Maclin hits Eagles camp eager to prove himself - KMOV.com

Maclin hits Eagles camp eager to prove himself

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) -- Eagles rookie Jeremy Maclin wanted to get his contract right the first time. Now he wants to show his new team it made the right move by drafting him.

Maclin arrived at training camp Tuesday after agreeing to a five-year deal Monday night. The Eagles moved up two spots to select the wide receiver out of Missouri 19th overall in this year's NFL draft.

"I'm a competitive guy, so I wanted to be out here competing and be out here with my teammates," Maclin said. "I was anxious from day one. I was anxious ever since I got drafted. But I'm happy I'm here now and that's the big part."

Maclin reported Tuesday, but he didn't practice, so he missed a total of 15 sessions in the first 10 days of training camp. He looks at it as part of the business.

"When it comes to football, especially in the NFL, I think there is a business part of it first and sometimes you've got to get that figured out," Maclin said. "This may be the only contract, so sometimes you've got to do what's best and get that first one right."

Maclin joins a deep receiving corps that includes DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Reggie Brown and Hank Baskett. Maclin was the first receiver selected by the Eagles in the first round since they took Freddie Mitchell in 2001 at No. 25. Mitchell was a bust in Philadelphia.

Now Maclin has to start cramming to learn the Eagles' West Coast offense, which is notoriously difficult for rookies to handle. While he attended the offseason minicamps and participated in Donovan McNabb's workouts last month in Arizona, Maclin doesn't know just how far behind he is.

"I have no idea. I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning," said Maclin, who nevertheless is confident he'll pick up the system quickly.

"I'm just going to go with the flow and take things as they come. I think I'm a pretty intelligent guy so hopefully I can take in a lot of things and embed it in my memory and get going."

The Eagles expect Maclin to learn quickly.

"We'll see what happens here and he's got a lot of catching up to do," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said. "However, he's a real sharp guy, he's a natural football player and so we'll see how quickly he can get himself ready."

The Eagles saw last season that a rookie receiver can learn the offense quickly. Filling in for injured starter Curtis, Jackson opened the season as a starter -- and never lost the spot. He finished with 912 receiving yards, a new team rookie record.

"My situation was a little different. I didn't have to hold out," Jackson said. "It's definitely crucial -- the time he's missed. Vets, selected vets and all the rookies -- we went through it already, so our bodies are kind of in shape now. But those first couple days, it's nothing you can just bypass. It's work you have to get through."

Notes: The Eagles on Tuesday signed linebacker Matt Wilhelm and defensive end Jason Babin to one-year deals. Signed for depth after the Eagles lost starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley for the season with a torn ACL, Wilhelm was cut by the Chargers last month after spending the last six seasons in San Diego. Babin, a sixth-year pro, spent last season with Seattle and Kansas City. ... To clear roster spots for Maclin, Wilhelm and Babin, the Eagles released defensive tackle Jervonte Jackson, cornerback Courtney Robinson and receiver Marcus Thigpen.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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