DAVIE—Few players on the Dolphins pulled off a bigger turnaround last year than cornerback Byron Maxwell. He struggled so badly early in the season that he was outright benched for the Cincinnati game in Week 4, but reclaimed his spot as a starter and ended up in Pro Bowl contention.
Now that he’s righted himself, he goes into the upcoming season believing he’s the best cornerback in the league.
“Yeah, I do,” he said today. “Obviously I know I need to put this work in again to get that point. It’s like starting all over again. But yeah, I definitely feel that way.”
One of the reasons he’s feeling so confident is Miami’s continuity. Maxwell came to the Dolphins in a trade last offseason and had to adapt to new defense. This year, even with Matt Burke replacing Vance Joseph as coordinator, the scheme is mostly the same. He also has the same position coach in Lou Anarumo.
With all that working in Maxwell’s favor, coach Adam Gase believes he’ll start strongly this year and play like he did late last season.
“That’s kind of where he is right now,” Gase said. “I think he was trying to figure out how he kind of fit in, and (it was) his third team in three years. It’s a little different scheme then what he did in Seattle and completely different then what he did in Philly, and I think it took him a minute to figure out his place here. But once he did, he did a good job.”
Prestige has become more important to Maxwell the older he’s gotten. Now, at 29, he goes into his seventh NFL season with an eye on earning his first Pro Bowl and all-pro distinctions.
“I’m getting late in my career and I know what those things mean to your legacy,” he said. “It means everything to me. I want those things. I also want a Super Bowl. That’s the most important thing. That’s the ultimate goal. But yeah, it’s very important.”
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