The Philadelphia Eagles are about massive changes this offseason, and one of them will be making Byron Maxwell a cornerback who shadows the opponent’s top receiver, something that doesn’t fit with the way the Eagles have played defense in the past.
The Eagles over the last two years under Kelly were a team with cornerbacks who stayed on their side of the field, regardless of the receiver facing them. Signing Maxwell in free agency after his four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks was something of a surprise (giving him a six-year, $63 million contract was the surprising part), but it did hint at the intention for him.
Maxwell, a sixth round pick in the 2011 draft, wasn’t one of the more notable players in the Legion of Boom defense in Seattle. While the Eagles seem to have complete faith in his covering and even shutting down abilities, there are many who doubt he will excel when out of the comforts of the secondary he played in with the Seahawks.
Pretty soon, with players like Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr. and DeSean Jackson to cover, we’ll learn if making him the linchpin of the team’s secondary was a smart move by Chip Kelly, who has a lot riding on the next season because of the massive changed made under his name.