New England Patriots Depth Chart Analysis: Running Back Position
After what was probably the busiest weekend I've had since returning to upstate NY from the SF Bay Area, I logged in today and found that I've been promoted to Senior Writer here on Bleacher Report. I'm humbled. It's been a very exciting eight months here on B/R. Just a quick look at the stats:
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Thanks to the staff and community here at Bleacher Report for making it a fun ride so far.
Onto the Patriots' RBs.
In The Mix:
Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, Heath Evans, Kyle Eckel, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Laurence Maroney and Sammy Morris together are one of the scariest two-headed rushing monsters in the league. If these two can stay healthy, it's possible that both backs will eclipse 1000 yards this year.
The Patriots also have very good depth at this position, with veteran rusher Kevin Faulk leading the backups. He will likely take on the 3rd-down-back duties again this season.
Maroney tends to dance behind the line. He calls it "looking for a hole", and I understand that, but sometimes the guy really should just plow ahead and make his own hole. Hopefully he's been working on that in the offseason.
Other than that, as long as Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels utilizes this aspect of the offense, I see no weakness here. Especially with the dangerous passing game which the Patriots possess.
This is the year in which Laurence Maroney needs to prove that he's a go-to running back, who deserves to be No. 1 on the depth chart. It seems like fans and coaches alike have been displeased with his lack of production and his inability to stay healthy.
If he starts this season the way he finished last season though, I think he should be okay.
Sammy Morris presents a great change of pace for the Patriots, and will likely get a lot of touches. His chest injury from last season seems to be behind him and he's primed for a good year.
The rest of the crew will handle special teams and as-needed rushing attempts throughout the season. It's likely that one, maybe two of them will be practice squad players, but will be available if they are needed to be called up.
Look for my next Pats roster analysis in the coming days.
Chris Radez is a columnist at Bleacher Report, and he is one of the founders of TheScoreBoards Sports Forums. You can reach Chris by commenting on this article, leaving a note on his BR profile page, or by sending him a note at TSB, where he lives under the moniker NEsince92.
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