What makes Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox so good



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18 Tháng tám 2023
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new york
There is still time for one final player review before we get into actual football! This offseason, I have written film reviews on every single Eagles draft pick, free agent signing as well as a number of other players. I appreciate all the comments and everyone who has checked them out every week. I am going to do a couple of in-depth season previews on offense and defense as well as preseason reviews before week 1 but I wanted to do one final quick film room, breaking down what made Avonte Maddox and Darius Slay so good this past year. Lets get to it!StatsAll stats taken from PFF and only includes linebackers with 20% of the snaps which is 129 total. Darius SlayStrengths+ Really good understanding of depth in zone coverage. Will bait quarterbacks into taking the cover 2 hole shot but wont give them much room. Will explode forward and deal with shorter throws. Good understanding of situational football. This by Slay is great team defense. Darnold going for the old cover 2 hole shot. Slay handles the hi-lo well and doesn't give Darnold an easy decision and the DL crashes the pocket to force a throw. This is perfect C2 technique by Slay. Jonny Page October 12, 2021Awesome team D. Safetys go MFC presnap to MFO post. Avery shows blitz then covers TE. Playing 2 high with man to the right side but zone to the left. Great pressure from Sweat and Barnett. The coverages are becoming way, way more complicated which is so good to see! Jonny Page November 16, 2021+ Has very good sticky man to man coverage traits. Particularly excels in off coverage where he is good at exploding towards the football. Is a silky athlete with very fluid hips who can redirect quickly. Yo, Slay came to play. Whenever Moore was lined up outside he basically matched up with him and he was very, very good https://www.eaglesteamfanshoponline.com/Quez_Watkins_Jersey-262. He runs this route for him! Technique is awesome, doesn't flip his hips too early as he knows he has safety help, stays in phase and explodes forward. Jonny Page October 12, 2021I thought Slay and Maddox were lights out this game. Slay shuts down Sutton here and Maddox does about as good as a job against Jeudy as you can do. Jeudy is an elite route runner. DL does great job getting pressure too! Jonny Page November 16, 2021+ One of the best at not giving up big plays. Doesnt jump on double routes and has a great understanding of down and distance. Slay is not messing around year, looks like its easy out there right now! Eagles secondary has another good day overall I thought. Jonny Page October 18, 2021+ One of the best in zone coverage in the league. Rarely voids his zone or gets confused by the offense and shows a great understanding of opposing route concepts. Continue to be impressed with Eagles coverage in recent weeks. Good zone discipline, tight to defenders. Slay doesn't bite on TE seam Singleton is aware of WR in his area. Jonny Page November 30, 2021+ Has the ability to line up and cover the opposing offenses number 1 receiver on a weekly basis. You know he will lose from time to time, as all cornerbacks do, but he wont lose you the game by getting beaten badly consistently. Eagles on the 2nd to last drive: a lot more single high and we even saw the man coverage with Slay lined up on McLaurin! Maddox was the star of the show at the end, he had multiple plays where he had great coverage. The whole D was quicker to jump on underneath stuff too. Jonny Page January 4, 2022Weaknesses- Not really blaming Slay for this as I am almost certain it is what Gannon wants from his cornerbacks, but he was too passive at times last year and give up easy short completions. The same complaint again, 3rd and 2 against Brady is not easy but you are just basically giving it up when you play this far off. Jonny Page October 18, 2021Eagles Defense all22 thread v Chargers. Good example of why Eagles D is seen as 'passive'. Its not 2High zone. Its single high man coverage. So its not 'scheme' but its 3rd down and CBs are clearly coached to prevent big play. There's no disguise. Its too easy! Jonny Page November 9, 2021- Been a strict outside corner pretty much his whole career, especially with the Eagles Tommy McDonald Jersey. We have rarely seen him travel with top receivers when they move him inside. - Rarely gets beat down the field, but he can be beaten at the catch point. Not as good as the top cornerbacks in the league when the ball is in the air. Slay has been exceptional this year, barely ever highlighted him getting beat so it is only fair to show McLaurin beat him once! I also include this as it highlights that the Eagles are still a single-high defense now, which is not what I was expecting after the first few weeks. Jonny Page December 23, 2021- Can get overmatched physically by bigger receivers. Got worked by Mike Evans in the playoffs a little bit. Its a tough job as a DC against the Bucs when your best CB also gets beat by the opposing teams WR1. Didn't happen often but you can't just put Slay on Evans and assume everything is fine. They are a really good offense. Again, cover 1 w/ late safety rotation. Jonny Page January 19, 2022OverallSlay was good in 2020, but he was excellent in 2021. The numbers show a top 5/10 cornerback and I think the tape absolutely backs that up https://www.eaglesteamfanshoponline.com/Seth_Joyner_Jersey-36. Despite many complaints from fans about Gannons system, it suits Slay perfectly as he is better in zone coverage and is also better in off man coverage, as he doesnt have the size or physicality to be a top press man corner. Hes not perfect and can get beaten at the catch point by more physical receivers but he is as good as a number 1 cornerback as the Eagles have had for a long, long time and I think he should have another excellent year as part of a really talented secondary. Avonte MaddoxStrengths+ Has the speed to carry vertical routes down the field. Doesnt give up a lot of explosive plays. Highlighted by his extremely low yards per reception. Not entirely sure what the coverage is here tbh but this is a hell of a play by Maddox. Carrying the 2 receiver down the seam with outside leverage is a tough play to make. Jonny Page October 12, 2021Has shown the ability to do this on the outside as well as the slot too in previous years Jonny Page June 8, 2020+ Really fluid and loose hips. Perfect for a slot corner who has to deal with more quick in/out breaking routes. Not afraid to play tight man coverage on receivers and is physical at the catch point too. I thought Slay and Maddox were lights out this game. Slay shuts down Sutton here and Maddox does about as good as a job against Jeudy as you can do. Jeudy is an elite route runner. DL does great job getting pressure too! Jonny Page November 16, 2021I highlight them every week but Maddox and Slay continue to play great defense. Maddox in particular was really good in man coverage this game. He's very physical with WRs but rarely crosses the line. Has a good balance of technique, quickness and aggression. Jonny Page November 30, 2021I have loved watching Avonte Maddox this year. He's not perfect but he's competitive every single snap and he has some superb coverage snaps. Here he shows off his quickness, ability to change direction ball skills. Jonny Page December 23, 2021Eagles on the 2nd to last drive: a lot more single high and we even saw the man coverage with Slay lined up on McLaurin! Maddox was the star of the show at the end, he had multiple plays where he had great coverage. The whole D was quicker to jump on underneath stuff too. Jonny Page January 4, 2022 Jonny Page June 8, 2020+ Very physical and a willing tackler. Gets downhill in a hurry and can blow up bubble screens, outside runs etc. Will fight through wide receiver blocks. Want to give a shoutout to Maddox who is playing well this year Derek Barnett Jersey. He's not big but he's a tough, physical slot corner who made some lovely plays coming downhill this game. Jonny Page October 18, 2021TJ Edwards Maddox. take a bow. This is so so much more aggressive than we saw last week! Look at Edwards FLY towards the ball here.. Jonny Page November 2, 2021Last few weeks, Eagles D has been way more aggressive and quick to close. I know this isn't 'scheme' or 'talent' but I love this stuff. Maddox flies out to Jeudy and Edwards comes along and buries him. Give me an aggressive defense who rallies to the ball please. Jonny Page November 16, 2021+ Comfortable at rotating late and playing deep safety, we saw this a lot more towards the end of last season. Goff completes this but I reckon this look has confused him and he thinks Slay is dropping deep. Look at this for a coverage disguise! Maddox/Epps sprint back early and it looke like C3 with Slay/Nelson playing the curl/flat defender role. Jonny Page November 3, 2021Weaknesses- Undersized and struggles with bigger more physical wide receivers. His body type suits quicker, small receivers. Evans in the slot was a nightmare for the Eagles. Maddox has had an awesome year but Evans is too good for him to deal with in single coverage, especially single-high with no real safety help to the outside. Saw a lot of cover 1 hole with a LB taking away short stuff underneath. Jonny Page January 19, 2022Once again, Evans in the slot was a bad bad matchup for the Eagles. With Slay on that side I'm surprised they didn't let him travel with Evans but we haven't seen Slay in the slot very often. Still, this felt too easy once the Eagles started playing more man. Jonny Page January 19, 2022- Short arms makes it difficult for him to press receivers at the line of scrimmage. Can get beat instantly at the snap at times because of this. Jonny Page June 8, 2020- Gave up a lot of underneath catches last year. As with Slay, this is a product of playing under Jonathan Gannon so I wouldnt blame him for it but I think you have to mention it when discussing his game. - Limited to a role in the slot. Has shown he can play outside in the past but struggled mainly as an outside cornerback. OverallI was so pleased to see Avonte Maddox bounce back this year, after criminally being used as an outside cornerback last year. Yes, he can do a job on the outside, but his skillset fits the slot perfectly and I thought he had a really good year last year and was one of the top slot cornerbacks in the NFL. The numbers arent too pretty but the Eagles played a lot of passive coverage and Maddox was asked to give up short receptions and then close and tackle fast. He did this perfectly and is one of the most physical cornerbacks despite his size. I can barely think of an explosive play that he gave up last year and to only give up 7. 8 yards per reception, highlights how impressive he was. Final ThoughtsLike many Eagles fans, I have struggled to watch the Eagles cornerbacks the past decade and have longed for a top secondary. The Eagles may have some question marks at safety still, but a cornerback trio of Slay, Bradberry and Maddox should be one of the best in the league. If you missed my article on Bradberry, I recommend reading it here. Gannon may not be everyones favorite defensive coordinator, but there is no doubt the Eagles have given him a secondary that fits what he wants to do. Both Bradberry and Slay excel in zone coverage and I think the Eagles to play a lot of zone coverage next year which will suit both of them. I am a little worried the Eagles will be a bit too passive, but I am hoping the Eagles will be more multiple in their coverages from the very start this year. An underrated part of the Slay, Bradberry and Maddox trio is how experienced they all are at this point. They should be able to handle multiple coverages, late rotations and different game plans each week. I am extremely excited to watch what Gannon does with this defense and secondary moving forward and I will be breaking down exactly what I expect to see over the next few weeks.
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