Stamps' Price right for receiver

Maurice Price catches the ball during a Stampeders training camp session at McMahon Stadium in...

Maurice Price catches the ball during a Stampeders training camp session at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, Alta., June 1, 2012. (LYLE ASPINALL/QMI Agency)

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:11 PM ET

CALGARY - A lot of faces are the same, but the place seems much different to Maurice Price.

Maybe that has a lot to with where he keeps his stuff.

Back in 2009, the smooth receiver had a two-month stint with the Calgary Stampeders but never got into the lineup.

As a practice-roster player, his locker was a shelf that was wheeled into the middle of the room.

Right after that season, the locker-room facility was completely renovated to state-of-the-art specifications.

“It’s good to be back,” said Price, who participated in Stamps ‘rookie camp’ the past two days. “It’s nice to have an opportunity. I like what they did with the place. It wasn’t quite like this back in 2009.”

During his first tenure in Calgary, Price was trying to break into a deep Stampeders receiving corps that featured Nik Lewis, Ken-Yon Rambo and Romby Bryant as the starting imports.

My, how times haven’t changed.

But at least Price feels that he’s a bit more seasoned now.

After leaving the Stamps late in the 2009 season, he went on a football odyssey, first getting plucked off the PR by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He also had stops with the Baltimore Ravens and Washington Redskins, plus some time in the UFL, before finally agreeing to come back to Calgary this off-season.

It’s been a long engagement, but maybe now Price and the Stamps will finally tie the knot.

“Definitely. I thank them for sticking it out for me,” said the 26-year-old. “They basically kept the opportunity open for me and I’m thankful for that.”

Although just a practice-roster player three years ago, Price opened some eyes with a handful of breathtaking catches in practice.

Stamps head coach John Hufnagel knows the kind of amazing grabs Price can make, but showing off that kind of ability raises the stakes.

Hufnagel would like Price to gobble up every ball that comes his way.

“All the attributes of why we liked him two years are still there,” Hufnagel said. “He continues to improve but one thing I’m a little concerned about is consistency.

“That’s what I saw pop up at the rookie camp in Florida. I’ve been on him and I will be on him a little more diligently throughout camp.

“He has great body control. He can go up, contort his body and still come down with the ball. There are ones where he lacks a little focus.

“I’m sure enough of my voice will hopefully cure that.”

Price knows what he needs to do.

Breaking through with this receiving corps, which also has returnees Larry Taylor (a return specialist) and Landan Talley, won’t be easy.

If there is any good news, the small number of rookie receivers (three) trying out means there are high hopes for Price.

“I will be hard on myself so I don’t have to hear from Huf,” Price said. “I need to not only make the big play but make the routine play and stay focused.”


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