Laurence Maroney: The Key To Any Patriots Running Game

Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIAugust 20, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 02:  Laurence Maroney #39 of the New England Patriots carries the ball in a drill during training camp on August 2, 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Throughout two weeks of the preseason, the New England Patriots have had a solid running game. But don't get too excited yet. 

I am not saying that this team doesn't have quality running backs—they do.

Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, and Benjarvus Green-Ellis all make up a nice running back corps. But it's not a matter of how talented they are, it's a matter of how much effort head coach Bill Belichick will make to establish the run. 

After two games in the preseason, it'd be safe to say that the Patriots are making a large effort to establish a running game. But I just don't see this happening on a regular basis throughout the regular season.

All of New England's backs are average and quality, but none are capable of taking over a game. I'm not saying that's what New England needs, but if they want a solid running game, they need to find a work horse.

New England had a work horse in all of their Super Bowl years. For the first two they had Antowain Smith and in the last Super Bowl, in 2004, they had Corey Dillon, but for the past few years, the Pats haven't had a work horse at the running back position.

In my opinion, if you want this team to have a strong running back this year, you're going to need to have Laurence Maroney have a break-out season—it's a real possibility.

From what I have seen, if you give Maroney the ball on a regular basis, he will be productive. 

New England only gave Maroney a 20+ carry game four times last season. He rushed for 82, 77, 94, and 81 yards in those games. And, not to mention, New England won all of those games.  Maybe because they had such a balanced attack. 

This is just something for you New England fans to ponder on. Don't get your hopes up too much on this Patriots' running game yet. The key to it all is a break-out season from Laurence Maroney.


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