Thursday, October 08, 2009


Only in the English language could words spelled like that rhyme.

Laurence Maroney, who's struggled in Foxborough ever since the departure of Corey Dillon, made an enemy out of me this week. I've never been a huge fan, based mostly on his on-field performances. But I never held a personal grudge against him either. Until now.

Fresh off a disappointing 6 yard, 7 carry performance against the Ravens, Maroney addressed his being booed by the Gillette Stadium crowd. He then analyzed his performance:

"I just look at it as I had seven carries, and after looking at the film, I could have done a couple of the carries better, a couple of them probably weren’t blocked correctly, but hey, I still could have made a couple of them better."

He's not throwing the O-Line under the bus in full-blown Peyton Manning style, but he shouldn't be talking about them at all. You never heard Rodney Harrison say things like "We'd stop the run better if the linemen filled the gaps better." Or Brady say "We would've beaten the Giants had the line held up their pass rush."

Maroney is still a college back. In college rushing, defensive players overcommit like crazy. By the time Maroney hit the line of scrimmage, most of the defense was out of position. And only a few of them had the physical attributes to atone for this. So a fast guy like Maroney gets 10, 15 yards with ease. Here are some of Maroney's highlights, with Marion Barber mixed in as well. Maroney is #22, Barber is #21.

Maroney's not soft. He's fast. He just isn't fast enough and decisive enough to consistently succeed as an NFL back.

That being said, he does have a role on this team. I would like to see him as the 4th quarter RB (when the Pats have the lead, of course). When the opposing defense is tired from rushing the passer 40 times, and tackling Fred Taylor 15 times, that's when Maroney can excel. We saw that in 2006 when Corey Dillon would wear out the defense, then Laurence would run circles around them.


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