After spending nearly two seasons together, the Baltimore Stallions and defensive tackle Robert Presbury have parted ways.
Presbury was released yesterday, after he refused to accept his reassignment to the Baltimore practice roster.
Rookie Demetrious Maxie, who filled in capably for Presbury last month when he missed two games with a pulled hamstring, will start in his place Saturday in the CFL game against visiting Shreveport.
"We're trying to get more plays out of our defensive tackle," Baltimore coach Don Matthews said. "For two years, we've wanted more out of that position. He [Presbury] showed signs of playing real well, and other times we didn't get much out of him."
Matthews said he decided to demote Presbury after reviewing tapes of the Stallions' 24-17 victory over Shreveport last week. The Pirates rushed for 197 yards -- the highest total Baltimore has yielded this season -- and Presbury did not record a tackle.
"They ran for 190 yards and he didn't make a tackle or an assisted tackle," Matthews said. "We had two choices -- stay with what we've got or make a change. Maxie now needs to step up and play better to stay there."
Presbury, 6 feet 2, 265 pounds, played in 11 games this year and was tied for 10th on the team with 19 tackles.
A 1983 graduate of Edgewood High School, Presbury, 30, played his first CFL season here last year. He started 17 of 18 games and recorded 39 tackles and six sacks.
"There's no bad blood or bad feelings," Presbury said. "They weren't happy with my performance the last couple of weeks. I saw it coming. I've been looking over my shoulder all season. The hardest part is it's this late in the season, with playoffs coming up. But it's part of the game.
"I don't feel comfortable with sitting on the practice roster after being a starter. To me, it's degrading. I'm thinking things through about my next step."
Maxie, who has spent most of the season on the Stallions' practice roster, caught the eyes of the CFL when he replaced Presbury last month. In Baltimore's 16-13 victory at Memphis, Maxie had eight tackles and broke up two passes. He won the league's defensive lineman of the week award.
The Stallions will make several other changes in their lineup this week, some necessitated by injuries, others by performance.
Rookies Jason Bryant and Mark Orlando (Towson State) most likely will start in place of linebacker Matt Goodwin (hamstring) and wide receiver Shannon Culver (neck), respectively.
Courtney Griffin also will start in place of free safety Brian White, who cleared waivers yesterday. White's stock dropped after Pirates runners produced several big plays last week.