“Mac’s doing fantastic,” said Chip Kelly. “[Last year] I was really excited about how he would fit into what we do because of what he can do. But having him out there full speed running around right now, he’s doing a really good job.”
After releasing both DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant, the Eagles lost more than 40 percent of last year’s receiving yards and more than 34 percent of their receiving touchdowns. Maclin will play a big role in filling the void those two left behind after watching the offense break a plethora of franchise records.
“He’s going to be a huge part of this offense,” Nick Foles said.
But after sitting out the entire season, Maclin faces a bit of a learning curve having never played a game in Kelly’s offense. Although he has the playbook down pat, he needs to be comfortable with more than just the terminology and mechanics of the offense.
“It’s different,” Maclin said. “Obviously you don’t know what you’re getting into until you actually get on the football field. Once you get the thinking part down, then you can just react and that’s when you get comfortable in the offense.”
Part of that comfort level hinges on his chemistry with Foles. Although the two only connected 37 times in the 2012 season, Foles is content with their chemistry at this point. And with another contract season on the brink, Maclin seems more interested in topping last year’s first-round playoff exit than reaching his first 1,000-yard season.
“To consider it the best year of my career is to help this team win,” he said. “I want to get farther than what we got last year and I plan on being a big part of this offense. If we have the success I think we can have and get to where I think we can get to, the stats will come.”
Josh is a student at American University. He is interning at Philly Mag for the summer. Please welcome him to the Birds 24/7 family.