When you're a first-round pick a lot is expected, and the circumstances are no different for Bills first-round pick Aaron Maybin. Even though there were no plans to make him an every down player as a rookie with entrenched veteran ends Chris Kelsay and Aaron Schobel on the roster, Maybin still has not seen a lot of the field the past two weeks on defense. But Buffalo's coaching staff has a good reason as to why that hasn't been the case.
With some of Buffalo's more recent opponents getting ahead on the scoreboard early it's enabled opposing offenses to keep their attack on the ground to run clock and play conservatively. Last week Cleveland was determined to run the ball throwing just 17 times despite the fact that the game was close throughout. As a result opportunities to bring Maybin on the field as a pass rushing threat have been few and far between.
"Some of the games haven't been Maybin type games," said defensive coordinator Perry Fewell. "People have attacked us in a way where we haven't been able to use his talents somewhat. People have just run the ball at us and Maybin is more of an on the edge pass rush guy.
"We've tried to get him in some of those situations and he's been averaging like 14 plays a game. We haven't been able to use his talents like we would have anticipated, with all the passing and rushing and doing that type thing."
"There are games that he would play more in if we can make the opponent throw the ball more," said head coach Dick Jauron. "He'd clearly have more opportunities to get on the field. I thought he made a good play in the run game last week, so things are going okay with Aaron."
Maybin doesn't appear to be overly concerned that his time on the field defensively has dropped off from the first two weeks of the season as he seems to understand the circumstances.
"I'm not really asking too many questions," said Maybin in reference to his recent playing time. "I'm just trying to make sure I'm ready to play when they need me. I'm continuing to work as hard as I can to get better every day."
Buffalo's staff admits that missing training camp did put Maybin behind initially at the start of the season, but they believe the defensive end is making good progress.
"When you miss all of training camp that hurts," admitted Fewell. "He's still learning and trying to grasp the NFL game and our system. He doesn't have it all down yet and that's still a process with us with him. And we're still learning about Aaron also and trying to do different things with him."
"Mentally there's a lot more that you've got to pay attention to and it's a lot more complex obviously," Maybin said.
"The fact is that he missed time," said Jauron. "It sets you back, really it does. How much is hard to tell, but it's never a good thing. But I'm happy with where he is. We're happy with his progress."
And though the progress is not quite at warp speed both Maybin and his coaches believe things will fall into place sooner rather than later.
"A player like myself I'm going to be harder on myself than anybody else," said Maybin. "There's always room for improvement. There are a lot of areas of my game that I can do a lot better. So I'm just trying to hammer away at them every single day."
"It's going to be a gradual process," said Fewell. "I don't know when it will click, but it will click."