Maxey Has Moxie

Kansas City Chiefs fifth-round draft pick cornerback Marcus Maxey had some big shoes to fill at the University of Miami. With names like Sean Taylor, Antrelle Rolle, Ed Reed, Phillip Buchanon, Mike Rumph and 2006 first round pick Kelly Jennings, Maxey was in good company. Hopefully, the Chiefs have added another football player who can make an impact this season.

After spending seven minutes on the phone with Maxey, it's clear that he understands his place in the Miami lineage. Whether or not that translates to success in the NFL is best answered by Larry Coker, his head coach at Miami.

"Marcus really came on for us," said Coker. "He has great speed. He doesn't have quite the mobility of a Kelly Jennings (Seattle Seahawks first-round pick) or a Devin Hester (Chicago Bears second-round pick), but he's a very physical player once he gets the opportunity. He can start in the NFL, and can certainly play in the nickel, dime and quarter packages. And he does a great job on special teams."

At the University of Miami, Maxey often lined up in practice against Sinorice Moss, one of the top wide receivers in the 2006 draft. He was an understudy to Antrelle Rolle, last year's top corner and the first-round selection of the Arizona Cardinals.

Maxey didn't crack the starting lineup until this past season, but he made the most of his opportunity. In 2005 he recorded 37 tackles (23 solo) and intercepted two passes. He also has experience at safety, another area of need for the Chiefs.

Maxey's numbers aren't stellar, but they are steady. The fact that he slid to the fifth round when he had third-round talent might be solely based on his lack of playing time. But the University of Miami is not a normal school. They breed NFL studs year after year.

"I just feel like going to the University of Miami, even though I didn't start every year, I feel like I'm prepared," Maxey said. "I realize that in the NFL there is going to be competition. Things are not going to be handed to me. So not having things handed to me at Miami and having to work for everything I earned, it's an attitude and something I can take with me to the next level."

The Chiefs, who are rumored to be interested in adding veteran Ty Law, now have a logjam at the cornerback position. In the off-season they signed Lenny Walls and Chris Johnson. They are also counting on Julian Battle, who is recovered from a torn ACL, Benny Sapp and second year man Alphonso Hodge. All of these corners are competing for one starting job opposite Patrick Surtain.

"I'm not going to put the pressure on him that I put on Hali," head coach Herman Edwards said of Maxey. "I'm going to give this guy an opportunity to compete for playing time. With all our players, we're going to do that."

How Maxey handles both the pressure and the opportunity will determine if the Chiefs can count on him to be productive in 2006 or 2007.

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