Eagles cornerback coach Cory Undlin had stressed throughout the OTA’s and training camp that the Eagles cornerbacks were going to get their hands on opposing wide receivers, jam them at the snap of the ball and delay their release off of the line of scrimmage. It was much like what Byron Maxwell had done in Seattle.
They beat up opposing wide outs at the line of scrimmage and allowed their pass rush more time to get to the quarterback. Maxwell shut down Jordan Matthews last year by jamming him to throw off his timing with Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez. Everyone was confident Maxwell would battle the Falcons Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones the same way in the opener.
Once Maxwell got in the game on Monday night in Atlanta, he abandoned the technique, after 6’3″ 220 pound Jones. Maxwell did what Undlin had condemned throughout the offseason, he opened up the gate and gave Jones a free release. It was a major mistake because the monster of a wide receiver came flying off the ball, turned on his 4.3 speed and ran away from Maxwell.
I think Jones’ size intimidated Maxwell. Jones is listed at 6’3″ 220 but he looks more like 6’4″ 235. He was dwarfing ESPN’s Ray Lewis and Cris Carter in the post game interview.
“I didn’t play up to par”, Maxwell said yesterday. “My technique was bad on a couple of those big plays. Definitely could have been better . . . My eyes were bad, and all that. Didn’t play well,” Maxwell said.
He spent the entire night chasing Jones up the field and across the field. To make matters worse, Maxwell also got burnt by veteran Roddy White, who is supposed to be over the hill. Oh by the way, Jones was named the NFC Offensive Player Of The Week with his 9 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Thankfully for Maxwell, Dez Bryant is hurt and he won’t be playing in this Cowboys-Eagles game on Sunday afternoon. Still Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley will be trying to get open for Tony Romo. It’s time to get ready for the Cowboys.
“It’s over now”, Maxwell said. “The more I hang on it, the more I can’t get prepared for Dallas. That’s the next step.”
Maxwell knows he’s got to step up against Dallas in the home opener at Lincoln Financial Field.
“I feel good, ready to bounce back,” Maxwell said. “Sunday was a tough loss for me and for everybody. We want to bounce back and it starts right here in practice, watching film and being as ready as we can possibly be.”