PHILADELPHIA -- Boasts can go either way.
Byron Maxwell is about to find that out. The Philadelphia Eagles' new starting cornerback set himself up for one extreme or the other by telling MMQB.com that his new team will be in the Super Bowl after this season.
“We’re gonna go that far,” Maxwell told reporter Jenny Vrentas. “You can take that as a guarantee. That’s just me believing in my team and the product we’re going to put out there on the field. I really do believe that. I have no choice but to think that way.”
So this can go either way. Joe Namath guaranteed the New York Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III and then he went out and did it. Jimmy Rollins proclaimed the Phillies were the “team to beat” and then led them to the World Series and a championship.
That’s one way.
Vince Young made headlines in 2011 when he looked around Eagles training camp and proclaimed his new squad “the dream team.” The Eagles went 8-8 that season. Young never really lived that boast down.
Maxwell, who played in the last two Super Bowls with the Seattle Seahawks, can help make his prediction a reality. In 2014, the Cowboys beat the Eagles in December to take the lead in the division. They advanced to the playoffs. The Eagles did not.
But if Maxwell had been covering Dez Bryant, who caught three touchdown passes in that game, he could have made a big difference. That’s why Chip Kelly and the Eagles lured Maxwell from Seattle with a six-year, $63 million contract. Maxwell left the “Legion of Boom” secondary for a chance to be the top player on a revamped Eagles unit.
It is hard to imagine Kelly appreciates Maxwell’s proclamation. Of course, Kelly would likely respond that he expects the Eagles to win the next 10,000 Super Bowls.
Is Maxwell’s prediction realistic? As he said, it’s fine for a player to “have no choice but to think that way.” The Seahawks did and it has worked out pretty well for them.
With a new quarterback (Sam Bradford), a new running back (DeMarco Murray) and a revamped defense, the Eagles will have to come together quickly to be serious contenders in the NFC. They will certainly have to get past Seattle, Green Bay, Dallas and Arizona -- four teams that beat the Eagles in 2014.
If Maxwell is wrong, that will be the least of his worries by December. If he is right, he can claim that he set the tone for his team. It could go either way.