempting to block Brandon Meriweather on McCoy’s run that was stopped after a 1-yard gain in the second.

Jeremy Maclin – Zero catches on two targets. We’ll need to wait for the All-22 to see if he was open and just not getting the ball. Decent block on the WR screen to Riley Cooper that picked up 15 in the first. He was called for holding on Brown’s 18-yard run in the second. And Maclin took a big hit on an ill-advised Foles throw in the fourth.

But with Maclin, the bigger picture is intriguing. He’s only signed through the 2013 season and then is scheduled to become a free agent. The new coach is going to determine the Eagles’ identity on offense. Maybe he’ll decide to go to more two tight end looks. Maybe he’ll want to run the ball more. Maybe he’ll decide the Eagles need a bigger, physical receiver to complement Jackson. Or maybe he’ll see a lot of untapped potential in Maclin. We just don’t know. The Eagles could let Maclin play out his contract and decide what to do with him after 2013. They could sign him to an extension this offseason. Or they could at least see what kind of interest there might be in Maclin for a possible trade. Unless the Eagles extend him this offseason, it makes sense for them to consider using an early draft pick on a wide receiver in April.

Riley Cooper – He finished with five catches for 61 yards. Cooper picked up 15 yards on a WR screen on third down in the first. He also had a 23-yard catch and run in the first, but dropped a 10-yard out in the fourth. Good effort as a blocker on the 20-yard screen to McCoy in the second.

Damaris Johnson – His lone catch was a 21-yarder on 3rd-and-17 in the second. Terrible job as a blocker, allowing DeAngelo Hall to go right past him and drop McCoy for a 5-yard loss in the fourth. Johnson had a 16-yard punt return, one of his best of the year.

Brent Celek – Drops continue to be an issue. Celek had the ball bounce off his hands on the interception in the first. And he had another drop on 3rd-and-5 in the second. On the season, Celek’s got seven drops, tied for fourth-most in the league, per STATS, Inc. He did a good job as a blocker on the 8-yard screen to Jackson. But Celek did a poor job on linebacker Rob Jackson on a McCoy run that was stopped after a 2-yard gain.

Clay Harbor – He didn’t exactly seize the opportunity either. Harbor had two drops and one catch for -1 yards. It’s tough to know what his responsibility was, but Harbor was the only player who had a chance of blocking Hall on the bootleg to open the game, and he was late getting to the cornerback. He gave good effort as a blocker on Brown’s 5-yard run in the first. And Harbor delivered a good block on Kerrigan on Brown’s 13-yard run in the first. Foles targeted him on a bootleg in the second, and it looked like Harbor was open. Either he tripped, or Foles just misfired.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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