Eagles Wake-Up Call: On Maclin And Foles
Jeremy Maclin made a pretty bold statement following the Eagles’ last-second win over the Tampa Bay Bucs back in December of 2012.
“You guys are seeing Nick Foles grow into a phenomenal quarterback right in front of your eyes,” he said.
It was a memorable scene in the bowels of Raymond James Stadium post game. The Eagles, nearing the end of a slow, painful march to the conclusion of the Andy Reid era, had been mired in an eight-game losing streak. Injuries had totally decimated the team. Morale was at an all-time low. They desperately needed something to feel good about, and got it in the form of a walk-off win when Foles found Maclin in the end zone as time expired.
(Warning: the guy videotaping this is more excited than the players.)
It allowed for release. You can forgive them if they got a little carried away. But why such high praise for the rookie, who was 1-3 at the time? What did Maclin see?
“Just a guy that is very, very poised. A guy who didn’t get rattled very easily. He continued to grow each game that year. That’s kind of what I saw from him,” said Maclin. “Unfortunately I think there was one point in time I looked on the field and I think I was the only opening-day starter on the field. But I thought Nick grew every week and I thought he had the physical tools to do everything on the field that a quarterback can do and I knew he had the mindset that he wanted to be one of the best there is. I think when you combine those two things, sky is the limit.”
Does Foles remember that vote of confidence?
“Moreso I remember the last play of the game,” he said. “Getting him the ball and him getting his feet down and making a tremendous grab. That play with Mac, it was huge because I knew at that time that I had a guy that I could throw the ball up to and he would go get it.”
Foles and Maclin are getting ready to play meaningful ball together for the first time since the end of the ’12 campaign. Things have changed quite a bit since then. New coach, new system, newly-constructed knee for Maclin. The receiver was recently taken off the team’s treatment list, he said, and doesn’t anticipate any chemistry issues with his QB.
“I don’t think it was starting over. You use what you have done in the past to your advantage and build on it. I think him and I have gotten on the same page,” said Maclin. “There was a play [this week in practice] where if we didn’t know each other it wouldn’t have happened. It’s just about growing each and every day and trusting each other.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
The Eagles are entering Sunday’s game in pretty good health.
Our season predictions series continues with a look at the pass rush.
“I’m 26, I’m young. There’s gonna be times where players [say], ‘I wish I could have did this better. I wish I could have done this, done that.’ And I don’t want to be one of them guys.” LeSean McCoy knows that his peak is now. Sheil has more.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jeff McLane writes that Marcus Smith may be inactive Sunday.
Eagles defensive coordinator Bill Davis said Wednesday that rookie linebacker Marcus Smith would play a “limited” amount in the season opener on Sunday.
But Smith said a day later that he wouldn’t be surprised if “limited” turned into “inactive.” The Eagles can’t dress seven from their 53-man roster against the Jaguars and the numbers may not be in the top draft pick’s favor.
“I want to get out there and be able to play right away, but I know it may not be my time yet,” Smith said. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs, but this whole week I’ve been practicing really well.”
The coaches are heaping praise on Nate Allen. From Geoff Mosher:
While guys like Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and Vinny Curry are more often mentioned as 2014 breakout candidates, Allen’s name should get tossed into the mix. On Thursday, head coach Chip Kelly echoed Davis’s sentiment on Allen’s resiliency.
“The one thing I love about Nate, I’ve seen the same Nate since the first day we’ve been here till today,” Kelly said. “He’s got a great demeanor about himself. He’s one of those guys you can just label professional. He comes here every single day just trying to get better.
“Nate’s not a guy that has bad days. Sometimes you see a guy walking down the hall and all of a sudden their shoulders are slumped or something is bothering them or whatever. Nate’s not that type of guy. He’s coming here every single day with a mindset that he’s gonna get better and I’ve seen that from him.
We have an in-depth feature on Mychal Kendricks coming your way, as well as some season predictions.