Even some of the greatest NFL coaches ever have to eventually admit their mistakes. On Tuesday, Bill Belichick admitted one of worst decisions ever by trading away his former 2006 first-round draft pick, Laurence Maroney.
At 25 years old it's possible the running back can still prove his critics wrong, but that seems highly unlikely. After all, if you can't play for the New England Patriots, who can you play for?
Here are some of the reasons Belichick decided to trade him to the Denver Broncos for just a fourth-round draft pick.
As a rookie, Maroney missed a few games due to torn rib cartilage. In 2007 he missed time because of a groin injury, and in 2008 the running back was eventually put on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
The injuries have not only taken a toll on him physically, but they have affected him mentally as well. At times he's appeared to be running scared, avoiding contact whenever possible.
A lot of people assumed the former Jacksonville Jaguars great was done as a a starting running back in the NFL. He had a horrible season in 2009, but that's mostly because Taylor was suffering from a severe ankle injury.
Against the Cincinnati Bengals he looked quick on his feet and showed flashes of his former self. If he can stay healthy the entire season, maybe people will begin to remember just how great he once was.
As a running back there comes a time when you have to put your head down and run forward. More often than not Maroney would get tackled for a loss because he danced around for too long in the backfield.
One thing Bill Belichick will never tolerate is turnovers. At the end of last season he fumbled four times in seven games. Afterward he never regained the trust of his coaches or teammates.
Bottom Line: Laurence Maroney just isn’t a good running back.
He is one of the worst draft busts for the New England Patriots in the Bill Belichick era. In college he always benefited from sharing carries with the likes of Marion Barber and Gary Russell. Those guys obviously made him look way better than he actually is.