FOXBORO — Following Friday night’s game in Chicago, Jeremy Maclin was asked for his thoughts on squaring off against Darrelle Revis this week.
“He’s one of the best. One of the best to ever play,” he said. “I’m excited about that. Another opportunity to get better, another opportunity to go up against one of the best, and I think I’m ready for it.”
Maclin got more than his fair share of work against the five-time Pro Bowler during Tuesday’s joint session with the Patriots on the practice fields just outside Gillette Stadium, and acquitted himself fairly well.
“He was on my side the whole time. We had some pretty good battles today. It was pretty fun,” said Maclin.
Revis was flagged at least once for interference during team drills while covering Maclin. He also gave up a 40-yard touchdown to him, though to be fair, Revis stopped running full speed about halfway through the play, allowing Maclin to run free.
“I’ve been doing this for a while,” said Revis. “Sometimes you do that and sometimes you don’t. It depends on how everything is going. Even though I’m not maybe running that fast, they’re reps and I know what I need to do during that play.”
Nick Foles challenged the standout corner later in the practice on a long pass down the right side to Maclin, who had maybe a half-step on Revis. The ball was slightly overthrown and glanced off Maclin’s fingertips. Maclin didn’t light the world on fire against him but scored a few victories on the day. Most importantly, he looked healthy and was moving without restriction.
“It gives us some fresh faces to go against and kind of see where we are,” said Maclin. “They are obviously a great organization, they’re good year in and year out, and I think we came out there and competed today.”
While Revis spent most of his day with Maclin, he did get a chance to check in with his old buddy LeSean McCoy.
“Just saying what’s up with him. He broke one out and I told him I’d track him down,” said Revis, drawing laughs. “That might have been a foot race because he’s so fast. He’s a Pitt grad, we went to the same school, so it was good to see him.”
Williams keeps his hands to himself
Wouldn’t you know it, Cary Williams was first in line when one-on-ones between the Eagles and Pats got underway Tuesday. He drew Kenbrell Thompkins and stuck tight to the receiver, forcing the incompletion. Later, he broke up a Tom Brady pass intended for Bryan Tyms. Body language suggested he was very pleased with these outcomes.
“Employee 26” didn’t throw any haymakers today but still played with an edge. He was beat by Thompkins down the left sideline during team drills. He showed his disappointment by giving the receiver a shove as he tried to get off the ground. Hey, nobody said he had to be buddy-buddy with these guys.
A reporter jokingly asked if he would be saying hi to Bill Belichick this week.
“I’m not going to say hi to nobody,” he replied. “I don’t know him like that.”
Sights and sounds
The love for Tom Brady is out of control.
An estimated 25,000 fans showed up for Tuesday’s practice. You can get up close to the action here, especially near the back of the end zone. There is a yellow rope that spectators stand behind maybe 10 yards from the playing field. At one point Tuesday the Patriots quarterbacks were working very close to this section. I can’t tell you the number of times the phrase, “I love you, Tom!” was uttered. And that was just from the dudes. The crowd goes nuts every time he touches the ball. He even got cheers when he pulled the ball down and started jogging after he was unable to find an open receiver.
Can’t say I was totally shocked. What I wasn’t expecting was the next-level heckling backup Ryan Mallett was getting. I think part of his problem is that Brady does everything so well, Mallett has a tough time shining in comparison.
“You’re standing right next to [Brady]! How can you not learn anything!” said one fan.
“See, that’s why you have no trade value!” yelled another following an incomplete pass.
A third one cried out as a receiver was lining up during one-on-ones with Mallett at the helm: “Get ready to not catch anything!”
With the Eagles now at NovaCare for most of training camp, you forget what it’s like to have a hard-core fan base wrapped around the proceedings. It definitely adds to the experience . Unless, of course, you’re Ryan Mallett.
Riley Cooper did some individual work but did not compete in team drills. Ifeanyi Momah, Brad Smith and Maclin made up the first-team receiving corps. Nolan Carroll (hamstring/groin) and Chris Polk (hamstring) continue to sit out.