This was Dec. 31, and the Birds had been on the receiving end of a 42-7 pounding from the Giants the day before.
“I think the team unity probably wasn’t there this year,” Maclin said at the time. “I think we’ve got to respect each other. If you respect somebody, you’re more willing to go out there and play for that person or play for a purpose. I think the lack of respect that maybe some guys have for other guys definitely hurt us.
“I’m talking about guys who have been in this league and should understand how to be a pro, I feel like, weren’t acting that way. Period. And that’s all I’m going to say about it. That’s what it was. Guys I felt like should have been pros, have been in this league and understand how things go, wasn’t acting like it.”
Fast-forward about four months to Thursday afternoon. Maclin hosted an event at the Linc where five boys from his foundation surprised their mothers with gifts of appreciation. He also answered a few football-related questions.
The fifth-year wide receiver was asked to revisit his comments and address whether he expected a different environment under Chip Kelly.
“I think it’s going to be [different] because that’s the type of person Chip is,” Maclin said. “Not saying that Coach [Andy] Reid did that, but I don’t think Chip’s going to put up with anybody trying to distance themselves from the team. I think he’s going to run a tight ship.”
Maclin was quick to point out that his intention was not to criticize Reid. But the point was pretty clear. Things were a little too loose last year, and players weren’t held accountable when they let their teammates down.
“To Coach Reid’s defense, I think everything that went on last year, with his son passing, everything going on, also having a rough season, I think, it was just that time,” Maclin said. “But I think Chip’s definitely going to run a tight ship. He’s not going to put up with any BS.”
We’ll find out after next season whether he still feels that way.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Maclin also revealed that Michael Vick is running with the ones. T-Mac has the details.
Former Eagles draft pick Chris Gocong is among the players who will participate in this weekend’s rookie camp on a tryout basis.
In his Twitter Mailbag, Tim addresses the defense under Kelly.
The latest depth chart outlook post looks at the outside linebacker situation.
One scout says Lane Johnson is “not ready for prime time.”
McManus explains why 2013 is a virtual contract year for DeSean Jackson.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post calls the Eagles the most-improved team in the NFC East:
They churned their team as much as any in the NFL, starting with an upheaval of the coaching staff. The hiring of Chip Kelly may have been the boldest coaching hire in the NFL, as he brings a new philosophy to the league from Oregon. Heading up Kelly’s 22-man staff of assistants are former Browns head coach Pat Shurmur (offensive coordinator) and former Cardinals and 49ers defensive coordinator Bill Davis (defensive coordinator). The Eagles also brought in Tom Gamble from the 49ers as vice president of player personnel.
Derek Sarley over at Iggles Blog shares some thoughts on Kelly:
Chip will have his own challenges to solve – number one being that no one’s going to give him a six-man box to whale away at for more than a couple of plays before they change things up. (At the NFL level, every team has enough speed to do more than sit back and hope.)
It’s this realization, I believe, that’s driving Chip’s desire for versatility. He doesn’t need guys who can add “bonus plays” to his regular offense – he needs guys who can force the defense to let him run his regular offense, even when that’s the last thing the defense wants to do.
The Eagles begin rookie camp. Tim and I will be down at NovaCare with the latest.