Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Expectations for Maclin; Saints' coordinator knows Birds

The expectations are high for Jeremy Maclin because he was the Eagles' first-round pick. They grew even higher because of DeSean Jackson's success last year, suggesting that the team's reluctance on large roles for rookies might no longer be a factor.

Expectations for Maclin; Saints' coordinator knows Birds

The expectations are high for Jeremy Maclin because he was the Eagles' first-round pick. They grew even higher because of DeSean Jackson's success last year, suggesting that the team's reluctance on large roles for rookies might no longer be a factor.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg didn’t want to venture a guess as to how many snaps from scrimmage wideout Jeremy Maclin got at Carolina in his NFL debut. No passes were thrown to Maclin.

“He got some plays,” Mornhinweg said. “Now, every game will be different, but hopefully, as we go over a big space of time, that will keep picking up just a little bit for him.”

Was Maclin surprised to have a minimal role?

“A little bit,” Maclin said. “Not really ‘surprised,’ but I kind of expected to play a bigger role. It’s a long season, man. We’ll see.”

WHERE IT STARTS

Since realignment in 2002, 48 of the league’s 84 playoff teams (57.1 percent) opened the season 1-1 or 0-2. Four of the past eight Super Bowl champions started 1-1 or 0-2.

In case you were wondering, in Andy Reid's 10 previous seasons, the Eagles have started 2-0 once (on the way to the Super Bowl), 1-1 six times and 0-2 three times.

MAN BEHIND THE SAINTS' D 

Gregg Williams knows what it is like to face the Eagles' offense and he knows what it is like to play in Philadelphia.

Williams, in his first year as the Saints' defensive coordinator, was the Washington Redskins' coordinator from 2004 to 2007. During his tenure, the Redskins went 3-5 against the Eagles, and allowed an average of 21 points per game. Williams' defenses in 2005 and '06 were ranked in the top 10 in the league.

Of course, that is not the case with the Saints, which is why Sean Payton essentially hand-picked Williams to come in and take over the defense. Williams spent one season in Jacksonville as the coordinator after getting let go in Washington.

"It’s very hard-fought, back and forth," Williams said when asked to describe his track record against the Eagles. "We’ve had to win games at the very end of the season to go to the playoffs. When we’ve done that. We’ve had to win games and not done that too. It’s a tough matchup."

Williams went on to compliment just about every facet of the Eagles' offensive approach, as defensive coordinators are wont to do before games.

"They have a good, talented football team that allows them to take shots down the field that allows them to throw the intermediate game, allows them to make plays in space and allows them to hammer the ball at you," Williams said. "When you’re saying that, their system of offense encompasses everything an offense wants to do. I think every single time, a guy splinters off that family tree and Andy’s on that west coast family tree, every time one of those guys splinters off that tree and goes his own way, they kind of do their own little thing. They kind of add their little niche and I think Andy has added a little bit more of a physical approach in that niche that some of the other guys that have been pass happy. They throw the ball a bunch but they have the ability to physically get after you and they draft these kinds of guy."

GETTING HIS KICKS

Among the marquee games this weekend is the Sunday nigher between Dallas and the Giants that is the first regular-season game at the Cowboys' new stadium.

One of the things people will be watching is the 162-foot long video boards that hang 90 feet above the field, because the Titans punter plunked it during the preseason.

Giants punter Jeff Feagles, the former Eagle, is not worried.

“It might take me two kicks to hit it at my age (43),” Feagles said. “Obviously, if you do hit it, it’s probably a pretty good punt and a shame that you have to do it over. But I am not going to go out there and try and hit it. You just go and do what you normally do. I think what happens with my experience with things like this is you try and not do something you’re normally not used to in the game or even in pregame. I think you have to go out and go through your regular routine and if it happens, it happens .... I can tell you that if I do hit it, it will be a heck of a punt because our practice facility is 80 feet and I’m rarely hitting the top of that, so another 10 feet is pretty high.”


To read what Paul Domowitch is watching is Sunday's game, click here.

To read today's DN Eagles Playbook, click here.

REMINDER: Vegas Vic chats college and pro football today at 1 p.m.

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