September 26, 2012

Maver shines in new role

By Jonathan Anderson

Special teams players often go unnoticed, but it’s hard not to notice Rob Maver as, in his third season with the club but his first as the punter, he leads the CFL in net punting.

It’s been an interesting early career for the Brampton, Ont., native. He was drafted in the first round, fifth overall, by the Stampeders in 2010 and led the CFL in scoring as rookie place-kicker. Then he missed most of his sophomore campaign with an injury.

In Year 3 and filling a new role, Maver has bounced back very nicely and is a vital part of the Stampeders success.

“I’m having a ton of fun this year,” he said. “I always felt like I was a strong punter in college and I really wanted to get the chance to do that at this level.”

Special teams success has been a recurring theme this year for the Stampeders. Returner Larry Taylor has had some record-breaking yardage games, kicker Rene Paredes ranks second in field goal accuracy and, as mentioned, Maver leads the CFL in net punting.

It’s a tight-knit unit, too.

“All the specialists get along very well,” said Maver. “We get along great with Coach (Mark) Kilam, myself, Rene, Chevy (Randy Chevrier), Larry or whoever is returning . . . we all feed off each other.”

Last year’s injury proved to be very challenging for Maver and the road to recovery was long.

“I got hurt last year early in camp and then again in July and it probably took me till October to feel 100 per cent,” he explained.

Maver trained hard during his comeback and was determined to enter the 2012 season as Calgary’s full-time punter.

Last off-season Maver, joined forces with King Football. With a new style of training and a commitment to fitness, Maver is fully recovered from his injury and producing on the field.

Leading the league is a nice accomplishment, but Maver is more concerned with contributing to the team and getting victories and he’s quick to pass praise to the rest of his teammates.

“We’re leading the league in net punting right now but all that starts with Tim (St. Pierre) and Chevy,” said Maver. “They’re putting back great snaps, making my job easy, allowing me to put the ball where I need to most of the time. And then we’re covering great — that speaks volumes to our punt team as whole and Coach Kilam.”