Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 May 2014

Byron Maxwell: The Numbers, The Tape, The Verdict 2014

It's easy to quickly become a superstar in the NFL. Short samples lead can lead to less criticism and too much optimistic projection. One of the latest players to experience this is Seattle Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell. Maxwell is a talented player, but it's tough to tell exactly how well he played last season without diving deep into the tape.

Posted by: Cian Fahey on 22 May 2014

13 comments, Last at 18 Sep 2015, 9:30am by scalett


by Perfundle :: Thu, 05/22/2014 - 5:54pm

Whoa, I didn't expect you to do Maxwell before some of the other top CBs.

Regarding the touchdown Floyd catches over him: is that considered a failed coverage or is he in position?

by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 05/22/2014 - 6:37pm

I like that he's digging deeper and looking at some of the more under the radar guys.

I thought the pick of Kap against Crabtree was a result of a missed read by Crabree, he should have known the back shoulder throw was coming. I think he said as much after the game.

by Cian Fahey :: Thu, 05/22/2014 - 8:22pm

I did Maxwell for two reasons: 1. Fewer games so I could get it done quicker. 2. The perception of him interests me because many said he played like a superstar after being inserted into the starting lineup.

It goes down as a failed coverage, but when there are plays like that I generally provide the context. It's why I stress the importance of the context as much as possible.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 05/22/2014 - 9:54pm

1. Yeah, nice to see the same-passer-rating-allowed-as-Sherman debunked as far as coverage ability is concerned, although it would be nice if there was some way of combining the success rate with the interceptions.

2. Then that would seem to contradict your definition of "In Position." You have it as: "In order to be "in position," a defensive back has to be in a position to prevent a relatively well-thrown pass to his assignment." Well, Palmer didn't just throw it relatively well. The throw was absolutely perfect, Maxwell played it about as perfectly as someone of his height is able to, and Floyd was simply even better and securing it. Maxwell hits the ball as it arrives, temporarily knocking it out of Floyd's hands. Floyd gathers it, and Maxwell hits it yet again, but Floyd hangs down as he falls to the ground.

Another example would be the Graham coverage that you claim Maxwell could not have covered any better. And yet had Brees decided to throw the ball anyways and Graham uses his height to outjump Maxwell for the catch, you're saying that it would turn into a failed coverage just because Graham catches it? I think there should be instances where a coverage goes down as a success despite the receiver making the catch.

by Jimmy Oz :: Thu, 05/22/2014 - 10:21pm

Hi Cian, i don't get it why the pick goes down as a failed coverage. I always understood a failed coverage as "WR was open at any time" & I don't see Crabtree open at any time. I'm wondering if its just seeing the play through blue-tinted lenses, or if i don't understand the 'failed coverage' concept.

I understand if the pass being DQ'ed from your counts if it's zone, but don't get why its a failed coverage.

by Cian Fahey :: Fri, 05/23/2014 - 9:13am

It doesn't go down as a failed coverage, just a play that doesn't qualify.

by Jimmy Oz :: Sun, 05/25/2014 - 10:24pm

Cool, thanks for clearing that up for me.

by Shattenjager :: Fri, 05/23/2014 - 2:04pm

I never have anything to say about these, so I don't usually comment, but I feel like I should at least once in a while just to say that I really enjoy these pieces, Cian.

by Cian Fahey :: Sat, 05/24/2014 - 10:58am


by Perfundle :: Sat, 05/24/2014 - 3:15am

One other thing: thanks for adding the number of each type of route each DB saw in man coverage for Peterson, Bailey and Haden. Could you list here the same for Sherman and Revis?

by Cian Fahey :: Sat, 05/24/2014 - 10:59am

I do have that data, but it's a matter of going through it. I'll try to do it at some point.

by Pen :: Sun, 05/25/2014 - 3:50am

I agree. I look forward to reading these. Very well written and insightful. Thanks Cian.

by scalett :: Fri, 09/18/2015 - 9:30am