Maxwell Eying Bigger And Better Things

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Cornerback Byron Maxwell made a clear impact in his first season with the Dolphins in 2016, and now he’s looking for bigger and better things both from himself and the team.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Maxwell said after the start of the offseason program. “There’s a lot of new energy. We’re feeling good. I’m excited about the season. I think we can build off this last season we had and really do some special things here. It’s about time.

“Obviously it was great (making the playoffs). When you’re getting here, having success right away, being able to build from it, and then we’ve got younger guys that got that experience. Looking at it as a team, it’s even better. You’re like, man, we can go so much further than we did. We lost our quarterback. We had a lot of key pieces missing. It’s like, man, what can we do if all these guys stay healthy? That’s a big thing. Every team’s got to stay healthy in the league, but I’m excited about it.”

Maxwell was among those Dolphins players injured at the end of the 2016 season, as he missed the final two regular season games plus the playoff game at Pittsburgh because of an ankle injury.

Before he was sidelined, Maxwell started 13 games for the Dolphins, had two interceptions and led all NFL cornerbacks with four forced fumbles.

“I always pride myself on being a playmaker,” Maxwell said. “Things might not go right in a game, but I want to hear my name called at least once or twice a game for the big play. I’m getting that ball. There’s no better feeling than having that ball in your hand. That’s one of the things I look forward to, (that) I pride myself on trying to be.

“(Another goal is) really just starting out stronger. I started a little slow last year. I might have to get in better shape. I don’t know what it is, but you always got to build and be ready for it and just being a better leader back there.”

Before he returned to South Florida for the offseason program, Maxwell spent some time this offseason visiting U.S. military troops in the Middle East.

It was an experience that left a lasting impression on Maxwell, who was accompanied by Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and Titans tight end Delanie Walker on visits to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

“It was great,” Maxwell said. “I had a great time. (Jordan and Walker) were a lot of fun. We had a great time. We laughed every day. … The troops were very receptive and they were thanking us just to spend that time and take that time to come out there in the offseason just to show them we support and we love you and thank you for all you’re doing for the country. I had a great time visiting those guys.”

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