Entering his fourth season in the NFL as an Eagles wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin feels great and is ready to get this season underway.
Expectations are as high as ever for Maclin entering Training Camp, and after a season shadowed by a mysterious health scare, he is moving on from last year and focusing on this upcoming season.
"I think I adjusted fine, but last year was something that I want to put behind me as far as the health scare and also the kind of season we had last year, and focus on this year," Maclin said.
He added that it was tough to play without being at his "normal playing weight" and without having a full Training Camp. Maclin described his situation this year as "a complete 180," compared to last season.
"It's a blessing this year to be in the position I'm in," Maclin said. "This time last year, not really knowing my fate and not really knowing what was going on, it's just a blessing to be back out on the field."
Maclin looks noticeably bigger compared to last year. Listed at 198 pounds, Maclin said that he checked into Training Camp weighing 202 pounds. How was he able to gain the weight?
"I just – got healthy – basically," Maclin said. "I stuck to the workout plan. That's pretty much it. I didn't do anything special. I'm just healthy now so I can resume everyday workouts and stuff like that.
"(Head strength and conditioning coach) Barry (Rubin) had a wonderful plan for us. Everybody was kind of doing the same thing, but certain lifts in certain situations were tailored towards each individual. I think he did a great job getting me back into shape and bulking me back up, so credit goes to Barry."
Asked if he felt 100 percent healthy, Maclin responded without hesitation, "yeah, definitely."
With his mind no longer focused on his health, his primary focus has shifted back to football.
Although still a young guy, only 24 years old, Maclin is emerging as one of the quiet young leaders on this Eagles team.
"I'm not that much of a vocal guy, but I will say something if I have to," Maclin said. "As long as I carry myself as a professional and handle myself on and off the field I think guys will understand that maybe that's the way that it's supposed to be done."
He even had some advice for some of the younger receivers hoping to make the squad.
"One thing you can't do is count numbers," he said. "I think that's the one thing you can't do. I think once you start doing that and worrying about things that are irrelevant at the time, you lose track of what's really important."
Keeping in line with his role as a leader, Maclin made it clear that he was always open for a teammate to talk with him and ask questions.
"I'm just here if they need me," Maclin said.
And after such a scary period of time in his life several months ago, the most important thing of all is that Maclin is here - and fully healthy.
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