Mac and Plax

Posted: February 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 65 Comments »

Let’s take a short break from draft talk.  Dave Spadaro said recently that Jeremy Maclin is up to 205 pounds.  That is a good thing.  Mac had a really strange offseason last year, as you should recall.  He was feeling well and then got checked out by doctors.  That led to a summer full of uncertainty, with fears that he could have cancer.  Things all turned out well in the end, but Mac was clearly not in ideal shape.

This offseason his goal is to get bigger and faster.  Great news.  Mac has good speed for a guy his size.  He’s shown that he can be a good vertical receiver.  He isn’t anything like DeSean, though, and never will be.  With that in mind, don’t try to have the same type of body.

Mac is never going to be Anquan Boldin either.  He can bulk up, but he’s just not that kind of a tough guy.  Boldin isn’t scared of contact.  Heck, he likes it.  Mac needs to be big/strong enough to be an effective receiver over the middle of the field.  I’m glad to hear that he is focused on getting bigger/stronger.  The Eagles are telling him what they want and he’s listening.

I don’t think Mac has hit his ceiling yet as a receiver.  He has the potential to be an outstanding WR.  He’s good now, maybe even very good.  He runs crisp routes.  He generally has good hands, although he drops too many passes to be called sure-handed.  The drop vs Atlanta still bugs me.  If he holds on, I think we win that game, win the Super Bowl, and I’m a billionaire.  I frame Eli Manning and Tony Romo and have them deported back to Madagascar or the ice caverns of Fridgia or wherever they came from.  Alas…

Mac has good RAC ability, but he does need added strength/bulk to handle working the middle better.  Not every play can go wide.  He’s better at this than DeSean, but it still needs work.  Jerry Rice made a ton of big plays by working the middle.  If you can make one guy miss or break a tackle, there is a lot of running room.

I’m sort of curious to see how good Mac can be in 2012.  We might find out that he’s an above average starter, but that is it.  That’s not a bad thing, but it would be good to know.  It won’t be too long before we start negotiations with him on a future deal.

* * * * *

The hot topic seems to be the fact that Plaxico Burress said to a Philly radio station that he wants to play for the Eagles.  I do have interest in Plax.

His situation will be greatly affected by what happens with DeSean.  We need a speed guy and a big guy.  If we lose DeSean, but add Vincent Jackson…would Plax still make sense?  If we add Stevie Johnson, a guy with some size and some speed, Plax would make sense.  Then again, maybe we want a rookie to add to the mix.  So, so confusing.

Should the Eagles be interested in Plax?  Yes.

Will he be a key Eagles target?  That all depends on circumstances and plans.

I’d like him because he would help the Red Zone offense and give us a big target to feed the ball to on some tough downs.  Vick had a lot of success with a big receiver like Brian Finneran they were in Atlanta together.  They aren’t exactly alike to be sure, but both guys are 6’5 and can go up for the ball.

I’ve told this story quite a few times, so I apologize for those who are tired of it.  I remember watching Plax in the Michigan/MSU game in the Fall of 1999.  He was physically dominant.  I remember looking at the highlights that afternoon and saying “I want that”.  Plax is an older guy and no longer a special player or difference maker.  He wouldn’t project as a starter here.  He would give us a weapon to mix in situationally.  And that is something the offense could use.

* * * * *

My post-Combine column for talks about how the Eagles came out as winners based on how the workouts went.  Suddenly pick 15 looks a lot better.

* * * * *

Matt Alkire wrote about the DB workouts for ScoutsNotebook.

I haven’t finished studying the DB workouts.  There are some interesting slot guys.  Jamell Fleming fascinates me with his size.  Jayron Hosley has speed, ball skills, and athleticism.  Brandon Boykin didn’t run.  Dwight “Bill” Bentley is also an option.

I’ve gotten several questions on LSU’s Ron Brooks, who ran very well.  I tried watching tape of him the other day, but he wasn’t on the field much.  I will study the LSU/Arkansas game.  Lots of passing.  I’m sure he played a ton.  I’ll report back when done.

65 Comments on “Mac and Plax”

  1. 1 Sam Lynch said at 2:59 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Brooks had 6 tackles and a sack in the Arkansas game, so yes, you should get some good looks at him there. Game log:

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 3:47 PM on February 29th, 2012:


  3. 3 iskar36 said at 3:05 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Sheil Kapadia had an interesting column on Plax today and wanted to hear your thoughts on it. Specifically, if we did bring in Burress, would he end up being behind Avant? Would Plax not fit in the slot? Kapadia seems to suggest that in a 3 WR set, Maclin would have to move into the slot, and to me, that seems like an odd fit. I understand you are talking about bringing in Plax to be a situational WR, so maybe 3rd or 4th string WR or slot receiver are labels that don’t ultimately matter, but if there is a guy who can take Avant’s spot, I still would support that.

  4. 4 JRO91 said at 3:35 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Didn’t Machlin work the slot some at Missouri? I seem to remember in their spread offense seeing him catching and running in the middle of the field….maybe Im wrong.

  5. 5 TommyLawlor said at 3:47 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Just read Sheil’s comments. I don’t like to read him before I write. Don’t want to steal his ideas or be swayed by his opinion since I respect him.

    Plax is a guy that you would play situationally and move around. He would mainly play on the weak side, but could also handle some reps in the slot. Mac could get reps in the slot. I would have no hesitation about taking away snaps from Jason Avant. Great guy, but this is business.

  6. 6 Septhinox said at 6:06 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    At what point do we look to upgrade Avant?

  7. 7 D3Keith said at 11:18 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I think we’ve established that it’s not a “need,” but if there’s an opportunity to do so, we take it.

    Personally I don’t think anything Jason Avant is doing or not doing is keeping us from winning games. It’s even lower on my priority list than the general Eagles fan consensus, but when you talk about adding Plax, and protecting DJax and Maclin, that’s 5 WRs and no RSs.

  8. 8 Yuri said at 3:07 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Is Burress better than Avant? Personally, I see no upgrade here.

  9. 9 TommyLawlor said at 3:43 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Jason Avant has played 86 NFL games. He has 10 TDs.

    Plax had 8 TDs last year for the Jets after spending 2 years in prison.

    I love Jason to death. Tough. Overachiever. He’s the kind of guy you can love to cheer for. But you can’t evaluate with your heart. The cold, cruel reality is that no coach has ever said “We must stop Jason Avant”.

  10. 10 Mac said at 5:20 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    No, but… Avant makes one heck of an insurance policy if someone goes down. He adds valuable depth even if he never sees the field and I would suspect is a high enough character guy to take his lumps like a pro.

  11. 11 Yuri said at 5:52 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Plax the starter (for most of season), Avant the backup (for most of season). More catches, same average per catch in more limited role which implies Plax could not get open on a consistent basis and had a low catch rate. For what it’s worth, FO rate Avant as slightly above and Plax slightly below average. You add the “prison adjustment” but must subtract the “old age” and then what?

    I am not saying Avant is a super star, but I do not see an upgrade in Plax despite TDs. I also do not subscribe to the argument that Jerome Bettis is Hall-Of-Fame great with all those TDs.

    Another note (not for or against any argument). Jets offense in general was excellent in Red Zone while terrible moving the ball. (The Eagles the opposite) I do NOT think that the question whether the RZ excellence was because of Burress, but rather would you trade one offense for the other? I do not seen an upgrade here either. And there isn’t a way optimize with Plax (you cannot be a RZ only player unless you are William “the refrigerator” Perry).

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 6:21 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Very confusing argument.

    I don’t want Plax as a starter. I do value his ability as a RZ target and role player. Jason isn’t getting cut. He’s simply moving to the #4 WR role in this scenario.

    As for us vs the Jets…are you kidding me? Their offense struggled due to coaching, QB play, line play, and skill players. We’re talking about taking their #2 WR to add him here as our #3. We’re not copying their offense or anything like that.

    Plax would instantly be paired with a much better QB, much better OL, much better RB and he’d get the benefit of gifted offensive minds.

    We struggle in the RZ. Plax is a good RZ receiver. Why would you not want to add him when thinking of things on a simple level like that?

  13. 13 hallcr3 said at 7:24 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Avant also plays special teams, doesn’t he? If we’re going to keep 5 WR’s, why not keep STer and 3rd down specialist Avant?

    DeSean or replacement

    That’s a good group of receivers.

  14. 14 D3Keith said at 11:21 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I was making that point above, although you are cutting Cooper here. I would take Plax instead, and Coop and Avant can both run down and make tackles. Would be nice to have a return specialist out of the group … so do we cut DJ or Mac loose and let them do it again?

  15. 15 hallcr3 said at 11:29 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I guess I’m also leaving off a roster spot. Last year we kept 6 WR’s. We could keep Cooper and Avant, while adding Plax and a rookie.

  16. 16 Kevin_Slates said at 3:12 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Tommy- With the Raiders being $20+ million over the cap, it sounds like they won’t franchise Tyvon Branch and he could hit the open market. I know you have stated you are fine with our safeties but would you have interest in bringing in Branch?

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 3:40 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I would not break the bank for Tyvon Branch. I think some team will overpay him. Is he better than Kurt Coleman/Jaiqwaun Jarrett? Clearly. The thing to remember is that Kurt Coleman would be an upgrade to some teams. For that reason, some team will pay Branch big bucks. I wouldn’t do it.

  18. 18 iskar36 said at 4:07 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    If it comes down to overpaying for a LBer vs a safety, do you think the Eagles are more likely to go one way or the other? Or do you think they will sit tight and address at least the LB need in the draft? Considering the D’Qwell Jackson contract and Tulloch’s demands from last year, I have a feeling FA LBers will be looking for big contracts, meaning either way we go, we may have to overpay.

    One advantage of going after Branch would provide would be that it would make signing a FA MLB less likely, leading to Kuechly being the #1 target in the draft. Thus, we address two needs with two quality players.

  19. 19 TommyLawlor said at 4:56 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I think Allen/Coleman could be good pair of Safeties. I don’t see that as a need. LB is a spot where we have a definite need. That’s where I spend money. If Nate/Kurt/JaJar don’t progress this year, then Safety becomes a focus next offseason.

  20. 20 iskar36 said at 5:18 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Safety has been a position that you have talked about a ton, so I don’t think we need to go through it entirely all over again, but I agree that LB is a much bigger need than safety. That being said, based on what we saw last season from the safeties, I think the Eagles do need better production from their safeties.

    Allen/Coleman/Jarrett may prove to provide better production simply by progressing, and maybe because we invested two second round picks, you have to rely on that happening instead of investing more money. That being said, that approach has a significant risk of maybe those players really are not good enough. Bringing in a proven veteran is certainly not a guaranteed move either. The player may not be able to make the adjustment to the new team, so I’m not saying we absolutely should go the FA route, but at the same time, if a better player is available, I don’t think it makes sense to simply assume Allen/Coleman/Jarrett are good enough.

    Just to be clear, ultimately, I agree with you about going after a LBer and keeping the safeties as is, but I guess I am not as comfortable with the safeties as you are.

  21. 21 TommyLawlor said at 6:22 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Fair enough. I know I’m in the minority on Safety. I hope that I’m right and you’re wrong, for all of our sakes. If not, the Safety class in the 2013 draft will get a ton of discussion.

  22. 22 hallcr3 said at 7:27 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Holy crap that’s the best player nickname you’ve come up with yet.

  23. 23 Eric Weaver said at 4:00 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I think Adam Schefter said this morning that the Eagles had definite interest in Plax last year but the Jets basically made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

  24. 24 hallcr3 said at 7:32 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I’m cool with Plax, as long as he leaves the gun in NY and takes the cannoli…

  25. 25 TommyLawlor said at 9:47 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Well done.

  26. 26 D3Keith said at 11:36 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Thank God for Vick and Joel Segal or our whole offense next year would be Rosenhaus clients.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 12:10 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Frightening thought.

  28. 28 ceteris_paribus1776 said at 4:19 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    on the CBs: the one write up in particular that caught my eye was Leonard Johnson. He was a guy I heard about a few months ago as someone who would be an excellent slot CB. Everyone knew he was slow in a straight line, but he’s a press corner! He does a good job jamming WR and sticking to them. His agility numbers in the cones, SS, and 60 shuttle were actually pretty good. Mayock has him as the 5th best CB in the draft. I think he would be a great mid-round pick to play in the slot. He doesn’t have the top end speed to be taken early and play exclusively on the outside, but he as the cover skills, strength, and agility to be perfect on the inside, and he isn’t afraid of contact as he amassed 64, 64, and 72 tackles in his final 3 years at Iowa St.

    I think if you are looking for a #1 CB, Johnson isn’t your guy, but I think he’ll be ideal in the slot as a mid-rounder.

  29. 29 JRO91 said at 4:39 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Eagles need to take a LONG look at Stephen Hill. Look at the track record of GT WRs…..megatron, Damarious Thomas. Use a second on him. Have him be the 3rd WR.

  30. 30 iskar36 said at 4:48 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Megatron is certainly a fantastic WR, but Damarius Thomas hasn’t done anything yet in the NFL. He’s had injury problems and is still young, so he could definitely turn things around, but no one is thinking he was worth the first round pick Denver spent on him so far.

  31. 31 JRO91 said at 4:54 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    He eliminated the steelers from the playoffs. That to me is worth 3 firsts!!! Lol. Hate that team. And also Demarius has has a good QB throwing to him. Stafford $hits on Tebow.

  32. 32 Mac said at 5:22 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Would I love to have a tall, fast, scrappy WR?

  33. 33 Donald Kalinowski said at 4:55 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    So how good is Janoris Jenkins? I watched his University of Florida highlights last year when he supposed to go in the supplemental draft and I wasn’t impressed. He’s projected to go in the top 20, am I missing something that everyone else sees?

  34. 34 D3FB said at 2:27 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    He shut down AJ Green and Julio Jones. Also closes on recievers in a heck of a hurry. Character issues are the only major red flag.

  35. 35 Donald Kalinowski said at 5:02 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I love how big WRs in the NFL are in the 6’2-6-5 range, when in the NBA point guards are in the 6’0 – 6’4 range.

    I really don’t think QB play is a reason for Thomas’ struggles. Larry Fitz still put up big numbers last year and the year prior. Also Kyle Orton is in the upper half of QBs in the league.

  36. 36 the guy said at 5:12 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Yes, the Eagles should definitely look into signing a former NY Giants WR.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  37. 37 Mac said at 5:24 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Can they buy an insurance policy that guarantees them the rights to the Giants 2nd round pick if Plax blows a knee?

  38. 38 Gary said at 5:36 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    At least Plax was a Jet after he was a Giant! Also an inmate.

  39. 39 the guy said at 6:20 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I don’t think referring to the fact that the Jets offense doesn’t want him helps his case.

  40. 40 TommyLawlor said at 6:23 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    You are evil.

  41. 41 Donald Kalinowski said at 5:24 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Why do we draft a projects in the 3rd round every year? i.e Curtis Marsh, Daniel Teo-Neishem, Bryan Smith, Chris Gocong, Ryan Moats, Matt Ware, Billy McMullin.

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this but we always trade our 2nd rounders and stock up on the 3rd and 5th round draft picks. Funny thing is that another project will get drafted in the 3rd round after our pick and they’ll end up as superstars- Jimmy Graham, Mike Wallace, Jermichael Finley,

  42. 42 T_S_O_P said at 5:40 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    You missed Disco Stu. Maybe we drafted a project in the 3rd in ’02 and it went so well we felt we should continue.

  43. 43 Ace said at 6:05 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Also missed Brian Westbrook.

    Oh, I see what you did…

  44. 44 Toby_yboT said at 6:10 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I don’t know if I’d classify Teo-Neishem and Matt Ware as projects. Atleast not compared to the average player selected in the 3rd round. Teo was kind of a surprise since many people thought he’d be picked up later but Matt Ware I specifically remember people thinking would go higher.

  45. 45 TommyLawlor said at 6:31 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    You’re mis-using the word project. Only a couple of those guys were true projects.

    Marsh – project
    DTN – not a project…simply picked earlier than expected
    Smith – project
    Gocong – project
    Moats – not a project…like most college RBs, had to learn to block, catch
    Ware – not a project…CB/S tweener…became good role player for ARZ
    McMullen – not a project at all…very good college WR…just failed

    You can say we take some chances in the 3rd round, but not close to being all projects.

  46. 46 Donald Kalinowski said at 10:19 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I consider DTN a project because he moved up in the draft due to his combine numbers. Andy probably thought that DTN could be molded into a good player.

    Basically taking a guy earlier than he should be taken because of intangibles rather than performance is considered a project to me.

  47. 47 TommyLawlor said at 10:55 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    He had something like 29 career sacks. He played at Washington. He had a good showing in the Shrine Game. DTN wasn’t a project.

    A reach, but not a project.

  48. 48 Anders Jensen said at 1:13 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I would say the Gocong project worked out for us. At the time we need a SAM there could handle blocking TEs and tackle bruising RBs and he showed that aslong as he did not have to cover he was a very effective SAM for us.

  49. 49 ChaosOnion said at 6:07 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    I heard Colston’s asking prices was in the $7M/year range, which is where the Eagles are with DJax. With NO not yet to terms with Brees, Colston could hit free agency. Is there any reason why Philly would not try to sign Colston at that salary? Is it at all possible they could sign both Colston and DJax? If Colston signs for $7M/year anywhere, that should bring DJax’s asking prices into a reasonable range.

  50. 50 Donald Kalinowski said at 6:10 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Colston is 28, DeSean is 25.

  51. 51 ChaosOnion said at 6:27 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Vincent Jackson is also 28. He has 11 fewer TDs in 5 more games played than Colston. If both Colston and Jackson, the 2 premier WRs in FA, are in that price range, that has to pull DJax out of that $9-10M/year delusion.

  52. 52 hallcr3 said at 7:35 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    But Donald makes a good point. DeSean is 3 years younger than Colston and Jackson.

    You have to factor that in to value. But teams will also factor the concussion history in to value.

    So I don’t know what the hell we’ll get. If Colston is really only asking for $7mil, it might behoove the Eagles to let DeSean test FA. I don’t think that’ll happen, though. If the Eagles are going to make a big move at WR, it’ll most likely be quick.

  53. 53 Donald Kalinowski said at 6:08 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Hines Ward released. Was it done to free up space for Mike Wallace

  54. 54 TommyLawlor said at 6:32 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Steelers are trying to get under the Cap.

  55. 55 hallcr3 said at 7:37 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    How on Earth can the Steelers franchise Mike Wallace if they’re not under the cap? Wouldn’t paying your WR that huge salary just hurt their cap diet even more?

  56. 56 Thunder_lips said at 7:53 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    No need to franchise him. He’s a RFA, so his tender won’t cost that much. Steelers are still vulnerable if a team decides to make a run at him and give up their 1st rounder.

  57. 57 hallcr3 said at 7:57 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Oh yeah! That’s right!

  58. 58 Anders Jensen said at 1:14 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    The only thing is that giving up a first and then 10 mill per year can scare some teams off.

  59. 59 JRO91 said at 8:34 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Best news of the day. Hate that dude

  60. 60 D3Keith said at 11:39 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    He’ll sign back with Pittsburgh for 23 cents. Book it.

  61. 61 austinfan said at 11:07 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    Maclin is almost as good of a deep threat as DeSean, when you run 4.45, are 6’1 with good body control, you can make deep plays, or check out Jennings on GB (who’s smaller than Maclin). Bulking up to 205 which is probably his natural weight at this point in his career will help a lot, he was probably well under 200 lbs last year.

    Just say no to Plax, do you think he could beat Celek in a footrace? Celek had 6 red zone TDs a few years ago when they used him as a red zone target. Cooper is 6’3, much faster, and just as inconsistent, but has a lot more upside. If you want a big target, go draft someone who can actually run the 40 faster than Eisen.

  62. 62 D3Keith said at 11:40 PM on February 29th, 2012:

    With Plax though, he knows his value (catching red zone TDs), he’s not delusional about his role, and he wants to be here. If the price is right, it could help, without respect to the draft one way or the other.

  63. 63 Anders Jensen said at 1:16 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    Plax had 8 RZ TD last year. Getting Plax this year would only affect Cooper, but if he cant beat out a WR there is only effective in the RZ, how much is he worth then?

  64. 64 JRO91 said at 7:59 AM on March 1st, 2012:

    I’ll take Plax over Cooper all day. Plus bringing in Plax may bring the best out of Riley. Riley may beat him in a footrace, but throw a fade route and you know who will win that battle. Plax would be here only to give us the redzone threat we never had.

  65. 65 Kristopher Lee said at 3:54 PM on March 1st, 2012:

    i think the eagles should sign and trade jackson, sign plax, and draft stephen hill from georgia tech. hes 6’4 215 pounds, and he ran a 4.34 40 yard dash. thats close to d-jax speed. he would be an upgrade over jackson for 1) he wouldnt be a headache in the locker room and 2) him along with plaxico can solve our redzone woes