Price playing lights out at the right time for Stamps
Receiver who battled injury earlier in the season taking flight
Already, there have been a half-dozen attempts — in a half-dozen cities — to land employment in the National Football League.
Already 27 years of age, Maurice Price needs to get it done. Somewhere. Soon.
Maybe that’s too mean, but . . .
“No, no, you’re right — that’s dead accurate,” interjects the Stamps’ hot-handed receiver, managing a laugh. “That’s exactly how I feel. It’s about damn time that I can actually get on the field, showcase my talent.”
In recent weeks, he certainly has.
Price delivered the goods in the past three dates — 11 receptions, 324 yards, three touchdowns.
“It’s no surprise to me,” says the native of Orlando, Fla. “I mean, I prepare. I work very hard. I put in the work. I guess the results are showing on the field. I’m just glad I had an opportunity.”
The Stamps must be glad, too.
In the regular-season finale in Edmonton, No. 17 inflicted plenty of damage.
“It feels good to have success,” says Price, who, Friday, made five catches for 149 yards and one major. “Personally, I’m driven by success. I’m driven by doing good, playing good. I want more of that. I want more of that feeling of making plays and helping my team out with wins.
“It’s definitely the total opposite of the beginning of the season.”
Ah, the beginning of the season.
Price had arrived in Calgary for training camp, anxious to catch eyes. He wanted to make some noise.
And he did — when a defensive back yanked him over, snapping a bone in his left ankle.
“I actually heard it break,” says Price. “Kind of scary. I was hurt, both physically and emotionally. I was down, but that only lasted for a day or two. It was definitely frustrating. I had big plans for myself, big goals that I wanted to achieve. So that got put on hold.”
Sidelined, Price never lost faith in the abilities that had allowed him — on behalf of Charleston Southern University — to snare 103 passes, a total that led all of NCAA Division I football in 2006.
“I did what I could to stay prepared,” he says. “So when I was healthy and got back, I really wouldn’t miss a beat. I didn’t — not once — feel sorry for myself or let myself get down.”
Finally, after missing 10 games, Price tugged on a Stamps jersey for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ visit Sept. 14. He caught four balls, including one for 17 yards.
“I had a good showing,” he says. “Nothing spectacular, but it was solid enough for (Stamps brass) to say, ‘OK, I guess we got something in this guy.’ So I guess it started from there.”
Price acknowledges that the sudden rush of success has him seriously considering the notion of settling down, in one league, for one team.
“That’s what I’ve been thinking about,” says Price. “I love Calgary. I’m having fun. Really, for the first time in my career, I’m actually having fun. I would love to finish out my career here.”
Now if only he could do something about the price of fast food in Canada.
In the days prior to his hot streak, Price had tweeted grumpily — and repeatedly — about the price of a six-pack of McNuggets. Eventually seeing that a 10-piecer could be had for only more buck, he ponied up. And, greasy fingers aside, his spree began.
“Maybe I should make that a routine.”
He would do anything to have the Stamps keep calling his number. After all, it’s been a long time since he was a difference-maker.
“It’s good to actually be a part of a game plan, to be on the field playing,” says Price. “In college, I was, quote-unquote, The Man. Now, I’m not The Man here, but it feels good to make plays. I never had that (in pro ball) before.
“I just want to hold on to this feeling as long as possible.”
Follow Scott Cruickshank on Twitter/CruickshankCH
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