Philadelphia Eagles star Darius Slay isn’t worried at all about Avonte Maddox.
Okay, we can probably state that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, this Darius Slay acquisition was exactly what the Philadelphia Eagles needed. Since, his arrival, he’s not only bolstered Philly’s secondary, his professionalism and level of play has inspired teammates to not only be better at their craft but also increase their own expectations of themselves.
Goal number one for everyone is making this team better, and without even attempting to do so, Slay’s done that just by showing up. Then, he took it a step further. He’s often seen coaching up teammates on the sideline and in between plays, but it hasn’t just been secondary guys that he’s talking to.
He’s also been helping the wide receivers, telling them what to expect in-game based on what he’s doing in practice. Think about it. If a receiver’s looking to excel, who better to learn from than one of the game’s best cover guys?
The veteran seems very impressed by one of his Philadelphia Eagles teammates in the secondary.
One of the most interesting narratives heading into camp has been trying to determine who’s going to start on the outside at cornerback opposite of Slay if Nickell Robey-Coleman is the best bet to start inside at the slot cornerback position.
Most of us immediately assumed that would be Avonte Maddox, and so far, throughout camp, there’s been nothing that’s happened to force any of us to change that theory.
Rasul Douglas has been inconsistent. Cre’Von LeBlanc figures to backup ‘NRC’ in the slot. Sidney Jones, thanks to another injury isn’t even participating. Though he’s shown a propensity to be both hot and cold at times, Maddox has shown he’s got talent, but people are still nervous.
Following Day 7 of camp, ‘Big Play’ sat down with several members of the Philly media for a quick chat. He gave his teammate a nice endorsement, one you’ll, no doubt, find interesting. Here’s some of what he had to say:
"(He’s going to be fine because) he has the ability to be quicker than a lot of guys. He has great ability… If you know him personally, he’s got a lot of ‘bunnies’. He jumps pretty high for five-nine, and he can tackle. He’s aggressive. (He has) quick feet, smart player, and he makes plays man… I’m looking forward to watching what type of season he has because he’s been putting a lot of work in, on and off the field.. (We’ve been) communicating and working on drills, so like I said, I’m looking forward to seeing what he produces on the field. I’m going to be excited for him."
In 28 games with 18 starts (including three playoff games), Maddox has turned in 98 total tackles, including 80 solo stops, 18 pass breakups, and two interceptions. Sure, he’s short, but he was short when he was a rookie too, and we were all amazed by his promise.
Nothing’s changed here, except for the fact that he has Marquand Manuel coaching him up, a bona fide All-Pro on the other side of the formation, and another year of experience. Don’t look now, but Maddox could be in prime position to do what we’ve been expecting from Derek Barnett and Sidney Jones for two years, deliver a breakout season. Don’t be surprised if it happens. ‘Big Play’ doesn’t seem like he has any doubts.