Brent at Eagles Rewind offered his two cents on the Maclin injury. He focused on numbers and the numbers say that Jeremy Maclin is a good, not a great receiver. That, combined with some offensive changes, make Maclin replaceable.
The biggest point here is that the Eagles, prior to the injury, were likely to be running a lot of 2 WR sets anyway (presumably the result of multi-TE sets). That means the team does not need to be quite as deep as has been necessary in the past. Desean Jackson is a key player, because the team needs his speed to help stretch defenses and open up the underneath game (or hit home runs if defenses commit low).
Outside of that, the Eagles WR needs mainly consist of guys who can produce at a league average level. They don’t need game breakers, just a couple of players who can catch the ball and take advantage of limited defensive attention. Between Avant, Cooper, maybe Damaris, and the rest of the potentials, I think the team’s covered.
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Matty at BritishEagles.co.uk feels differently. He focuses on the fact that Maclin was the Eagles top Red Zone target.
While that is true, I think Matty overstates things a bit. Mac had 7 TD catches last year. His career high is 10. Those are solid numbers, but referring to him as a “TD magnet” is a bit much.
The point here is that just because Maclin led the Eagles in receiving TDs doesn’t mean he’s special in that regard. Mac had 7 TDs on 69 catches. Riley Cooper had 3 TDs on 23 catches. That gave him a higher TD percentage for 2012.
Mac was the Eagles top Red Zone target, but he wasn’t so good that the numbers can’t be equaled by others. Also, I think Chip Kelly will try to use DeSean Jackson more in the Red Zone. And TEs will be a big part of this as well. Zach Ertz can be used as a big WR. James Casey was a RZ target in Houston. He had 4 TD catches in the RZ.
One player won’t replace Mac, but the Eagles have several guys who can help make up for his loss. Big opportunity for them to show what they can do.