Maclin came to Kansas City from Philadelphia in the offseason, and his communication with Smith has been more than either player expected.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been off to a better start with a particular quarterback in my life,” Maclin said, per KCChiefs.com.
Offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, like head coach Andy Reid, brought the Philadelphia offense to Kansas City, which has helped Maclin's transition.
“He’s only a couple years removed from our system,” Pederson said. “We’ve changed some things since he’s been in the offense, but he’s such a smart, savvy, veteran guy that he’s picked up on what we’re doing really fast. He and Alex have sort of developed that continuity right away.”
Maclin, who signed a five-year, $55 million deal with the Chiefs, was a premier punt returner in college and played the role sparingly -- with little success -- with the Eagles.
Coach Andy Reid said the team is preparing Maclin just in case he's needed to return punts or kicks because of injuries.
We just want to make sure he is ready,’’ Reid said. “You have limited numbers that you can dress on game day, so you don’t know what rotation you are going to have there with the receivers and returners. So it gives you an opportunity to keep him fresh. We don’t work him every day like the other guys. It’s kind of an every other day deal, so just to make sure that he’s okay and can still do that, but he’s not going to be the primary guy doing it right now.”
"I still believe in Chip," Maclin said, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I think Chip's going to do great things here. I have the utmost respect for him. Unfortunately, we couldn't get something worked out. But at the end of the day I'm very excited about playing for Kansas City and playing for Big Red."
As well as Maclin not being brought back, the Eagles traded LeSean McCoy and quarterback Nick Foles. They also released defensive end Trent Cole and offensive lineman Todd Herremans.
Maclin missed the 2013 season -- Kelly's first in the NFL -- due to a torn ACL. However, he returned in 2014 to post career highs in targets (143), catches (85) and receiving yards (1,318), while tying a career high with 10 touchdowns.
Maclin, 26, set career highs with 85 catches for 1,318 yards last season and matched his career best with 10 touchdowns. It was his only 1,000-yard season of his career. He'll join a Kansas City offense that failed to score a wide receiver touchdown last season.
The deal will go through as soon as Kansas City clears enough cap room, according to Mortensen.
Playing for the Eagles, Maclin set career highs with 85 catches for 1,318 yards last season and matched his career best with 10 touchdowns. He'll be Alex Smith's No. 1 receiver as he reunites with coach Andy Reid, who drafted him in 2009 for Philadelphia.
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