Byron Maxwell was a major player for the Seattle Seahawks last season, and his stellar play earned him the right to be their new starter across from Richard Sherman. Maxwell keeps with the Legion of Boom’s trend of big-bodied defensive backs, but that doesn’t slow him down in coverage.
He’s in a very favorable position as we near training camp and the preseason and will solidify his status as one of the league’s top corners and a force to be reckoned with in 2014.
In 2014, Maxwell yielded an average passer rating of just 47.2 to opposing quarterbacks. He also picked off four passes while breaking up another 13 pass attempts—higher than anyone else on the team.
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When you break down the situation Maxwell is entering and the ability he displayed in 2013, there’s a litany of reasons why Maxwell will perform well. One of the biggest reasons is the amount of talent around him in the secondary, which combines for arguably the league’s best group.
Considering he’ll be entering his first full year as a starter, he will likely get picked on a bit by opposing quarterbacks, but that will only help him learn how to be a better defender. Fortunately for him, he will also have the luxury of an all-star secondary surrounding him.
This strong supporting cast will help take some of the heat off of Maxwell while also being able to cover for any mistakes he might make in coverage.
How well will Maxwell do in 2014?
He's lucky to have some great safeties behind him, as both Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor are very talented, sideline-to-sideline players; they could definitely make up for any botch in coverage. What also plays in his favor is the chemistry he's developed with Chancellor and Thomas because he stepped in for Brandon Browner last season.
Maxwell will also benefit from another full offseason of Dan Quinn’s guidance (though he’ll undoubtedly pick up a few things from Sherman, Thomas and Chancellor) under his belt, and he should build off of the level of play he was at last season.
On paper, the Seahawks secondary adds up to one of the most menacing groups of defensive backs the league has to offer.
Plain and simple, Maxwell is the total package. He may not be the best run defender, but he is a sure tackler who does well in coverage and uses his size to jack up receivers at the line of scrimmage. He fits exactly what Seattle does defensively and is primed for a very good year in 2014.