Smith Making Strides, Maclin More in Flow

Marty Mornhinweg said that Steve Smith is making big strides in practice. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

It is coordinator day down at the NovaCare Complex and here are some notes ...

* Wide receiver Steve Smith had his best day as an Eagle on Wednesday, according to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg. He said Smith will see more action each week, following microfracture knee surgery. Mornhinweg said Smith can play at a high level. Obviously, Smith will be eager to be on the field as the Eagles head into a matchup with the Giants next week.

* Jeremy Maclin had one catch in the season opener in his return to his hometown of St. Louis. Maclin, who was dealing with a serious viral illness in the offseason, is ready to get back to crucial role, Mornhinweg said.

"He's a playmaker. He makes plays right at the right time," Mornhinweg said of Maclin.

Maclin was a catalyst in last year's 31-17 Eagles victory over the Falcons at the Linc; He caught seven passes for a career-high 159 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 83-yard TD that put the game away.

"We knew that if we caught 'em at the right time, that could be a big play," Maclin said today. "Marty called it it at the right time. They were kind of getting a little momentum back. We needed something to get everything back in our favor. That definitely sealed the game."

*Mornhinweg said he had thought the Eagles would be better vs. the Rams blitz."They rushed the cupboard a couple times," he said. But big plays and third-down conversions turned out to be keys, as Mornhinweg thought they would be. "We did OK there," he said.

* Mornhinweg said LeSean McCoy is one of the best young players in the league. He said it was unfair to compare McCoy to Brian Westbrook, but McCoy is there; he has to stay there consistently over time to really compare.

* Special teams coordinator Bobby April said he has told returner Dion Lewis that he should not bring out a kick if it goes deeper than 5 yards into the end zone. April said there was a relatively small sample size to judge the kickoff rules after Week 1, but that is what they are thinking thus far.

* Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo said Brian Rolle is a starter in the Eagles' third-down nickel, which involves a different personnel group that their usual nickel coverage.


To read our earlier coverage, including the Eagles' planned return to Lehigh, click here.