Jeremy Maclin said he has spoken to Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson a few times this year. Maclin and Jackson were teammates for five years before Maclin took over as the Eagles' top receiver this season.
"I don't know how people perceive that relationship between him and I," Maclin said. "We're cool. No hard feelings either way. But at the end of the day, he's in Washington now and we're here."
Jackson complimented Maclin in an interview with The Inquirer on Sunday.
Maclin said there was never bad blood between them. They were talented young players at the same position who were competitive with each other.
"When you have two guys of that caliber on a team, people look for things to pick at and pull you guys apart, but it's not always like that," Maclin said.
Maclin has been one of the NFL's top receivers this season, setting career highs with 78 catches for 1,207 yards and matching a career high with 10 touchdowns.
Jackson has 50 catches for 957 yards and five touchdowns this season. His 19.1 yards per reception is the highest for any receiver with at least 50 receptions, and his 10 catches of 40 or more yards lead the NFL. However, Jackson's production has dipped in recent weeks while he has dealt with a shin injury. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Jackson has been "fine so far" this season, but he wants to see more from his high-profile wide receiver.
"He's a very good wide receiver, but the last couple of weeks he's been dealing with an injury and he hasn't been quite the same," Gruden said. "I'm a what have you done for me lately kind of guy. Lately, we haven't seen the DeSean we need to see. So hopefully the motivation of playing against Philadelphia [helps], and hopefully he's a little more healthy."
Gruden spent three days around Maclin leading up to the 2009 NFL draft, and he raved about what Maclin has done this season.
"He's a consistent pro," Gruden said. "I love the way he plays, his approach to the football game. He's tough. It seems like whenever Philly needs a big play on offense . . . Maclin seems to always show up. Types of guys you want - accountable guys who, when the game is on the line, they have no problem making the play. Jeremy's done that."
Linebacker Connor Barwin is the Eagles' nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.