Eagles’ Jeremy Maclin ready to step up in 2014 season

Jeremy Maclin will be the Eagles' main go-to-guy this season in DeSean Jackson's absence. Credit: Getty Images Jeremy Maclin will be the Eagles’ main go-to-guy this season in DeSean Jackson’s absence. Credit: Getty Images

It’s finally Jeremy Maclin’s turn to be the man.

As the Eagles assembled for the first time as the 2014 squad, the spotlight shifted away from the fascinating and sometimes confusing offseason, to Nick Foles’ new No. 1 target.

And as Maclin prepares to carry the torch, he says he is healthy and ready to go.

“Since day one when we reported back I’ve been out there with the team,” Maclin said. “I think throughout the rehab process my ability to get better and progress has improved each and every day. That builds confidence, and once you have confidence it’s just about putting in the work.”

Maclin will be putting the time in alongside some familiar faces, like Zach Ertz and Riley Cooper — and some new faces — like Darren Sproles and second-round pick Jordan Matthews.

“I don’t think, as far as what we’re doing on offense, it’s not changing one bit,” Maclin said of the Eagles’ scheme with the ball. “We added some pieces and I’m looking forward to seeing this offense take the step to the next level.”

The Missouri product has scored 26 touchdowns with the Eagles, most recently netting seven of them in 2012. He sat out all of 2013 with a torn ACL during training camp and had to watch the Birds win the NFC East from the sidelines.

“It was tough,” he said. “Obviously with the new era beginning here in Philadelphia and me personally with the contract situation I had, it was tough. But I was happy to see guys go out there and make plays. I am fortunate and excited to be healthy again and to be able to play football again.”

Maclin, with Foles at the helm, could post career-best marks in Chip Kelly’s offense. But the modest wideout says that the success of the Eagles far supersedes his lines in the stat book, and his jockeying for a new contract when his one-year deal expires.

“I think, to have the best year in my career, it would be to help this team win and get further than we did last year,” Maclin said. “If we can get to where I think we can get to, the stats will come.”

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