Avonte Maddox has become a given on the Eagles defense

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PHILADELPHIA — Avonte Maddox was put through his paces during his first media availability of 2022 earlier this week and the fifth-year cornerback was asked about a slew of topics.

During the 10-minute session, the Pitt product was asked about the Eagles’ acquisition of James Bradberry and whether or not Marcus Epps was ready to take the next step and become a starter. full time this season.

Maddox, 26, was asked by SI Fan Nation’s Eagles Today about young cornerbacks in his position room and how first-round rookie defensive tackle Jordan Davis, the No. 13 overall pick, could help any the world when it comes to stopping the race.

Other reporters wanted to know how Quez Watkins is shaping up as a potential slot receiver and what the cover veteran thought of Howie Roseman’s offseason as a whole, which also included high-profile acquisitions like AJ. Brown and Hason Reddick.

What Maddox hasn’t spent much time doing is answering questions about himself.

The reason for that is because the Detroit native became one of the NFL’s top slots players last season, good enough to earn a three-year, $22.5 million extension from the Eagles in November of the year. ‘last year.

That’s a big number for an inside CB and Maddox should team up with Bradberry and Pro Bowl CB Darius Slay on the outside to give Jonathan Gannon one of the best CB lines in the NFL.

The only question Maddox had about himself was about a potential move to safety, as that looks like the only significant weakness in Philadelphia’s defense right now and Maddox was able to use his 4.39 speed to hold down the fort. rear when forced. action as a rookie.

Smart money says Maddox is too good at the slot machine to put him on the safe side, even if he was a nominal upgrade over Epps or veteran Anthony Harris.

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Decreasing one position to help another tends to cause more problems than it solves.

Maddox voluntarily paid tribute to savvy veteran receiver Greg Ward for helping him become a player who understands coverage responsibilities in what is a high-traffic area.

“I talk to G-Ward every day and he’s been in the NFL for a while too and every day we go out and work on individual outings,” he said. “What do you see here? Or what do you see there? Or how are you going to get out here? You just select small parts and of course watching a movie always helps you.

Ward, a former college QB at the University of Houston, has a solid understanding of route management, not only running them himself, but also understanding what a caller will expect from the slot. WR in most situations.

This knowledge has been invaluable to Maddox over the past few years.

“G-Ward is definitely someone I’ve been talking to in the slot for a while and he’s definitely helped me out,” Maddox said.

According to Maddox, it’s now about bringing the impressive individual pieces together into a cohesive unit.

“The two main things [on defense], the two main purposes are takeout. that’s the biggest then stopping explosive games,” he said. “We can go forward and we’re going to focus on our goals and everyone has their individual goals, it’s all about defending and adding all those pieces.

“.. I feel like we have good depth and in this [secondary] room and on that defense to be a dominant defense.

-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com’s Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports chat host Jody McDonald every morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on “Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show ‘Extending the Play’ on AM1490 in South Jersey. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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