August 4, 2019

Maston finds a “great fit” in Winnipeg

Football is often simply about timing, about opportunity, and about fit.

Case in point, we give you defensive back Mercy Maston, the newest member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Yes, with Brandon Alexander now on the six-game injured list and Chris Humes among the walking wounded, there was Maston – formerly of the Edmonton Eskimos and Philadelphia Eagles – working with the Bombers No. 1 defence when the team returned to practice on a scorching Sunday afternoon.

Maston met with the media afterward and spoke of this opportunity with the Bombers as a ‘great fit.’ Pressed as to what made Winnipeg a good fit, the 26 year-old Bakersfield, Ca. product grinned and added:

“The D-line. Look at the D-line and the guys on the D-line,” said Maston. “They’re going to eat. They are going to eat and if they eat, I’m eating.”

Maston’s arrival comes following the loss of Alexander during a practice last week at the University of Guelph. And with Humes – who replaced him in last Thursday’s loss to the Toronto Argonauts – now also on the mend, the Bombers needed some help in their air defence.

“We’re down bodies, we need more guys in-house,” said Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea on the decision to bring in Maston. “I think the biggest thing for me right now is that he’s done it. That experience is invaluable. He’s got all the attributes that allow him to play pro football as a defensive back: he’s got good size, feet, strength, he breaks on balls, he plays the ball well in the air, he breaks up passes – those things are all good.

“We’re still learning about what he is in terms of how he fits with us… eyes, feet, footwork and how he works a play based on how we expect it to work in terms of the coaching aspect and we’ll find that out in short order. But what allows us to figure it out in short order is he’s got experience playing the game here.”

Maston played in 19 games over two years (2017-18) with the Eskimos, playing both corner and halfback. He suffered a torn Achilles during warmup prior to a game against Calgary in September of 2017, but returned to suit up for 12 games a year later.

“It builds character, for sure, and makes you look at the game different,” Maston said of his Achilles injury. “Every time you touch the field you want to give it your all because you never know when you’ll get back out there with that type of injury.”

Maston did manage to parlay his work last year into an opportunity with the Eagles, first signing a futures contract before being released in May. He’s got good size at 5-11, 208 pounds, and had two interceptions last year in his dozen games.

“Everybody runs the same around the league, so it’s about plug and play and where you fit,” he said. “I’m going to bring my attributes to the team and we’ll see how it turns out.”