Sesame Street teaches that it's nice to share, and Eagles coach Andy Reid, a big bird in his own right, is on board with that philosophy.
"I think Jason Avant probably said it best that when he makes a catch, or one of the receivers makes a catch, they all make a catch," Reid said yesterday. "It's all for one and that's how we've approached it and I think that's how they approach it."
Reid said he believes second-year receiver DeSean Jackson also thinks that way even after catching just one pass for 1 yard in the Eagles' 19-point win over Tampa Bay Sunday.
"He's a competitive little guy," Reid said. "There's nobody on our team that loves to play the game more than he does. You're going to run into those games like that every once in a while, and you work through it. He'll be back at it Wednesday, and then we'll keep trying to design ways for him to get the football."
Jackson, on his ESPN-AM (950) radio show last night, admitted it's not easy to go from favorite target to the forgotten one, but he didn't have one of those diva fits that some NFL wide receivers have been well known for.
"We won the game and that's all that matters," Jackson said. "You're going to have great games and games where you don't do too much."
With the exception of Terrell Owens' only full season with the Eagles, it has often been difficult to differentiate between the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers on the roster, but that seemed to change last season because Jackson was clearly better than any other receiver on the roster.
He seemed to cement that role in Weeks 2 and 3 this season by catching 10 passes for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. But in Sunday's rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jackson was a nonfactor, catching one pass from Michael Vick for 1 yard long after the outcome had been decided.
In one week, Jackson fell from 19th to 28th in receiving yards among NFL players.
The focus switched to Jeremy Maclin, who had the best day of his young career, catching six passes for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
"As a competitor, sure I want as many catches as I can get," Jackson said. "But you know there are going to be times when teams are going to try to take me out of the game, and Jeremy made some huge catches. It was definitely a great game for him."
Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said Maclin's emergence resulted from Tampa Bay's coverage on Jackson.
"They rolled the coverage a lot to his side, and you want to get your weapons going," McNabb said. "Teams are going to try to take someone in this offense out of it. They're trying to take DeSean out, and when you give [other] guys an opportunity to make plays for you, I have full confidence that they will."
Jackson may still end up being the featured weapon in the Eagles' offense, but this is the first time in recent years that we've been this far into the season without knowing exactly who will be McNabb's go-to guy.
During the Eagles' 2004 run to the Super Bowl, Owens was the main man, and ever since then it has been running back Brian Westbrook. Teams tried to stop both men, but usually couldn't.
Now, the Eagles have Jackson, Maclin, Westbrook, and tight end Brent Celek, not to mention Michael Vick, rookie LeSean McCoy, and this thing called a Wildcat offense.
Although the Eagles have averaged 31.8 points per game - second best in the NFL - every aspect of the offense hasn't always worked. Sunday, for instance, the Eagles averaged only 2.4 yards per carry on 19 designed rushing plays.
"We need to be more efficient when we do run the football," Reid said.
Westbrook, at least through four games, doesn't appear to be the same force he has been the previous five seasons. He had just eight touches against the Bucs, and it's strange not to see his name among the league leaders in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage. McCoy actually had one more touch than Westbrook.
Is that the Eagles' future?
"We'll do that as long as we need to," Reid said. "We can increase things [for Westbrook], but right now that's where we're at, and we'll see how it works this week. He came out feeling good, though, so that was a positive."
Not so positive were the yards gained by Vick and the Wildcat offense.
"It wasn't as good as it needs to be," Reid said. "We'll just go back to the drawing board and see what happens. That happens every once in a while."
The entire Eagles offense seems to still be a work in progress and it remains to be seen who will emerge as the featured weapon.