‘I BELIEVE IN ME’: Mexican kicker Jose Maltos waits in the background

Proof of what he can do came in the Rouge et Noir’s last pre-season game in June when he scored five field goals in a 27-26 loss to Montreal.

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For Jose Maltos, there have been a lot of sightings and expectations since he was the second choice of the Ottawa Redblacks in the 2019 Canadian Football League-Liga de Futbol Americano Professional Draft in 2019.

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Although he hasn’t had much of a chance to show what he can do on matchdays, the 31-year-old Mexican kicker has worked hard – day after day, practice after practice, wanting an opportunity, but also knowing he is behind punter Richie Leone and kicker Lewis Ward on the depth chart.

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Proof of what he can do came in the Rouge et Noir’s last pre-season game in June when he scored five field goals in a 27-26 loss to Montreal. During his journey in Ottawa, Maltos continued to improve, especially learning to become a directional punter, just in case he was needed.

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« I didn’t really know what to expect when Jose came here, you didn’t know with the new world schedule, » Redblacks special teams coordinator Bob Dyce said. “It was a pleasant surprise. He’s always been a great field goalscorer – that’s his forte – and he’s also started well. You watch the preseason game and he did a great job with the directional punts. Where this may have surprised some people, it didn’t surprise me. He has a very difficult role – he has two exceptional guys ahead of him. He goes out and works every day. Not that he is happy with his role, but he understands it. If he was the next man, I have complete faith in him.

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A college kicker, Maltos trained with the New Orleans Saints in 2013. There were other NFL looks. He played in the Mexican league with Fundidores de Monterrey from 2017 to 2019 (he was also in the BC Lions camp in 2018).

“I’ve always worked hard — coming to the NFL, then four years with nothing, not even a call or an email, then coming to the CFL,” Maltos said. “I always trust the process, I’m always positive. I think the hard work will pay off. I’m happy to be in Ottawa. I’m happy to help the scout team, to help my teammates and Coach Dyce. I’m just patient and waiting for my shot. I had done my best in Mexico, I needed to find another level of football for me, as a kicker.

As for settling for a spot on the training roster – behind Leone and Ward, he said: « I’m a supportive teammate for them. I think they know that if something happens I will be ready to help the team. Even if it’s as a practice player or in a game, I’m just trying to help. I believe in myself. I know who I am, I know what I am capable of. I feel like I’m ready to play in any league.

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Maltos lives in Ottawa out of season; he became very fond of the national capital where he made several friends. At the same time, he is selling real estate on the Riviera Maya in Mexico, in partnership with his good friend, former Redblacks receiver Guillermo Villabos.

« I think I’m a good salesperson, it’s easy for me, » Maltos said.

BEHAR APPROACHES THE BEST IN CAREER: With 38 catches for 411 yards, Redblacks receiver Nate Behar is within 28 yards of his career high – set last season. And he has nine games left. Behar (Carleton University) was selected in the first round (fifth overall) of the 2017 draft. He signed with the Redblacks as a free agent in 2019. there’s a learning curve – it takes time, » Behar said. « (Former Redblacks receiver) Brad (Sinopoli) was always talking about ‘Never be in a hurry. Play fast, but never be in a hurry. Physically and mentally the maturity helps. You see the young guys in training at the start of the season and they fly around gung-ho – that’s borderline insane. As you get older you realize, « That’s where I need my reps, that’s what I need to do to get through it. The biggest place you see maturity is on the training ground – the guys got it.

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FRANKIE’S RETURN: Linebacker Frankie Griffin, who had 15 tackles in three games before a hamstring injury ruled him out, will be back on Saturday as the Redblacks get a rematch against the Elks in Edmonton. Redblacks coach Paul LaPolice said: “He had a good camp, he understands how to play physical football. Even though he’s more of a DB body type, he’s been really good when he’s had the chance. The 26-year-old can’t wait to be on the pitch against the Elks. « It was frustrating, » Griffin said. « I felt like the whole world was ending, but I’ve been injured before and the injury I had wasn’t as bad as we thought. It was just a process. But I I’m glad I got through it I felt like at the beginning of my practice I had executed the details pretty well, I was just getting to my drips and stuff and getting familiar again, but it’s was quite natural.

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THE END AROUND: DB Money Hunter and Sherrod Baltimore (both with hamstring injuries) did not practice again on Wednesday… Looks like DB Damon Webb could start on Saturday. Webb (Ohio State) had been with the Saskatchewan Roughriders since last season but was released in early July. Redblacks coach Paul LaPolice said: He’s got some physicality, he’s got good instincts when he’s a high player in the zone (cover). …The Elks will be without a WR Emmanuel Arceneaux, who was placed on the six-game disabled list… The six CFL.ca contributors picked the Elks to beat the Redblacks… Songs played during Redblacks Wednesday/stretching/warm-up: AC/DC’s Thunderstruck and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication.

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