The stunning release of DeSean Jackson is still being felt around the football world, and certainly by the Philadelphia Eagles. It was one of the more bizarre, sudden and shocking moves in the history of the franchise and the circumstances surrounding it were even more puzzling.
Life moves on though. In terms of on-field production, it is going to be very difficult for the Eagles to replace Jackson’s numbers. You don’t just throw someone in there and expect 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns.
One guy who is really going to have to step up is Jeremy Maclin. Before going down with an injury last year in training camp, he was showing positive signs. He is an explosive athlete, and had really started to come on in the past few seasons. He seems like the ideal fit for what Chip Kelly likes to do. Maclin is going to take on a whole new responsibility this season. He will be seeing the attention of the opposition’s best cornerback. Can he be that No. 1 wide receiver?
I don’t see any reason why not. The Eagles drafted him in the first round in 2009 to be just that. When healthy, he has the ability to beat man coverage and is a nice-sized target for Nick Foles in the red zone.
Jackson’s loss is a huge blow, but Kelly feels he can get it done with almost anyone in his offense. Arrogant or not, it’s his mindset. An offense consisting of Maclin, Riley Cooper, newly-acquired Darren Sproles in the slot, a two-TE set of Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, and a potential high draft pick at wide receiver still leaves Kelly and Foles with plenty of options in the passing game.
It’s been a tough few days for Eagles fans. However, Kelly will still have this offense playing at a high level in 2014.