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“From his perspective, he’s been through a lot,” Maroney said of Taylor. “He’s been through his fair share of injuries. [He can relay] how he took it, how he made it out of it, how he kept everything positive, and [he] is still labeled as one of the greatest backs to ever play the game.”
Taylor hasn’t just helped Maroney in that area. The 33-year-old is working with Maroney on gap vision and attack techniques to perfect his vision and instincts, with the idea of improving his ability to break long runs.
While Taylor has used the pay-it-forward mentality -- a way of thanking running back James Stewart for mentoring him as a rookie in 1996 -- he has also taken a liking to Maroney, who has been receptive to Taylor’s advice, according to the elder back. Maybe -- just maybe -- Maroney’s career could face a similar upswing to that of Taylor’s.
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"I just wanted to have a job," he said. "We're in a recession."
How do you not love that attitude? In an era when athletes often experience a disconnect with reality, especially when it comes to money, Taylor gets it. Just another reason why he fits in perfectly in a veteran locker room. Belichick knows which players will be best suited to his team, and Taylor is the right guy at the right time - a solid, unselfish player who can share time with the younger, more explosive Maroney.
And just in case Taylor wants to prove a point to his old team, he'll get the chance to show the Jaguars in person on Dec. 27 in Foxborough.
Maroney was having a hell of a rookie season before he got banged up. People who bash Maroney tend to ignore the reality that he's produced when healthy.
I agree. For the people that think Maroney hasn't done anything, take a look at the 2007 playoffs. In particular, the passing game struggled against the Chargers but Maroney closed out that game. In addition, he ran all over the Jaguars in the divisional round. Maroney can flat out play when he is healthy and gets enough touches.
Last edited by HEY BRO! WHAT UP?; 08-13-2009 at 05:05 PM..
One more column from outside New England regarding NFL players on new teams - again focusing on Fred Taylor. Patriots offer Taylor-made improvement by Sam Farmer of the Austin American-Statesman
"Playing these guys a few times in the playoffs, you look over and say, 'We can beat that team. What do they do that we don't do? We can go and win this game,'" Taylor said.
"But then you get here and you see (Brady's) passion, you see the way he studies, you see how demanding he is of his players, the leadership. Right in front of you, it just jumps out and you see why he's a proven winner.
"This whole organization, they do the little things. They pay closer attention to detail and preparation. They know what it takes to win.''