Aug 032010

August 3

Jeremy Maclin doesn’t look like a professional football player, much less one of the better young wide receivers in the NFL.

He’s listed at 6-feet, 198 pounds, both of which may be slight fudges. Maclin’s muscles do not bulge through his shirt.

Take away the pads and uniform, and in street clothes and Maclin just looks like a 22-year-old young man who likes the gym and takes excellent care of himself.

And right now, Eagles fans have to hope the second-year wideout does just that.

No one seems to think DeSean Jackson’s back injury will keep the Birds’ top playmaker out for long, though Jackson’s not talking about it (or anything else, for that matter) and the Eagles reveal details on injuries about as often as Ryan Howard steals third base.

But once injured, backs can be nasty, painful, chronic and hard to get completely healthy. Given that Jackson, who’s really tiny (5-10, 175) and also faces the brutal gauntlet of running back punts to boot, would be on a high-risk plan if Allstate insured NFL players as they do drivers, would anybody be surprised if he at some point misses serious time?

If that happens — or there’s a blowup with Jackson’s contract, which he is publicly unhappy with — Maclin becomes the man. The Eagles are lucky to have him.

There are positions where the Eagles lack quality depth — an offensive line that has had its issues in camp springs to mind — but wide receiver is not one of them, with the steady Jason Avant, veteran Hank Baskett and impressive rookie Riley Cooper to go with Maclin and Jackson. ”

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