Matt Ryan, Dan Quinn Impressed By Eagles’ Secondary
The Eagles’ new-look secondary will be thrust into the spotlight Monday night as they face the Falcons’ potent passing attack that features quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White.
A man who knows plenty about two of the Eagles’ new faces on the backend, Atlanta’s first-year head coach Dan Quinn, spoke with reporters today about what he’s seen from starting cornerback Byron Maxwell and the Eagles’ secondary in the preseason.
Quinn said there were three parts of Maxwell’s game that stood out from their time together in Seattle. The first is Maxwell’s nose for the ball.
“The poke-outs, the interceptions, the forced fumbles—that part of his game is really in-tune,” Quinn said.
The second is Maxwell’s ideal length for a cornerback.
“When he plays at the line of scrimmage, he’s got such long arms,” Quinn said. “You guys covering him have seen him.”
The third is Maxwell’s fire.
“I love the competitor,” Quinn said. “[He’s] a guy who’s just trying to battle and finish.”
According to Quinn, Maxwell embraced his versatility during his time in Seattle. Sometimes Quinn moved the defensive back from the outside to inside at nickel, and Maxwell moved without protest. Maxwell was more focused, Quinn explained, on being on the field than where he lined up once he was out there.
“[Maxwell]’s one of my favorite guys, just in terms of the attitude and the personality he played with,” Quinn said. “If we said, ‘Hey, we’re going to move you inside to nickel,’ he would just say, ‘Okay, let’s go.’”
Quinn explained his relationship with Maxwell nearly led the Falcons to try and sign the 27-year old corner in the offseason, before the Eagles snatched him up for six years and $63 million.
“Oh for sure,” Quinn said. “For any team, they’d be crazy not to [pursue Maxwell]. And then with my relationship with him, he was certainly somebody we’d talked about. He’s just right in the middle of it. He’s starting to come into his own, and I see a big future ahead for him.”
Ryan has watched the tape from the Eagles’ secondary this preseason as well. He’ll be tasked with picking apart Maxwell, Thurmond and the other defensive backs, and told reporters he’s been impressed with the new personnel.
“[Maxwell] has been a really good player for the Seahawks early in his career, and now moving over the Philadelphia he’s done a great job in the preseason,” Ryan said. “I think they’re talented.
“Malcolm Jenkins is a guy we know from his time in New Orleans, and he’s a really, really good player, very smart and kind of like a coach out on the field for those guys. So I’ve been impressed with them.”