Philadelphia Eagles News

State Of The Wide Receiver Position

The bye week is in full bloom and so is the wide receiver position for the Eagles. Let's take a look at what the Eagles receivers have done so far this season and what lies ahead for the second half of the 2010 season.

What They've Accomplished: Jeremy Maclin has developed into an outstanding all-around receiver in his second season. He can stretch a defense. He can make a tough catch in traffic, especially in the red zone. Now, Maclin had a very good rookie season. Where has he improved? Maclin has done a much better job of getting off the line of scrimmage. Maclin has 30 receptions for 458 yards (17th in the NFL) and six touchdowns, which is good for fourth in the league. DeSean Jackson remains the guy that defenses have to absolutely account for. He's been getting what offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg refers to as the "Jerry Rice treatment" this season. Jackson has 19 catches for 395 yards and three receiving touchdowns. He had nine catches for 288 of those yards and two touchdowns in the two games that Michael Vick started. Another interesting Jackson note - he has had at least one score in each game he's played against 4-3 defenses this season. Jackson is working his way back from the scary hit that resulted in a concussion from the Falcons game.

Jason Avant quietly has 24 catches this season on just 32 targets. In the last two weeks, mostly without Jackson, Avant has 11 catches for 122 yards. He is still looking for his first score of the season. Riley Cooper showed his dynamic ability last week against the Titans. After missing the last two-plus games with a concussion, Cooper made a diving grab for a 37-yard gain on a pass that should have been intercepted. He followed that up with his first career touchdown on a shallow cross in the red zone.

What Lies Ahead: Certainly, this offense is at its best when Jackson is healthy and on the field. Jackson scored two big touchdowns in the first quarter of that win over Atlanta to set the tone. Jackson pretty much took Atlanta out of its comfort zone early and allowed the Eagles to dominate. It will be interesting to see whether Vick and Jackson and establish their connection as both players are coming off injury. Maclin must continue his sensational season. After his nice game against the Titans, will the Eagles find a way to keep Cooper involved in the offense? He's got a big frame and deceptive speed. Avant needs to remain reliable when the Eagles need to move the chains. He's also pivotal as a blocker, as this receiver group as a whole loves to get after it.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 7:00 a.m., October 29

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