DAVIE — Byron Maxwell was in attendance, celebrating Clemson’s national championship defeat of Alabama in January.
How would you feel about mentoring your possible eventual replacement?
“I’ll do anything I can to help,” Maxwell said Wednesday. “If it’s just bouncing ideas off him. Maybe you can do it this way. Maybe you should do some things off the field to get better. So, yeah, definitely. I’ll help him. I feel like it’s my job.”
Of course, Maxwell’s first job is to pick up this season where he left off at the end of 2017. He actually ended the season on the sideline due to an ankle injury but was playing very well after a slow start to his Miami career.
“I feel like that was the best, playing at that time,” Maxwell said. “So yeah, it definitely gives you confidence. I’ve got to get back into that shape that I was at. But it definitely gives you confidence to keep going forward.”
Maxwell said last season turned around for him after he made technical and mental changes.
“Basically it was I just realized where I had to go and what I had to in order to help this team win,” he said. “I just took ownership. I didn’t look at everybody else. It was on me.”
Maxwell said he’s just more comfortable with the defense headed into his second season.
“I know where the weakness is and where the strengths are at,” he said. “Just knowing where I fit in at and what I need to do to help this team win. So yeah definitely get better. Just working on little small things that I see that were my weakness last season.”
Maxwell said he wasn’t upset Miami drafted Tanksersley in the third round because the player was a standout at Clemson. And because, he said, an NFL team can never have enough pass rushers or corners.
In fact, Maxwell had studied Tankersley’s game closely over the years.
“He showed up,” Maxwell said of Tankersley. “He always popped. He had great ball skills. He always found the ball. So it was great. I watched him a lot.”
Maxwell will make $8.5 million this season, fourth-highest on the Dolphins.
With three years and $30 million unguaranteed dollars left on his deal after this season, many have suggested Maxwell may be cut in favor of younger players before next season.
Maxwell is 29 years old. Tankersley is 23.
Yet Maxwell said he has no qualms about helping Tankersley. In fact, he says was thrilled to see Tankersley’s national championship ring at the Dolphins’ facility.
“I felt like I won when they won,” Maxwell said. “It was one of the best times of my life. I was actually there. I felt like I won. I felt like I’m a part of it, too.”
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