Laurence Maroney Lucky To Still Be a Patriot

Henry LaborantiContributor IMay 18, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 22:  Laurence Maroney #39 of the New England Patriots avoids David Harris #52 of the New York Jets on November 22, 2009 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The last time the New England Patriots had an effective running game was when Corey Dillon was brought to the team over five years ago. By drafting Laurence Maroney, the New England Patriots were expecting a talented college running back to continue his work in the NFL. They were wrong.

Laurence Maroney was selected in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft and was rated as one of the best running backs in that year's NFL Draft. The scouts, annalists, and even the self proclaimed king of the draft Mel Kiper, all believed that Maroney would be an effective power runner in the NFL. However since 2006, Laurence Maroney has rushed for only 2,400 yards and only 20 touchdowns. 

Arguably, Tom Brady has been the best quarterback in the NFL for just under a decade. But at 32 years old and no longer a rookie, Brady needs a strong running back to help with the work load of returning to the SuperBowl.

With free agents still available like Ronnie Brown and Brian Westbrook, the New England Patriots should seriously consider signing a well known and established half back. With Wes Welker's return date still up in the air, Tom Brady will need to work even harder. Deep receivers like Torry Holt and Randy Moss are great to have, but eventually other NFL teams will catch on and defend the deep passes with no problem. Bill Belichick is a mastermind of football, has been and always will be. However, something needs to be done with the lack of running done in New England. Think back to the final home game of the Patriots 2009 season. Laurence Maroney was running strong but when he reached the goal line, he fumbled at the Jaguars 1 yard line. 

As an NFL fan who enjoys watching the offensive explosions of the New England Patriots, I truly hope something changes in New England's running situation. It seemed like so long ago but remember when Corey Dillon ran for 1,600 yards and Tom Brady threw 3,600 yards with 23 touchdowns? What happened that year for New England? They won their third SuperBowl in 4 years. Ever since then, no Lombardi trophy for the Patriots.