Eagles Veteran Doing 'Little Things' to Avoid More Injuries

Heading into a pivotal season, Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox is making a position change for his seventh year in the NFL. In his previous six seasons, Maddox has played outside corner, but as the Eagles go younger at the position, Maddox is trying to make the move to slot corner this season.

“I'm learning,” Maddox told reporters during minicamp. “I know the nickel spot really well, and I feel like something that helped me in my career is to learn the safety spot. As you get older, you get a little bit slower.”

eagles veteran doing 'little things' to avoid more injuries

© Bill Streicher, USA TODAY

Maddox has missed 20 of 34 games for the Eagles with injuries the last two years. The move should allow him to revive his career.

“Right now, I'm kind of mostly just working on my footwork because it's a little bit different. And vision-wise, you’ve got a lot more vision in the back end than inside with the nickel spot. And you just have different techniques and footwork you have to use back there at safety than I would have used in nickel. But I'm definitely comfortable and definitely confident. I know all the calls, I know what to do, I know what to say, I know where everybody's at on the field.”

With the progress Maddox is making in the slot, he could be the lynchpin of a defense that desperately needs to be better after finishing nearly dead last in the league in pass defense. They finished 31st in the league, just ahead of the Washington Commanders.

Maddox is also working on reps at safety. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time a corner has made the move to safety. See Charles Woodson or Rod Woodson. The biggest challenge for Maddox is just saying healthy.

“Getting stronger, lifting heavier and doing all the little things, running more, and doing all the little things that can get the tweaks out of the areas that are weak," he said. "I feel like that could have been a reason for the injuries. So, eating better, sleeping more. I'm doing all the little things that I can.”

A healthy player who can be put at any defensive backfield position at any moment will be highly valued and would earn Maddox a roster spot. On today’s “positionless defense”, versatility is the name of the game!

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