Andy Reid and Michael Vick need to get Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek more involved in the offense, plain and simple. Both are talented players that can bring some play-making capability to the field.
The numbers from last week for these two players reads like this:
Jeremy Maclin: One catch for 20 yards
Brent Celek: One catch for 13 yards
Simply put, the Eagles need to utilize these players better. Or as Andy Reid would say, he has to put them in a better position to make plays.
I realize it’s only been one game but it’s important for the team to use every weapon at their disposal. The offense is at its best when they can spread the ball around and get everyone involved.
Against the Rams, it was Maclin’s first real action of 2011. He missed all of training camp and preseason while dealing with an unknown illness that ended up being a scare for cancer.
It’s likely that the Eagles were just trying to ease Maclin back into game shape and not over-work him. However, I fully expect Vick to look his way more this week against Atlanta.
This is Maclin’s third year in the league. They say a receiver typically makes huge strides in their third season. And if he improves on his 70 catches for 964 yards and 10 TDs from last year, he’s in for one heck of a season.
Brent Celek has been the victim of bad offensive line play. All of last year and so far this year, he has been kept in to block much of the time.
According to Pro Football Focus, Celek’s pass-blocking snaps increased from 75 in 2009 (his breakout year) to 127 in 2010. That’s about a 75% jump in the number of times he was held in to block.
Last week, he was kept in to block on approximately 50% of pass plays.
That’s unfortunate because he can be a real threat from the tight-end position and be another player that defenses must account for.
Last season there were four games where he didn’t get a single catch. He never had more than four in a game except in the dreadful Week 16 game against the Vikings where he hauled in 10.
That one game against Minny accounted for just about 1/4 of his total catches for the year in 2010.
The lack of opportunities to run pass routes may have also stifled any chemistry that he and Vick could establish. Vick’s favorite target while in Atlanta was TE Alge Crumpler.
Maybe Vick isn’t looking Celek’s way too much because he didn’t have much by way of WRs most of the time while in Atlanta. He now has two great WRs to work with so he’s just enjoying something he’s never had before.
If the Eagles offensive line can improve enough to where they don’t need extra help most of the time, maybe Vick and Celek can start building a good rapport in the passing game.
For this week’s match-up against the Falcons, it would be a good time for the Eagles to start using all their weapons. They’ll need all hands on deck for this game.