Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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John Smallwood: Maclin quietly enjoying big season for Eagles

Jeremy Maclin leads the Eagles with 10 TD catches, the most by an Eagles receiver since Terrell Owens caught 14 in 2004. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)
Jeremy Maclin leads the Eagles with 10 TD catches, the most by an Eagles receiver since Terrell Owens caught 14 in 2004. (Clem Murray/Staff Photographer)

JEREMY MACLIN isn't the type of receiver who feels an obsessive compulsion to draw attention to himself.

He's not going to perform an excessive celebration after a touchdown.

He's not going to talk about himself in the third person.

He's not going to label himself as dynamic or display the "Diva Routine" that has become the identity of many top receivers in today's NFL.

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  • Maclin just goes out each week and does his job for the Philadelphia Eagles.

    And quietly, almost under the radar, Maclin has been pretty damn good at it.

    On a roster with an incredible story line like quarterback Michael Vick and an electric playmaker like wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a highlight-film running back like LeSean McCoy, it would be easy to get overlooked.

    But rarely does a guy having a season like the one Maclin is putting together get so lost in the shuffle.

    Maclin, the second-year player from Missouri, is second to McCoy (74) with 64 catches. He's second to Jackson (1,024) in receiving yards with 890.

    Maclin leads the Eagles with 10 touchdown catches. That's the most by an Eagles receiver since Terrell Owens caught 14 in 2004.

    "I don't look at it like that," Maclin said of playing in the shadows of bigger headline makers. "Whoever [the media] decides to write about is who you decide to write about. I have no control over that.

    "The only thing I have control over is helping my team win ballgames and that's the bottom line to everything."

    Considering Maclin has reached the end zone 10 times, he probably would get more attention if he had some exotic touchdown celebration to bring focus on himself.

    He's just not wired that way.

    "Different strokes for different folks," Maclin said. "I'm pretty feisty and everything on the football field, but as far as talking about it and things like that, I'm pretty quiet."

    Maclin just takes a more businesslike approach to playing football, and while fans may not notice him as much as others, the Eagles staff knows exactly what he is bringing to the table.

    "Maclin is having a heck of a season," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "He has been sort of overlooked a bit with [Vick's] dynamic ability and DeSean and LeSean McCoy, but he's been a touchdown-maker for us.

    "He can score on the deep play, plus he can catch and make the quick move. He's also a physical guy. He's done it time and time again down in the red zone."

    One of Maclin's more overlooked skills is his ability to block downfield for teammates.

    It's never surprising to see him delivering a block like the one he did against the New York Giants on Sunday that sprung tight end Brent Celek for a 65-yard touchdown catch-and-run.

    Celek has referred to Maclin as "an animal" for his downfield blocking.

    "When we're going to run the ball, [Maclin] is out there chopping people downfield. He's angry. He's angry all the time. I love playing with him."

    Maclin said becoming a good blocker is something he "takes pride in. It's something I definitely worked at and developed. I think becoming a complete package is all of those things.

    "That's what I want to be looked at as. I think that's what all of the great [receivers] do."

    As a rookie, Maclin caught 56 passes for 773 yards and four touchdowns. His yards-per-catch average (13.9) this year is just a tenth higher than last season, but his touchdown catches have more than doubled.

    "I'm pretty pleased with my season so far," Maclin said. "Obviously, I can go back and pull up many plays I feel I should have made. But, overall, I'm pleased. I'm more pleased with where we are as a football team. That's the important picture. I'm not all into the stats and recognition, but I like the 10 touchdowns because that's helping my team win. I can score whatever I can as long as we win the game."

    Personality-wise, Maclin is almost the ying to the yang of his running mate Jackson.

    Together Jack & Mac have combined for 109 catches and 1,914 yards, which is second to Denver's Brandon Lloyd (1,264) and Jabar Gaffney (773).

    But where Jackson sees himself as a player/entertainer - sometimes it's hard to distinguish which is more pervasive - Maclin is more old-school.

    "I think that maybe that's one of the reasons our relationship is so good," Maclin said. "You look at , and they've made it work.

    "Some people say that two guys with attitudes or personalities like that can't exist together, which is untrue.

    "Still, I think two guys being so different but so alike in a lot of ways really helps us."

    Send e-mail to

    smallwj@phillynews.com.

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    John Smallwood Daily News Sports Columnist
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