Maclin hosts youth camp, looks forward to Eagles camp
Jeremy Maclin is trying to help youngsters learn football. At Eagles camp, hell have new things to learn under Chip Kelly.
JEREMY MACLIN took the short drive from his home in West Deptford, N.J., to the RiverWinds community complex for the third annual Jeremy Maclin Football Camp yesterday. The camp is for boys from ages 7 to 16 to work on their skills with pro players. Among the NFL stars helping Maclin were teammates Michael Vick and Jason Avant, and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
"My main thing is to have these kids learn from people who have been in their shoes before," Maclin said.
"I wish I would have had a chance to hear from Steve Young or Randall Cunningham when I was younger, or Warren Moon," Vick said. "I admired those guys. John Elway. If I would have ever walked past them, I think I would have lost my mind. That's what it's all about. Those experiences make you dream. They make you wish and go out there and try to accomplish it."
Vick, Maclin and the Eagles have their own things to accomplish in the coming weeks. They are about 4 weeks away from the start of training camp. Maclin, as with his camp, will not have to drive far from home to attend training camp, which will be held at the NovaCare complex in South Philadelphia instead of Lehigh University, the Eagles' camp site for 17 years.
"Absolutely," Maclin said when asked whether he was glad camp will be in Philadelphia. "[New head coach] Chip Kelly's message was basically, 'I trust you for 16 games, possibly more throughout the season, why can't I trust you during training camp?' I think that's real. The guys who screw up in training camp and don't do what they're supposed to do are the guys you don't want on your team."
Some Eagles are less inclined to support the idea of training camp at the practice facility, but for reasons other than proximity.
"I don't know anything else but Lehigh," Avant said. "I don't know how comfortable I will be. I know that I'll have to deal with my daughters keeping me up at night now. Other than that, hopefully it's beneficial for the team."
Besides the change in venue, the players' comfort level will also be tested by a new coaching staff, which is expected to accelerate the pace.
"I think it's going to be fast," Maclin said. "I anticipate it being a fast, up-tempo and hard-working camp."
"I'm excited," Avant said. "Everyone is excited, based on our OTAs and based on our minicamps. We kind of know what to expect, how he wants to practice and run things."
Kelly, undoubtedly, wants practice to be fast. The remaining questions will be answered starting July 25, when the full squad reports to South Philly.