- Adam Teicher, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – On the second play of Kansas City Chiefs training camp, quarterback Alex Smith took a deep drop and fired a long pass down the right sideline to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for a long gain.
This was exactly what the Chiefs envisioned when they brought in Maclin during the offseason as a free agent. It will be more difficult for Smith to get Maclin the ball during games, when he will be a focus of defensive attention.
Still, the Chiefs served notice with the play that they intend to get Maclin the ball.
“We’ve got a new weapon,’’ Smith said. “We’ve got to test it out a little bit. We’ve known for a while what we’ve got with him.’’
The long passing game was a major deficiency for the Chiefs last season. They were last in the NFL in pass plays of 25 yards or more and that’s a big reason the Chiefs failed to make the playoffs. The Chiefs also failed to get a touchdown catch from a wide receiver.
That’s also a big reason the Chiefs signed Maclin, who averaged a healthy 15.5 yards per catch last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. But it’s not the only reason.
“I consider myself to be an all-around receiver, doing a little bit of everything, being able to go downfield, run intermediate routes, run short routes, be able to take one-yard passes and take them to the house,’’ Maclin said.
The Chiefs will take big plays from Maclin regardless of how they happen. At least on their first day of practice, that was the deep ball. Maclin caught a couple more deep passes from Smith before the Chiefs called it quits for the day.
“We’re just getting work in,’’ Maclin said. “It’s part of what we installed today and me and Alex just happened to hit. Each and every day is going to be a different story. We’ll continue to go out here and get work in. If it’s down the field, it’s down the field. If it’s anything else, it’s anything else. All we can do is go out and execute the plays that are called.’’
12hEric D. Williams
2dEric D. Williams