Maxie's battle-hardened

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

The sweat on Demetrious Maxie's brow after each training-camp practice is purely from hard work.

He isn't losing any sleep over which youngster is set to step into the Calgary Stampeders lineup and take his starting job.

"If I worried about that stuff, I would have (had) ulcers a long time ago," said the veteran defensive lineman.

"Every year there's a battle for your spot. When I first came into this league, I had to compete with some great players.

"Every year you have to compete for your spot. This year isn't any different."

There are seemingly three capable players fighting for a spot at boundary end. Sophomore Terrence Patrick and Maxie are the frontrunners to win the starting job, although Tony Ficklin is battling hard to win a roster spot.

It would seem the Stampeders have a tough decision about whether Maxie is still worth his salary or if Patrick and Ficklin are adequate enough replacements.

Maxie has experienced this situation almost every year of his 13-year pro career.

Each training camp, his competition is stronger, faster and meaner. By the regular-season opener, Maxie is back at his usual spot, making life miserable for opposing offensive lines.

Nothing is dramatically different this season, except that he's another year older and closer to the end than the beginning.

"If it's not meant for me to be here, then it's not meant to be," Maxie said. "Today, I'm still here. Nothing is guaranteed.

"One of the other guys could have a great practice and they can see it and might want to cut me or somebody else that's been playing for a while.

"Just because you have one practice, you never worry about that. You are only as old as you think you are."

Just how old Maxie is could also be debated. The Stamps media guide lists his birthday as Oct. 18, 1973. Other sources have him being born anywhere from 1971-77.

Maxie said his birthdate is actually Oct. 18, 1974, which would mean he was only 20 during his first year in the league (Baltimore 1995).

However, no one could argue Maxie still brings a veteran savvy to the field and he's one of the team's emotional leaders.

And his 13th training camp has been much less difficult for him to handle than his first one.

"It seems like it's getting better," Maxie said. "I know a lot more and this stuff is just getting easier."


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