Brett Maxie provides in-depth evaluation of Colorado DBs corps
Colorado safeties coach Brett Maxie joined reporters following Colorado's 13th practice of fall camp on Friday, fielding a variety of questions.
Notably, Maxie took the time to offer detailed, in-depth evaluations about a good handful of CU's defensive backs. Below is what he had to say.
1. Maxie on what he's seen from true sophomore safety Mark Perry:
“Mark is playing a different position this year than he was last year and if we didn’t think that he could handle the load of playing the strong safety position — which, he has a lot of responsibilities because communication goes through him. It all starts with him and it ends with him. He’s done a tremendous job at taking on that leadership role and being our strong safety. He’s one of the fastest guys and it’s hard to see it. You can usually see speed, but his speed is more of a close — once he starts to go, he covers ground, especially on deep balls."
"He’s been very, very good in man-to-man coverage and that was one of the biggest reasons why we wanted him at the strong safety position. One, he can handle all the communication because he did play a lot last year. At the STAR position, that position entails a lot of technique and communication. It was a seamless transition...he’s playing in more space and he’s got to be able to see more but he’s done an outstanding job this camp. I’m really proud of him.”
2. Maxie on sophomore STAR backer Chris Miller:
“One of the things that sticks out about Chris is his ability to be physical at the point of attack. He’s one of our best blitzers and does a really good job of timing things up. He has some natural instincts in reading the tackle, because that’s how he spends most of his time — reading the tackle or the tight end in run and pass situations. He is very physical at the point of attack. Our offense does a lot of perimeter runs and a lot of perimeter, short passes to try to get (the ball) in their playmakers’ hands and let them run."
"He does a really nice job of delivering a blow and getting off tackles and setting the edge. He’s been a delight for us. He comes to work every day and is very energetic, which is what we need at that position. Davion (Taylor) played that position last year and (Miller) has been a real compliment to the type of way you want that position to be played.”
3. Maxie identifies a key depth piece for Colorado in junior Isaiah Lewis:
“One of the guys that we’re going to depend on a lot is Isaiah Lewis. Isaiah has had an unbelievable camp. He’s one of the guys that we’re going to count on in terms of if someone goes down, he’s the next man up and he can play multiple positions in the secondary. He can play both free and strong (safety), he’s had some reps at the STAR position and he has really stepped up. He’s been taking most of the one reps when (Derrion) Rakestraw went down with a hamstring (injury)."
"He stepped it up — he has really, really impressed me. He’s the one guy, that when you’re looking for that one backup or serviceable player to step up and be the next man up, he’s that guy. Be on the lookout for him to do some extraordinary things for us this year.”
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4. Maxie on true freshman corner Christian Gonzalez:
“Christian is probably our longest and biggest corner that we have. He’s a really good matchup for those long receivers that we’re going to play in the Pac-12 outside. He has no fear for challenging, he’s very prideful in terms of how he goes about his craft and he’s one of those guys that has really deceptive speed. He might be 6-foot-2 at the line of scrimmage, but when he gets downfield, he becomes a 6-foot-5 corner because of his length and his arms. We’ve been really, really pleased with him.”
5. Maxie on true freshman STAR/DB Toren Pittman:
“Toren is a guy that we’ve been able to put in different positions to see how he responds. He’s responded extremely well. He’s played the Money position, he’s played the STAR position and he’s also played the free safety position. All those positions are positions where we need physicality, where he’s going to be inserting himself in the run game and he’s a guy that’s been able to do it. Plus, he’s a long guy, so he’s a good player to be able to match up on tight ends, he has really good play strength and he has unbelievable speed."
"Everything he does is full of speed — that’s what we like about him the most, that he’s able to do multiple things and he does it fast. Even on special teams, he does things fast.”