Posts for byron maxwell

Stopping John Brown is the key to the Eagles – Cardinals game

Mark Saltveit - December 20, 2015

Philadelphia matches up well against Arizona. They beat them in a tough 2013 game, and lost last year only because of a stupid defensive play.

The Eagles led 20-17 with 1:21 left. Arizona had the ball on their own 25. Might be a good time for a prevent defense, right? Instead, Cary Williams played tight on Williams, who predictably ran by him. Worse, safety Nate Allen bit on a double move, trying to be a hero by going for an interception on a short pass that was just a fake.

Brown flew by both for an easy touchdown. And no doubt, he’s one of the fastest receivers in the game. But half-decent coverage could have stopped the play or at least limited it to a long gain.

Since then, Allen signed with the Raiders as a free agent, and Cary Williams is out of football after the Seahawks cut him. The Eagles also replaced DBs coach John Lovett with Cory Undlin, who players rave about, and the unit as a whole is much better. So far, they’ve given up 44 passes of 20 yards or longer in 13 games. Last year, in 16, they surrendered 72.

But the secondary is still a work in progress. EJ Biggers is erratic at best. Nolan Carroll broke his ankle. Against Tampa Bay and Detroit, DC Bill Davis tried moving Malcolm Jenkins out of the nickel CB role back to a more traditional safety position. The Eagles gave up 45 points each to two of the league’s worst teams.

After they put Malcolm back in the slot and called up Ed Reynolds from the practice squad to play safety, the Birds beat New England and Buffalo, giving up only 28 and 20 points. And Reynolds clinched the Bills game with his late interception.

How well the Eagles handle John Brown tonight will be a good marker of their chances to win. Whether he faces Byron Maxwell or rookie Eric Rowe, Brown remains a deep threat who demands safety help to neutralize. The Eagles will need good coaching from Undlin, a smart defensive game plan and individual execution by Reynolds and Rowe, two green players, to have a chance at pulling off this upset.

Eagles – Lions: 5 Counterpunches

Mark Saltveit - November 26, 2015

The Eagles surprised everyone by being even worse than last week. It didn’t seem possible.

On the team’s own website, Chris McPherson apologized to fans for the game, Ike Reese called out [some of] the players for not doing everything they could to win, and Greg Cosell identified Malcolm Jenkins as the guy who missed key tackles allowing Ameer Addullah’s 23-yard run today as well as Doug Martin’s 84-yard run last week.

That was the team’s own announcers. And everyone else was more negative, as they should have been.

You know how bad they played, and you probably watched at least part of the game, or you wouldn’t be reading this. So there’s no point rehashing that part of the story. Here are five other points worth considering. Not everyone played terribly or gave up. And since this team is sure to get blown up this off-season, perhaps including the coaches, it’s important to note where the problems were.

1. Real injuries hurt this team.

It wasn’t only lack of effort. The offense was moving well until Jason Peters left the game, after a lineman rolled up on his leg. Then the drive moved backwards and Caleb Sturgis sproinked a field goal off the post. Jason Kelce had entered the game hobbled by a bad knee, and the offense couldn’t weather these two weak spots at key positions in their ultrathin offensive line.

Sanchez was under severe pressure the rest of the game, taking six sacks and nine hits while the run game evaporated. This team’s problems this year started with Chip Kelly not investing enough in the offensive line, and that failure (more than scheme or play calling) has been the root of this team’s troubles.

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Eagles – Saints: 7 Blessings

Mark Saltveit - October 11, 2015

Even with their two best DBs — safety Jairus Byrd and cornerback Keenan Lewis — back from injury, New Orleans’ defense was the miracle cure for Philadelphia’s offensive woes today. Here are just seven of the many blessings that this game bestowed upon the Birds.

1. The Pass Rush

It helped that the Saints starting left tackle (Terron Armstead) and left guard (Jahri Evans) were out with injuries. But the Eagles took full advantage, with three sacks, four QB hits and 5 tackles for loss just in the first half. (They finished with five, seven and seven for the game.)

Fletcher Cox abused Andrus Peat, Armstead’s replacement at left tackle. He finished with three sacks — and forced fumbles on two of them. Cox recovered one of them himself. Rookie Jordan Hicks, of course, got the other one. He has three fumble recoveries in just his first four games, which has to be an NFL record.

Against a great QB like Drew Brees, this penetration and disruption was crucial for taking control of the game.

2. Caleb Sturgis was a great kicker (mostly).

The goat of last week’s game wasn’t exactly the GOAT this week, but that one guy who picked him sarcastically in fantasy had a very happy surprise. Sturgis drilled four field goals and was the team’s leading scorer.

Sure, he didn’t get a touchback until his fourth kickoff, and Chip Kelly went for it on fourth and seven twice at the beginning of the game just to avoid the pain of watching Sturgis try a FG. But at the end of the first half his 39-yarder was perfect, dead center and with plenty of distance to spare. In the second half, an emboldened Chip Kelly called Sturgis’ number again three more times and he delivered. One was as long as 41 yards!

Of course Sturgis missed an extra point in the second half just to be true to his self. On the flip side, he gets credit for the return of Big Balls Chip. Many don’t realize it, but Kelly’s aggressiveness at Oregon had a lot to do with having bad kickers there too.

3. Excellent pass defense

Yes, New Orleans had some big pass plays. Drew Brees is a lock for the Hall of Fame, and even with Jimmy Graham gone he has some great weapons, notably Brandin Cooks (who Chip Kelly tried to trade up for in the 2014 draft).

But the Birds’ secondary had a great game as a group, including Byron Maxwell (who has taken plenty of Continue Reading

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Injuries all over the place

Mark Saltveit - October 4, 2015

LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles both got hammered in game three against Washington last year, and neither was the same for a few games. Shady took a helmet-to-helmet spear from David Amerson that left him splayed out on the field for a while; he had 19 carries for 22 yards that day, and was 10 for 17 the following week at San Francisco. Foles was nearly suplexed on Chris Baker’s cheap shot that led to a bench clearing brawl.

This game against Washington may be even worse. The Eagles started with only five active defensive linemen, and before the end of the first quarter DE Brandon Bair — starting in place of the injured Cedric Thornton — was out for the game with a groin injury.

Two other defensive starters were on the bench after the Skins first drive: CB Byron Maxwell and ILB Mychal Kendricks. They both have good if raw replacements in Eric Rowe and Jordan Hicks, respectively, but the roster is getting dangerously thin, even as Washington is grinding out long drive after long drive while the Birds can’t sustain a drive.

And Bennie Logan looked “uncomfortable” after the second drive, which might have been some kind of injury or simply exhaustion by that point. He kept playing, though.

The defense is playing remarkably stout (with a couple of bad exceptions) despite fatigue and a tough run game by Washington. But they’re already looking winded, and any further injuries could be devastating.

On offense, the news is even worse. Matt Tobin was already struggling in place of Andrew Gardner. Then Jason Peters went out after reinjuring his quad, which had left him questionable for the rest of the game. He started but was having a lot of trouble on the first drive sliding and blocking edge rushers. The effects are obvious — Bradford has rushers on him almost immediately on a lot of plays.

Byron Maxwell Laughs About Getting Burnt by Julio Jones

Jim Adair - September 15, 2015

Byron Maxwell, the Eagles’ new $63 million man looked like a $63 man trying to guard Julio Jones last night. After turning in his best Cary Williams (or, if you’d prefer, Nnamdi Asomugha) impression, he was asked about his performance. When faced with Jones’ stat line, he said “Goddamn” and let out a little chuckle. He noticed pretty quickly that he probably shouldn’t be doing that:

And the countdown begins until his first “we’re practicing too hard” comments.

Report: Eagles Re-sign Mark Sanchez, Are Close on Maclin

Jim Adair - March 8, 2015

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

At least one more hole on the Eagles is now filled: Backup(ish) quarterback. According to reports, the Eagles are bringing back Mark Sanchez on a two-year contract worth $9 million, $5.5 million of which is guaranteed. That money is somewhere between backup and starter money, so Sanchez could compete for a starting job (or take the gig as a mentor to the next generation of the much-hyped top pick).

On the wide receiver side, the Eagles and Jeremy Maclin are reportedly very close to getting a deal done, but aren’t quite there yet. And as for Byron Maxwell, which looked to be a done deal? His agent said it’s not quite done:

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It’s likely that’s just a rules thing, but it looks like Tuesday’s gonna be a real busy day.

Reports: The Eagles Will Sign Byron Maxwell, Have Interest in Frank Gore

Kyle Scott - March 8, 2015

HELLO, FREE AGENCY.

Beginning Tuesday at 4 p.m., free agents will be allowed to sign with the teams that have been contacting them legally and otherwise for the past few months. This weekend, the legal tampering period began, and here’s the biggy, according to Jayson Braddock:

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His earlier Tweets:

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If accurate, that’s substantial. Wikipedia already has him on the team:

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Maxwell is 27 and has been Seattle’s number two cornerback the last two seasons, which, in case you were unaware, ended in Super Bowl appearances.

Meanwhile, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com is reporting that the Eagles have interest in Frank Gore:

A person with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity, told NJ Advance Media that the Eagles have expressed interest in free-agent running back Frank Gore.

That person said a deal with the San Francisco 49ers star could get done as early as Tuesday, the first day free agents can sign with another team.

Gore is 31 and seems like a more than suitable stop-gap back to give the Eagles some time to draft, develop, build-from-scratch(?) a replacement for LeSean McCoy, who, oh by the way, just signed a massive five-year, $40 million (with $26 million guaranteed) extension with the Bills. Nice job, Drew.

The 49ers, however, think they can keep Gore around.

UPDATE:

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People are wondering if Braddock has any credibility. Honestly, I don’t know. But several Eagles beat writers have cited his reports, including Les Bowen (RT) and the Birds 24/7 guys on Philly Mag. Braddock certainly seems to have an inside track on the Maxwell thing.

Byron Maxwell Says the Eagles’ Scheme “Definitely Fits” Him

Jim Adair - March 6, 2015

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Free agent cornerback Byron Maxwell is reportedly on the Eagles’ radar. But even more importantly for an unrestricted free agent, the Eagles are on Maxwell’s radar. He’s been popping up on ESPN with Brian Dawkins, talking to Gonzo and Gunn on CSN, and all in all running his mouth in the best way possible.

He was all chummy with B-Dawk. He told Gonzo and Gunn that he only hears good things about Philly and that the Eagles “allow their corners to play and get physical … their scheme definitely fits me.” [Editor’s note: Their current scheme is burnt toast, so let’s just assume this was a canned response.] But even more exciting than that — this is what passes for excitement these days — Maxwell said on SportsCenter that he would “definitely” consider joining the Eagles. “They’re committed to winning,” Maxwell said. “If they were to come at me, I would have to consider them.”

But this is all just speculation, right Eliot Shorr-Parks?

Speaking on the phone to an agent of another top-end free agent cornerback, the idea was brought up of his client possibly coming to join the Eagles.

“Nope,” the agent replied, “They are getting Byron Maxwell.”

Well, that settles that.