It was a ton of fun having Jeremy Maclin on the Eagle Eye podcast last week and one of the last questions I asked him is one I think I’m going to throw in the rotation for about every pro athlete I speak with.
It’s not that original but it’s an awful lot of fun.
The question was based on this tweet from Torrey Smith back in March:
If you’re a regular listener to Eagle Eye, you heard us talk about this on a pod in April, when Roob and I tried to name the top five players we’ve each covered. It’s not an easy exercise but it let’s you appreciate some of the greatness anyone involved with the NFL is lucky enough to be around on a daily basis.
To be fair to Maclin, I didn’t limit him to five because he didn’t get advance notice. And if he forgot someone, give him a break; he did this off the top of his head:
Man, I’ll start in Philly, right? You got LeSean (McCoy), who was on a Hall of Fame track. You got DJacc (DeSean Jackson), who is arguably the best deep ball threat in NFL history. You got Fletcher Cox. You got Jason Kelce, Iron Man, should be a Hall of Famer. You got Jason Peters; I got an opportunity to play with Jason Peters. I didn’t get to play with this guy in his prime but people don’t know that (Jeremiah) Trotter came back and played for us my rookie year for a little bit. Granted it wasn’t Trotter that we know Trotter, but I got a chance to play with Trotter. I apologize if I’m leaving out some people. I got a young (Zach) Ertz, got a chance to play with a young Ertz.
“And then you go to KC, you got Tyreek Hill, who’s probably on the fastest track to the Hall of Fame as I’ve ever seen. You’ve got (Travis) Kelce, who is on the track to the Hall of Fame. Those guys are revolutionizing the game, right? Those guys are changing the game, the way you have to defend, the ways you call the game; those guys are changing the game.
"And then in Baltimore, I got (Terrell) Suggs in the locker room.
“So I’ve had the chance to play with some pretty legit players, some pretty good guys. Clearly Mike (Vick) is like A.I. (Allen Iverson). Mike did things that had never been done before. Now, present day, you look at Lamar (Jackson) and what he’s doing and stuff like that, but I’m talking about before his time.
Yeah, that’s a pretty impressive list. There are several potential Hall of Famers among the names he mentioned.
Maclin, 32, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2017 but finally announced his retirement last year. On our podcast, he said he thought about making a return but ultimately decided to stay retired. His hamstring still isn’t healthy.
That’s a frustrating thing and it happens to a lot of pro athletes. Their careers come to an end before they’re ready for it. Happened to Maclin. But he had nearly a decade in the league and got to play with some guys who will probably end up in gold jackets.
“It’s pretty cool, man,” Maclin said. “And it’s also pretty cool to hear those guys talk about you and what you brought to the table and the type of teammate you were and how talented you were as well. I would say other than me not going out the way I pictured myself going out, I would say that I had a pretty successful career for sure.”
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