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Maclin Adds Firepower With Two Long TDs

Tight end Brent Celek walked out of the shower and towards his locker after the game before stopping to say something to the rookie with the backpack on.

"Hey, Jeremy," Celek said, "Nice game today."

A nice game indeed.

Jeremy Maclin, the Eagles' first-round pick in the 2009 draft, took advantage of his opportunity to start in the absence of injured wide receiver Kevin Curtis with a whopping 142 yards receiving on six catches. Oh, and two of those catches just happened to be touchdown receptions of 51 and 40 yards.

The 142 yards receiving were the third most ever for an Eagles' rookie, behind Don Looney's 180 yards in 1940 and Hank Baskett's 177 yards in 2006.

"Whenever the ball comes my way, I expect to make a play," Maclin said. "The number of balls that come my way, I have no idea, but you just have to be ready when the ball comes your way."

On the Eagles' second play from scrimmage, while there were still lingering questions about Donovan McNabb's health, McNabb sat comfortably in the pocket before launching a bomb to the endzone that Maclin hauled in for a memorable score.

"It felt good to get my first NFL touchdown," Maclin said. "I still am excited. I'm going to cherish that for sure."

The big story of the first three games of the Eagles' season on offense was the productivity of DeSean Jackson and Celek. With the Buccaneers focused on corralling Jackson, who finished with one reception, Maclin was able to step up.

"You saw them roll to the strong side and play inside-out on DeSean with man coverage and safety help," said head coach Andy Reid after the game. "They were pushing a lot towards the strong side, so we mixed things up a little bit and we were able to utilize some mismatches there with Jeremy because of the coverage."

Maclin sees it as proof of the explosiveness of the team's offense.

"I think that big games are going to rotate from receiver to receiver and running back to running back," he said. "That's the fortunate thing about playing in this offense.

"You want guys out there who can take the pressure off each other and we've ot a long list of guys who can do that, and hopefully I can add to that list."

Maclin's star turn in the Eagles' 33-14 victory over the Bucs has fans dreaming of a potent wide receiver tandem for years to come. With DeSean Jackson's push to become one of the elite receivers in the league in only his second year, and the rapid success of Maclin, the team appears to have created a formidable long-term duo.

Well, apparently patience is not one of Maclin's virtues.

"Why wait til the future, why not do it now?" he said.

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 6:01 p.m., October 11

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