Jeremy Maclin, Chiefs embark on “special” season

Jeremy Maclin

OCTOBER 2015 – The Kansas City Chiefs worked aggressively in the offseason to improve their roster, but is the hype surrounding the team merely the usual autumn hubris? Newly-acquired wide receiver Jeremy Maclin doesn’t think so.

“We’ve got something special,” Jeremy Maclin said. “It’s no disrespect to anybody out there I’ve played with before but I feel something special here.  I can honestly say that.  It’s a feeling.

“Obviously, you know, on paper we’ve got talent, but I think as far as believing that it can grow to be something bigger than that, I think it’s a feeling.”

Maclin’s teammates have caught the feeling, too.

“Like everybody’s been talking, there’s a buzz around here,” tackle Eric Fisher said.  “A lot of people have been talking about it, a lot of people have been saying it.  It’s a feeling you get, and everyone’s feeling really good about this season.”

Said tight end Travis Kelce, “I think we have a lot more confidence, a lot more know of what we’re capable of. Last year I think it was kind of a mystery, especially after the first two games when we had two of our defensive guys go down.

“I think there’s a lot more confidence in who we are and what we can be, and a lot more focus on staying on the track and doing the right things, week by week.”

Jeremy Maclin is coming off his best pro season, catching 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Philadelphia Eagles, earning his first All-Pro selection.  He has also been remarkably consistent, catching at least 56 passes for 773 yards each of his five seasons in Philadelphia.

The seven-year veteran from Mizzou was brought to Kansas City to become a primary target for quarterback Alex Smith.  He has not disappointed as he is on pace to exceed his career averages set with the Eagles.

“I don’t think I’ve been off to a better start with a particular quarterback,” Maclin said. “It’s all about trust.  He trusts me; I trust him.  We’re able to get together, communicate, talk about certain things on the football field.  I think that’s the type of relationship that you want with your quarterback.”

The addition of a talent like  Jeremy Maclin isn’t lost on Smith.

“I think, certainly, we’ve got a lot of weapons,” Smith said.  “I don’t know if I remember having this many, especially guys that are so different.  Different gifts and different abilities.  We’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of skill sets.  That’s fun as a quarterback.  I think it gives our offense a lot of dimensions, being able to get all those guys the football.”

Maclin believes the young wide receiver corps can become a strong unit.

“I think the big thing they’ve got going for themselves is they all want to get better,” he said.  “They all want to learn.  And I think when they have that type of mindset, and obviously, if they weren’t talented enough they wouldn’t be here, but all these guys have exceptional talent.

“Albert (Wilson), De’Anthony (Thomas), Frankie (Hammond, Jr.), Jason (Avant), who I was with for a couple of years – he’s not young – but all these guys have something to bring to the table, including myself, so it’s all about coming together as a unit and going out there and making plays.”

Maclin, who is a Kirkwood, Mo. native, is aware of the recent lack of touchdowns by Chiefs wide receivers, and also the long playoff winless streak by the Chiefs, but doesn’t let that define how he’ll approach this season.

“I’ll tell you what,” he said.  “If Alex throws five touchdowns and we win the game and none of them go to wide receivers, I don’t see any of us arguing about it or being upset about.

“I’ve heard about it and I’ve heard about the stat of no wide receiver touchdowns and all that other stuff, but at the end of the day, I’m big on the present and future.  I try not to harp too much on the past.  Those are things we can’t control. Those are things that have already happened. All we can control is what goes on going forward.

“I’ll tell you this, if we achieve what we want to achieve, what we have our minds set on, we have to win some playoff games.”

Coach Andy Reid reminds, it is about making plays, and making the “special feeling” produce wins.

“Guys kind of understand what they need to do, and I think that’s important,” Reid said.  “It’s important that they put an effort forward and this group does it, whether it’s in meetings or out (on the field).  I think it’s a confident bunch and they like playing together.

“That’s what drives you, the demand to be better.  With that comes that (special) feeling, then you’ve got to go out and do it, and that’s where we’re at right now.”

Guard Ben Grubbs said, “Right now we have a good team. There’s potential to be a great team.  But potential without hard work is nothing.  We understand what we have here.  We do have a lot of great pieces to this puzzle, but our mindset is it’s not going to come to us.  We’re going to have to go get it.

“We have to attack each day like it’s our last day just to make the best out of every opportunity we get and at the end of the season see where we’re at.  It can be a beautiful thing if we attack every day like it’s our last day.”

The start of the season couldn’t arrive fast enough for Jeremy Maclin.

“I’m excited to be here,” Maclin said. “I believe we’ve got something special here.  If we go out and continue to get better each and every day, I feel like we’ll be in good shape.  I’m excited about the opportunity to play here and play with these guys.”

Article by Marc Bowman.

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