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Finding A Spark: Foles, Maclin On Same Page

Posted Jun 18, 2014

Lost in the disappointment of the 2012 Eagles season was the fact that Nick Foles and Jeremy Maclin established excellent chemistry in short order. In fact, in the seven games that Foles played, Maclin caught 37 passes for 479 yards and three touchdowns, including the last-second game-winner against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Extrapolated over an entire season’s worth of games, Maclin’s stats with Foles totaled 85 catches for 1,095 yards and seven touchdowns. Also consider that those numbers came during the worst season for the franchise in 15 years. Now, think about Foles and Maclin rekindling their on-field chemistry in Chip Kelly’s prolific offensive machine that set a host of franchise records in its first season.

For the first time in three seasons, Foles and Maclin will have the chance to begin the season together as starters – and healthy. Maclin says he feels 100 percent healthy, and Foles’ face lights up with excitement when he talks about his top target.

"He looks great,” Foles said of Maclin. "I can’t tell a difference at all. He’s a guy who’s going to give it his all every day. Coming out of breaks and everything, going downfield, I think he’s looked great. Obviously he’s working every day to get better, but he’s the same Jeremy and that Jeremy is a guy who wants to get better every day, no matter what. That’s a big injury, any time you hurt your knee, and he’s done everything that he can to get back on the field, so it’s exciting to have him back out there and healthy, and we just have to keep him that way.”

Maclin feels the same way as his quarterback and is ready to build upon their camaraderie.

"I think having that chemistry (Foles and I) had, and then the OTAs last year and throughout the spring and summer, I think we got a lot of work in,” Maclin said. "And I think this summer we’ve got a lot of work in, as well. I don’t think it’s going to be as big a deal as people may think it is. We’re on the same page, and we’ll continue to work together, obviously, and make sure that we don’t miss a beat.”

When asked about the pair’s chemistry in 2012, Foles set even loftier expectations for 2014.

"I hope we grow,” Foles said. "I hope we do a better job. It’s a different offense and everything, but with all our receivers I feel comfortable throwing to them. Jeremy and I are on the same page, we understand different looks, and, actually, during practice he’ll have a certain route and he’ll see something else and we’ll be on the same page – it’s the sort of route you have to hit on time, and we’ve hit it. This has happened several times with different routes. So that just tells you we’re on the same page and everything.”

Maclin’s journey back from injury has been meticulously chronicled, but the media rarely got a glimpse of how the veteran wide receiver acted behind closed doors. How players handle devastating injuries varies, but Maclin was determined not to be an absent rehabber. He attended all position meetings and was the consummate teammate throughout the season.

"He was always paying attention and helping other guys out,” Foles said. "Obviously he had to do a lot of rehab and it’s a long season to miss, but he did everything he could to be a great teammate to everybody, and that’s why he comes right back in and doesn’t skip a beat – because he was there, he was a good teammate to everybody and is ready to go for this year.”

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