Lots was expected from the Bills' 2009 first-round draft pick, who took his reputation as a pass-rushing presence with him to Buffalo along with an intimidating nickname that promised excitement: "Mayhem."
Just over two years later, Maybin was being called plenty of other things. But this might have been the one that hurt most: "Bust." His Bills career was over before it really started: No sacks, no starts, no respect.
"Honestly, it'd be hard to sit here and wonder why, and that's not really even a concern for me anymore," Maybin said. "I stopped worrying about what went wrong in Buffalo a long time ago."
Maybin struggled with keeping his weight up in Buffalo and looked more physically like a safety than a linebacker. His production suffered, and he was cut this past offseason. He signed with the New York Jets, who also released him before the season, but brought him back for another chance a few weeks ago.
"One thing we were missing was a guy with a great get-off that had some explosiveness," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. "It was unfortunate the way the roster played out early on that we had to let him go. We were fortunate to be able to get him back because we knew what he brought to the table."
"I feel great," Maybin said. "This is one of my stronger weeks of practice I've had here, if not the strongest, as far as mental preparation. As far as excitement goes, I was ready a couple of weeks ago."
"I felt this way all along," he said. "I've never been the kind of guy to do my talking in the media. I do my talking on Sundays on the field. That's the extent of that. I have nothing negative to say, I've got no sound bites to give anybody that's going to make big headlines on SportsCenter. I'm just ready to play again."
Ryan will make Maybin a team captain Sunday, meaning he'll go out to the middle of the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium -- this time as an opposing player who's finally starting to live up to all the hype.
"I could sit here and try to assume what that's going to be like, but I don't think even I have any idea," Maybin said. "I'm pretty sure it's going to be an emotional time for me."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press