If you had to describe a prototypical NFL cornerback, you would talk about size, speed and hands. You would covet versatility, leadership and experience with a winning culture.
You would basically be describing Eagles No. 1 cornerback, new acquisition Byron Maxwell.
"When you see him in person," Chip Kelly said of the former Seahawks defender, "you see how big and tall and long he is and what a disruptive force he is. He had a good game against us. If you ask Jordan [Matthews], he would say he was the best cover guy that he faced last year as a rookie."
Philly's Week 14 loss to the Seahawks, of course, began the team's downward spiral that ultimately cost them an achievable spot in the playoffs. Maxwell collected four tackles for Seattle and helped hold the Eagles to just 96 passing yards.
Of all his desirable attributes, his versatility makes him a great fit for the Eagles scheme.
"He started at outside corner but when they went to nickle he went to the inside," Kelly said of the 6-foot-1 veteran. "You saw him cover [Riley Cooper], and [Jeremy Maclin] and came inside to cover Jordan."
From a member of the Legion of Boom on two Super Bowl teams (one win and one loss) to the leader of a defense that is coming off a year with the most X plays of any in the league, Maxwell says the secondary is slowly coming along.
"It takes time to be honest," he said. "A lot of new people coming into the fold right now but it's going to come. It happens on and off the field. Guys have to spend some time together and get to know each other. It's going to happen."