Foles On Maclin: ‘I Think He’s Better’

Nick Foles

During one portion of 7-on-7’s Tuesday the first-team offense showed a four-receiver look. From left to right it went: Riley Cooper, Josh Huff, Jordan Matthews, Jeremy Maclin. There were different personnel groupings throughout the day but that one stood out, maybe because it contained the receivers on which the most hope is pinned.

On the outside, two veterans that come with both accomplishment and a caveat. Cooper’s is that he has just one truly productive NFL season under his belt. Maclin’s is that he is coming off major knee surgery.

On the inside, a pair of first-year players who will be the exception rather than the rule if they have standout rookie years.

In the middle of it all, a quarterback in Nick Foles who seems just fine with the weapons he is working with — including the green ones.

“I’ve been able to see them out here and watch film of them, and they’re two special players that are doing a great job,” said Foles. “Matthews is a big, physical, athletic guy that is going to I think do really well. I love his attitude. He’s been a great teammate. And then Huff, he’s really built. He’s a fast, physical guy who runs solid routes so I’m excited about what these two do.”

The Eagles need to find a solid third option by September. Arrelious Benn or Brad Smith or another surprise candidate could theoretically be the guy, but there’s a good chance at least one of these rookies will be asked to contribute in a meaningful way. Matthews seems to be the early favorite to start in the slot.

Determining the No. 3 is a significant matter, but not nearly as big as the health and state of their No. 1. How does Maclin look compared to before he got hurt?

“Gut feeling, I think he’s better,” said Foles. “Mac is one of those guys, he doesn’t want to just get back to where he was, he wants to be better. When you go through injuries you have to face adversity, you’re mindset, you have to go through a lot. The way he handled everything last year, he did a great job of it to where he’s got even more strength — whether it’s mindset, wherever — where he can push it even harder. I think he is better than he ever was. Throwing to him on the field and seeing him run and catch, I think he looks great.”

100 Percent Attendance

There doesn’t appear to be many disgruntled players on this team. If there are, they’re showing up anyway.

“We had a hundred percent attendance for everything, including mini‑camps,” said Chip Kelly. 

What does that say?

“We got a bunch of guys that love playing football.” 

 Reynolds returns

The one player that couldn’t be with this team earlier this offseason was safety Ed Reynolds because of the NCAA graduation rules. Classes have since ended at Stanford and the rookie re-joined the team at the tail end of OTAs.

“My head was spinning a little bit last Thursday when I came out here for OTAs but today, definitely picking it up a lot faster, the plays are coming to me a lot faster, adjustments, and then physically being able to run around, it feels good.”

The coaching staff was able to Skype with Reynolds during the time that he missed. Still, he’s behind, and the machine won’t slow down just so he can catch up.

“Our whole premise is we are going to throw him in at the deep end and see if he can swim,” said Kelly.

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  • Dubya

    We just got a bunch of guys that love to play football. Loving that attitude from the team, especially reading about Vernon Davis. A team one play away from another trip to the SB and this guy is already causing issues. It’s his right but for a team with high aspirations it is an unnecessary side story. Hoping for this tranquility to last for a long time under Chip.

  • Eagles1018

    It’s been said before but in theory you need a year to fully come back from a major knee injury like Maclin had. Adrian Peterson is the exception not the rule. So to think he’s gonna come out here and crush it may be slightly far fetched. Now…if he comes out and gives them 70 grabs and 1000 yards I’m happy with it. But that’s asking a lot from a guy one year removed from a torn acl. I’d expect Matthews and Huff to do a little more than what’s expected from a rookie. Not be world beaters but they seem as if they will be a little more productive than your typical rookie WR. Matthews we’ve heard about being so physical and having great hands; and Huff who’s the same and familiar with Chips system.

    • NevadaEagle

      In a month, it will be a year, by season start 13 months…. AP came back in 9 months.. So by your definition, Maclin fits the rule and AP is the exception. That being said, we’ll just have to wait and see – get your popcorn ready.

    • MediaMike

      Getting a thousand yards from Maclin would be crushing it considering that stat plateau has been outside of his level of skill thus far.

      • Eagles1018

        Which is why I said “Now…if he comes out and” basically saying I’d be happy if he did that despite his injury. I’m accounting for his anticipated role as #1 WR and what Kelly has been able to do with his skill players thus far. Btw someone mentioned a few weeks ago to pick up that book “The Tao of Chip Kelly”. Amazing read. I was already impressed now I’m over the top behind his thought process. Especially as a manager in my company. Seriously I’ve implemented some of his theory and mindset with people in my office and they’ve responded for the better.

    • Corey Dawson

      The “year” starts once they’ve been cleared to play, which typically takes 9-12 months post injury, so the return really takes almost 2 years. The first is spent rehabbing the injury, the second is spent reteaching your body to do all the things it spent the last year not doing and getting all the strength back that you lost not being able to work that knee. He’ll be ok this year, but he won’t be full tilt again until next season.

  • EaglefaninAZ

    Read elsewhere today that Villanueva started footballing at WR, then moved to O-Line, then to defense. All in 3 years. He’s also bulked up and is now at 6′ 9″ /277. Really want him to make the team, and if he does, Kelly needs to stick him in as a slot receiver at least once. That could be a whole mess of fun!

    • PaoliBulldog

      Villanueva strikes me as the kind of player who could learn to long snap, also. Hate to get down on Dorenbos, what with the magic and hot wife, but he’s a one trick pony on a roster that features lots of versatile players.

      • Eagles1018

        Tend to agree. Dorenbos is like a legend in Philly where it seems most of the other players are learning to be more “versatile”. We’ll see what happens

        • Sarcasm

          Yeah so is that Nick Foles being able to only play QB and all

          • PaoliBulldog

            How many snaps did Dorenbos play per game?

            28 FGA
            82 punts
            45 XPA

            155 plays all season, so about 10/game.

          • EaglefaninAZ

            I understand your point. I’ve been a Dorenbos fan for quite some time. Long before I knew he was a magician and married some hot chick. I appreciated his consistency for so many years, when the team didn’t really have a lot of consistency going on. If Villanueva gets a long snapper gig, I’m good with that. I will wish Jon the best of luck in his future endeavors. I’m sure that whatever he chooses to do after football, at the very least, he’ll be consistent.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Shouldn’t the opposite of disgruntled be “gruntled?”


  • DoctorRick

    “We got a bunch of guys that love playing football.”

    Glad that includes Sconces, who showed up this year.

  • Mark Schmidt

    I am REALLY looking forward to this season…

  • SoCalEaglesFan

    Maclin is better than what? Better than the mediocrity he’s displayed for five seasons?