Bills outside linebacker Aaron Maybin has been putting in time this offseason much like a lot of his fellow defensive teammates in preparation for a significant scheme change. After being an avid participant in the team's offseason conditioning program and getting on the field during the rookie minicamp earlier this month, he's ready to raise things another notch with the majority of the roster due in today.
Maybin was happy to get his feet wet in Buffalo's defensive scheme during the rookie minicamp, and felt things progressed well for him through the course of those five practices.
"It's been great so far," he said. "I feel great out there. I feel like it's a very natural position for me and it feels like I've been playing it for a long time. As we move through this preseason I think I'll only get more comfortable."
He's hopeful that the jump start he gained in early May will only serve to help him as the real competition for a starting job begins now with the other veterans making similar position changes entering the fray.
Like many of his defensive teammates, Maybin is encouraged by the potential of the 3-4 scheme being implemented by defensive coordinator George Edwards.
"When you run 4-3 packages you're a little bit more limited in certain things you can do from a blitz perspective and certain looks that you can give," said Maybin. "When you run a 3-4 defense, it's really hard for the offense to match up with a lot of the guys, especially when you have a lot of the athletes that we have on this team. Athletically it's going to definitely create a lot of matchups (problems) for some teams."
In no way however, are Maybin and his teammates counting on the scheme to make things happen. They're ready to put in the work to get the results come September.
"At the end of the day X's and O's are only X's and O's," he said. "There's a lot of work that I have to do on my part, of course, and that a lot of guys on this team are going to have to do for this to work."
One area that's going to be particularly different for Maybin and some of the other outside linebackers will be the more frequent responsibilities in coverage. Though it's new, it's something Maybin believes he can handle.
"It's nothing to worry about," Maybin said. "I don't think there are too many guys that are going to be running past me, so I'll be alright."
Maybin has successfully add more lean muscle mass to his frame through the spring. Weighing in the mid-240's when he reported for the start of the offseason conditioning program in late March, the linebacker added five more pounds by rookie minicamp and is listed as 250 on the team's roster.
"I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life so I'll keep on working at it," he said. "We've got a couple of months before we start up training camp so I'm going to maximize on that, keep on going hard like I've been going and hopefully it'll pay some good dividends for this team."
And Maybin intends to let those dividends speak for him this season.
"This year, my motto is just going to be let my play do the talking," he said. "The coaches will do what they need to do to get us in position to make the plays, and when my name is called it's time to do work so I've got to go out there and make things happen."