It is the opinion of this writer that the health and productivity of Laurence Maroney will greatly dictate the success, or relative failure, of the 2009-10 New England Patriots. A much misunderstood, oft-injured running back who some Pats fans have grown tired of, it's time for Maroney's take on his past, present, and future. Here's a ten-pack of questions for #39.
1. You are entering your fourth season as a Patriot; how would you describe your career to this point? Have you met or fallen short of your personal goals thus far?
2. Many Patriots fans simply do not feel confident in your ability to last the entire length of a grueling sixteen game schedule, plus post-season play. How do you explain the injuries you’ve experienced, and how would you counter the doubts of New England fans?
3. Running backs such as D’Angelo Williams, Joseph Addai, and Maurice Jones-Drew were taken after you in the 2006 Draft and have enjoyed considerable success. Do you measure yourself against these backs, and if so, how would you say your style and production compares?
4. As most of us know, the Patriots and Bill Belichick enforce a strict, tight lipped policy regarding information of injured players. Do you think this compromises the integrity of injured players? Is it frustrating to stay silent when you are sidelined with a broken shoulder, as you were last year, and subsequently questioned as being a soft player?
5. Corey Dillon was an excellent veteran role model for you early in your career. Are you looking forward to learning and developing in the same way alongside Fred Taylor? What about his game do you admire?
6. The Patriots work out of a lot of shotgun, spread formations with an emphasis on stretching the field and attacking the seams. Do you prefer these formations as a running back, or do you think you’re more effective out of power formations?
7. How does your shoulder feel currently, and has rehab gone as you hoped?
8. Some people feel as though you’re a budding star who simply hasn’t been healthy enough to showcase his talents regularly; others view you as a fringe player who may be running out of chances in New England. How do you assess your value to any NFL team going forward?
9. First-and-goal from the three yard line for the Patriots: what play would you most like to see called in this scenario?
10. Lastly Laurence: many Patriot fans and media members feel that despite the inconsistency you've shown, you are a linchpin to the overall success and balance of the offense. What can they expect this season?