Eagles' Maclin quietly having a great season

Posted: December 24, 2010

Jeremy Maclin may not be as dramatic as DeSean Jackson. Who is? He may not be as electrifying as Michael Vick. Who is?

But as the Eagles head into Sunday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings, Maclin is playing every bit as well as his receiving counterpart and the Eagles quarterback.

Maybe it's because of his unassuming nature and the flair that Jackson and Vick bring to their games that Maclin sometimes gets overlooked.

"I don't look at it like that," Maclin said. "Whoever you guys decide to write about you guys decide to write about. I have no control over that. The only thing I have control over is helping my team win games. That's the bottom line."

If you consider scoring touchdowns as helping the team win, Maclin has aided the Eagles more than any player except Vick. The quarterback has rushed for eight touchdowns and thrown for 20. Maclin has a team-leading 10 receiving touchdowns and has not gone more than two games all season without getting into the end zone.

"He's having a heck of a year," Eagles offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "Jeremy Maclin is a heck of a football player. . . . He's been a touchdown-maker for us. He can score on the deep plays, and he can also catch and make the quick move. And he's a physical guy."

Maclin is 110 yards shy of reaching 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in his career. He's second on the team with 64 receptions - 10 behind running back LeSean McCoy, but 19 ahead of Jackson - and hasn't missed a game all season.

"Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it," Maclin said of his season thus far. "I'm more pleased with where we're at as a football team, to be honest with you. That's the big, important picture. You can't get caught up in stats or [going to the] Pro Bowl."

The 6-foot, 198-pound Maclin also has become a tireless worker off the field. That is obvious from the physical transformation he made between the end of his rookie season and the start of this season. In addition to getting stronger, he also improved his downfield blocking, delivering a key block on tight end Brent Celek's 65-yard touchdown catch on Sunday against the Giants.

Together, Maclin and Jackson have developed into one of the NFL's top pass-catching tandems. Despite Jackson's missing a game and a half with a concussion, the pair have combined for 1,914 yards, the third-most of any duo in the NFL. They are tied for second with 16 touchdowns scored by a pair of wide receivers and are on pace to become the first two Eagles to reach the 1,000-yard receiving mark in the same season.

Maclin also leads the club with a rushing average of 12 yards per carry with 36 yards on three rushes.

As for the constant comparisons to Jackson's personality, Maclin shrugs them off. After all, he said, they see life differently. Maclin is serious and introverted, while Jackson loves drama and is outgoing.

Of course, Jackson is known for his touchdown celebrations. But the most Maclin does after a score is spike the ball into the ground.

They make for a receiving odd couple.

"I think that's maybe one of the reasons why our relationship is as good as it is," Maclin said. "Different strokes for different folks."


Contact staff writer Jeff McLane at 215-854-4745 or jmclane@phillynews.com.

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