Film breakdown: Jeremy Maclin does not enjoy contact

If you look at the stat sheet from Sunday’s game against the Cowboys, Jeremy Maclin’s day looks pretty good.  8 catches, 93 yards, TD.  He even had a great one-handed catch on a badly thrown quick out from Nick Foles.  Here’s that catch:


Maclin has a world of talent.  4.4 speed, yada yada yada.  But there were three plays in the Cowboys game that really bugged me.  The first was a drop on what would have been a tough catch.  Maclin jumps and has the ball cradled in both hands against his body, when Cowboys safety Charlie Peprah takes out his leg:

With his legs taken out, Maclin is going to hit the ground hard.  I can certainly forgive the drop if the ball came out on impact with the ground.  However, as you can see below, it looks like Maclin lets go of the ball in mid-air because he’s worried about the impending collision with the turf:

Again, it’s hard to blame him for dropping the pass on this play, but not before he actually took the hit.

The next play is completely unforgivable.  Maclin is running a quick slant, and Nick Foles delivers a bullet that is going to lead Maclin into safety Gerald Sensabaugh:

Watch those hands come down:

During the telecast, Troy Aikman summed up the play accurately:

Jeremy Maclin saw Sensabaugh sitting there at the safety position, and he didn’t want any part of him. He knew it was going to be a bigtime collision if he had continued to go in and make a play on that ball, and he just said “No, thank you.”

And he got popped anyway.  Easy for me to say, but you may as well just catch it.

The third play is a little bit of a gray area.  Maclin is running up the seam, and Foles delivers a high pass (Maclin and the ball are circled):

FOX didn’t show a replay of this play, but it looks to me like that ball isn’t completely out of reach.  In fairness to Maclin on this one, it looked like he got his head around back to the QB a fraction late, and perhaps he didn’t have adequate time to react to the high pass by going up to get it.  However, before the ball is even by him, Maclin’s head is already spinning around to locate the safety to brace for impact:

Last season, Maclin missed almost the entire offseason with a mysterious illness, and had a decent year.  This offseason, Maclin came in and looked ripped.  The thinking among Eagles’ coaches and teammates was that Maclin was primed for a big season.  It hasn’t happened.

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  1. […] Good friend Jimmy Bama put up a post on that. Someone on Twitter let Mac know about the post. He responded to Jimmy with…”LOL”. […]

  2. PhillieBirds says:

    Jimmy you are totally spot on. I think some people are going over board with the “For who, for what” comparisons but my problem is when is the last time Maclin made a damn play. Not catching a wide open TD vs the Cowboys or running wide open vs the Lions. Like a tough play where you say, that was a hell of a play and I’m glad that guy is on our team. He’s been around for a while and I’m still just lukewarm about the guy.

    Unfortunately this is how I feel about a bunch of our players. They just don’t make big time plays enough…

  3. ultramattman says:

    Maclin also leads the Eagles in limping off the field with what looks like a season-ending knee injury, only to return next drive. I swear he’s done this at least once in every game he ever played. So yeah, not exactly the toughest dude on the roster.

  4. Kingofcascadia says:

    I got hives watching Mac alligator-arm that pass. I had Pinkston flashbacks. The TD does not atone for persistent cowardice.

  5. Brian says:

    I don’t really remember this kind of thing being a problem for Jeremy in the past. Might it have something to do with his back injury? I feel like a back injury would significantly alter how a player reacts to each of those 3 situations, especially the second one.

    1. Brian says:

      And by second, I really mean first. Landing directly on your back when you have a strained back probably isn’t the most pleasant experience. I would have braced for the fall too.

      1. Brian says:

        Sheil implied that his back the injury occurred on that play, so never mind.

        But I do remember reading somewhere that Maclin needed help getting his shoulder pads off after the game because he couldn’t lift his arms up. That’s probably the reason he didn’t go after that third ball since it was over his head.

  6. Alvin says:

    Foles was leaving his teammates out to dry with his passes. Would have lead Maclin straight into Sensabaugh and almost got McCoy killed on that screen. I’m surprised McCoy didn’t get injured…

    1. Fortunately, someone seems to have taught McCoy that planted feet end careers. He got his out of the turf just in time.

  7. bonez2088 says:

    Throughout the first few years of his career, Maclin was the best blocking WR on the team. He continually got chippy with DBs, creating quite a few training camp fights and some in-game scraps as well. I think Maclin’s core injury is still hurting him, and it’s made him play tentative. That collision to his lower back couldn’t have helped. If I’m the Eagles, I rest him for a few games (now that the season is over anyway). Then see if he’s made progress when he returns. I still have hope for Maclin to live up to his potential (unlike many other current Eagles) . He just needs to get healthy.

    1. Brian says:

      Wish I had read the rest of the comments before I posted. I completely agree with you.

  8. Djthekidd says:

    Like I said in the dame thread on BGN. Ricky Watters pt 2. “For who? For what?”

  9. David_Does_Dallas says:

    If he is scared of Sensabaugh I can’t imagine what he must feel like against safeties that light people up on a regular basis.

  10. CotySaxman says:

    In all fairness, he did get lit up pretty early in the game, landing on his head. This seems like the same thing DeSean Jackson was doing last year, though, no? Is Maclin looking for a better deal?

    Seems like a lot of Eagles skill players are either getting injured frequently or afraid of getting injured frequently, to say nothing of the offensive line.

    1. Maclin was a 1st round pick, so he got paid his rookie year. That’s a little unlike Jackson, who definitely out-performed his rookie deal.

      1. CotySaxman says:

        Oh, alright. Guess he’s just gotten a bit gun-shy then. Got him on my fantasy team, though, so I suppose I hope he rebounds. End up with a lot of NFC East rivals when you’re auto-drafted in a BTB league.

        Just read “ESP”s losing mentality piece over at BGN, and it seems more plausible than it was given credit for. Cowboys had a similar problem, and that’s why the Jason Garrett supporters are happy (his detractors still think we have the losing mentality).

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