Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New Argo brings 'talent' to table

NFL first-rounder not short on confidence

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OAKVILLE, Ont. -- It's a new game with a new team in a new city, but it's just football for linebacker Aaron Maybin.

The former NFL first-round draft pick participated in his first workout with the Toronto Argonauts on Monday, a day after joining the CFL club's practice roster. Maybin admits he's got much to learn about the Canadian game but isn't the least bit worried or intimidated about lining up a yard off the ball, playing three downs or having more ground on a longer, wider field.

"The way I see it I'm a football player, I adjust to whatever style I need to adjust to," he said. "It (Canadian field) is bigger than I'm used to but there's nothing intimidating about it, nothing too different.

"Football is football. You've just got to adjust and understand it's a part of the game. Athletes adjust, so it shouldn't be a problem."

While Maybin is short on CFL experience he's not lacking in confidence.

"Talent," he said when asked what's the top attribute he brings to Toronto. "I'm not really a guy that harps on his own abilities too much.

"I feel like there are things I can bring to this team and obviously the coaches feel that way too. I'm just coming in, working hard, trying to do my best to help the guys on this team that have been working all year to get to the places they want to be really bad and that's a championship."

The 25-year-old Maybin wore No. 56 on Monday -- former Giants star Lawrence Taylor was a favourite player when Maybin was growing up -- and he'll be given every opportunity to learn quickly. The defending Grey Cup-champion Argos (11-6) have clinched first place in the East Division and home-field advantage for the conference final Nov. 17.

So Toronto could give Maybin an extensive audition Friday when it hosts Montreal in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Alouettes (7-10) will finish third in the division and face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-8) in the conference semifinal Nov. 10 in Guelph, Ont.

Maybin is back playing football after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals in August. That certainly raises questions about his overall fitness, but Maybin downplayed those suggestions.

"It's a consideration, not really a concern," he said. "Just making sure I don't try to do too much too quick and end up injuring myself trying to get to where I want to be."

Buffalo had high expectations for Maybin when it took him 11th overall in the 2009 NFL draft after he led the Big 10 with 12 sacks in 10 starts at Penn State. He never did crack the starting lineup and was released after two seasons. He was signed and released by the New York Jets before signing with the Bengals.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 29, 2013 C6

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