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My knock on Maroney and the offense

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DaBruinz, Apr 9, 2009.

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  1. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    With that bogus bleacher report article about Maroney being traded and people annointing BJGE as the next coming just because he put up a whopping 2.8 YPC last year, I wanted to voice a couple things about the Maroney situation. Both of which I feel are fixable.

    When I watch Maroney, I see a kid with a ton of talent and an amazing motor. A kid who has great vision. The problem with Maroney is that he doesn't have his speed under control. He gets the ball and gets to the point where the hole is supposed to be before it's allowed to develop. Even when the Pats moved Brady out from under center, this was happening. The result is that it appears that Maroney is just running into the backs of his Linemen or what looked to be dancing. Because Maroney was hitting the place where the hole was supposed to be so quickly, he really didn't have much potential to change where he was going.

    This happened more often when the Patriots were running the zone blocking than they were primarily running the in-line blocking while Dillon was still here. Even last year, it seemed that the Pats switched up their blocking schemes when Neal returned and the RBs seemed to perform better. It might have been one or a combination. I don't know.

    Its my opinion that the Patriots just don't have the people for the zone blocking scheme they've been trying to run. They need to focus the O-line on the in-line blocking scheme and go from there. I think it will help both the O-linemen and all the running backs. Not just Maroney.
  2. Tucker

    Tucker Rookie

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    I may be wrong (and probably am) but I thought the Pats ditched the zone blocking scheme after the 07 season
  3. supafly

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    Benjarvus Green-Ellis ran for 74 rushes totaling 275 yards, and 5 TD's--for an average carry of 3.7 yards, not the measly 2.8 that you stated

    And whatever blocking scheme that was used was quite effective, as I thought we had our 3rd highest total ever in franchise history
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  4. Box_O_Rocks

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    Nope, they still run zone, though they did start using some more of the old blocking that worked well for Pokey and Cory after Maroney went on IR. I'm expecting Dante to stick with what worked to get the committee through the season last year, which may mean fewer reps for Maroney if he can't adjust, but he can make the difference on kick returns.
  5. supafly

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    Yes , I think for sure they'll stick with the blocking combo from last yr--because it was extremely effective. And I'm all for using Maroney in whatever open space we can, and looking forward to his kick returns again. Because kick returns are generally more violent than punt returns, Hobbs will get somewhat of a decreased injury possibility because he won't be used as much--although BB may end up splitting because Hobbs is just great on kickoffs. One of the league's best IMO
  6. nashvillepatsfan

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    Maroney gets to the line TOO fast? Well, lets say thats true. What will be done this year to fix it, that they didnt try in previous seasons? All i know is that Sammy, and the Lawfirm would get the ball, and plow straight ahead into either a big hole, or small hole, but they got through. Maroney looks like he hits a brick wall, and starts dancing. I agree the guy has a ton of talent, but i don't think he's the right fit for this offense. Could it be a vision issue? I don't know, im not an expert.
  7. mayoclinic

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    As others have mentioned, they didn't altogether ditch the ZBS last year, but they did move to more in-line blocking over the course of the season, and seemed to become more effective. I agree with you that their timing in the ZBS seemed to be a bit off. Whether it is due to wrong personnel or still learning the nuances of the scheme, I'm not sure.

    I agree with you about Maroney. If you give him a little space to get going then he is deadly. But he has trouble running in a crowd, and his timing seems to be off. He is either there before the hole develops or dances around and misses the hole. I think that anything the Pats can do to remedy this would be useful, whether it's more in-line blocking or coming up with ways to get Maroney the ball with a bit more space (swing passes, etc.). I'm hoping Fred Taylor will have a major impact on Maroney's game in this area.
  8. gomezcat

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    I just wanted to echo the sentiments re Maroney's talent. He has great speed, is very elusive in the open field and can be a useful receiver. It's worth making the point that, for all his faults, he still has a decent YPC average over his career. The big thing he brings to the table is his ability to break out and make very long runs. I don't see anyone else on the roster who can do that.

    I can't comment on the Zone Blocking thing because I don't know enough.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

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    Two elements in assessing Maroney, one in particuar applied to last season:
    1. As a breakaway threat, defenses need to account for him. Since he rarely gets involved in the passing game, his presence is a key for "run." Perhaps O'Brien can do something about that this year.
    2. Billy Yates vice Stephen Neal. Last season Billy was the RG before Maroney was placed on IR. Billy struggled badly, which I hope was due to an undisclosed injury, but he was part of a dysfunctional O-line while Maroney was active.

    In case anyone is interested, Divining the McDaniels Way, Part 2 - The RunningGame - Mile High Report is a fan analysis being conducted by some Denver fans trying to divine how their team will perform under McDaniels. There is a chart showing an analysis of O-line play that's worth reviewing. Whipping boy Nick Kaczur doesn't look so bad alongside his brethren. I'm sure this will lead to cries for better OL, but while we're assessing RBs, it's an article that should give us pause when critiquing our Laurence. Enjoy.
  10. KY Pats Fan

    KY Pats Fan Rookie

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    you make a good point DaBruinz and that makes good sense. I don't know if it is his intellect that can't grasp it or a lack of coaching, but I believe that if he can be a more "patient" runner, he would do really well.
  11. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    why would the pats ditch anything on offense after having the best single offensive season in the history of pro-football?
  12. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    maroney runs too upright.........which is a frequent problem for RB's coming out of college......addai does the same thing as does reggie bush.....

    denagelo williams and maurice jones-drew run low and don't' get hurt
  13. everlong

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    I've thought for a while the issue with Maroney is that he would be a better back if they would run him outside in not inside out. By starting him outside it allows him to use his vision and also slows him down from hitting the hole too quickly. Somebody posted an old youtube highlight video of him from college last week and it reconfirmed my thinking. Most of his big runs he started outside and cut it back inside. I don't think he'll ever be comfortable running like Dillon or Smith straight up the gut. If Denver or Indy had drafted him I think he would have done better.
  14. cavtroop

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    I was just thinking this myself. I'd love to see us use him more on sweeps, tosses and in the passing game.

    I think the most frustrating thing about Maroney (besides the dancing), is the Patriots unwillingness to use him differently. I think the Pats just want a different sort of RB for their system - one that hits holes hard, and pushes piles, not a toss sweep kind of guy.
  15. E Belichick Unum

    E Belichick Unum Rookie

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    Maroney is a talented guy who doesn't follow the coaching staff's directions. How many times have we heard that the staff wants him to hit the hole, but he keeps trying to hit a homerun? The team anouncers tell us that, the national TV guys tell us that, the writers who cover the team tells us that. That opinion isn't universally made up by these people, it is fed to them by somebody from the team.

    Maroney is still the most talented RB we have on the team. Every time he touches the ball he has the ability to break it. What he has to understand is that his job is to work within the system and run the play the way it was drawn up.
  16. Deus Irae

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    Why do people keep returning to this same complaint? For crying out loud, you don't even make the same gripes. If Maroney's problems were truly as legion as you all combine to make it seem, he'd never have made it out of Pee Wee football, nevermind ever getting to the NFL.

    Synovia has already effectively destroyed most of the whining complaints on a couple of other threads, so I don't want to go down the data side of things. Instead, I'll point out some other 'issues', and interject some other thoughts and notions.

    1.) Maroney in the game tends to tip off the opponent that it's a running play. He's not in on passing situations and the team doesn't throw him the ball enough. Opponents are allowed to key on Maroney in ways that they can't key on the other running backs. Maroney still gets his yards.

    2.) In his two 'full' seasons, Maroney has had a higher YPC than Dillon and had the same YPC as Morris.

    3.) People complaining about his durability should realize that, while Maroney has only played 16 of 32 regular season games over the past 2 seasons, Morris has only played in 19 of those 32 games.

    4.) Joseph Addai, the runner Maroney was most often compared to when he came into the league, has seen his game decline in each of his 3 seasons in the NFL. He's 2 years older than Maroney, has taken a lot more pounding in the NFL, and may already be past his prime.

    5.) Maurice Jones-Drew, the other runner generally compared to Maroney, has also seen his YPC decline every year he's been in the NFL. He was a human bowling ball during his rookie year. Last year, he was a relatively pedestrian player with a 4.2 YPC. He's about the same age as Maroney, and I don't think he's in decline, but it's important to note that his offensive line was devestated last year and his numbers went down. You know, like the Maroney situation in New England before he went on IR.

    6.) I expect Fred Taylor to be a great sounding board for Maroney, since he had to deal with the same sort of nonsense from the Jaguars fans when he was a younger player.

    7.) I hope that the new O.C. (whomever it may be) will use Maroney to catch more passes, will allow for more sweeps and more one-cut runs, and will allow Maroney to develop a full game on the field.
  17. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    Amen! Can I get a witness!

    I also hope that Maroney can improve his pass blocking skills, so the Pats can put him out there more, and D's won't key on the run.
  18. signbabybrady

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    Fred Taylor has been more than capable of breaking the big ones througout his career and bet he breaks a couple big ones this year.
  19. DW Toys

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    Simon, A very intelligent opinion I will give you that. I take issue with your statement that Maroney has "great vision". In fact, his major issue is vision. He lacks it which is what gets him into trouble. He runs into the backs of lineman because he lacks it. How many times have you Simon yourself said when watching him run, if he could cut one lane to the left or right off of that block, he's gone. Whatever system we are running and that is open for debate here, he just does not fit. Talent? Yes. Speed? Yes. Great kid? Yes. Vision? terrible and please you show me where anyone in this organization has commented on his great vision. Goes down after the first hit? All the time. Plays hurt? Definitely not. If your hurt, your hurt but will yiou play in pain? no.

    I see him gone after this year and that is a shame. He was drafted to replace Dillon and he is not that type of runner. They got Taylor to play in front of Maroney, not behind him. I do not question the kids make up but it is the square peg into the round hole. No one on this forum will argue the fact that there is a problem with this kid. The major excuses have been our O-Line and injuries. Isn't it time for agonizing reappraisal? This kid has not been anywhere near a first round value. I will say it...he has been a first round mistake by the scouting department. We needed a back that year and has been stated that if you draft for need, be 100% sure in the first round.

    I would love to see the kid succeed. But isn't it a fair statement to say if you could trade him for value now before his reputation erodes further, you do it? If he sits on the bench, and he will if Taylor, Morris and Faulk are healthy, he will not get enough touches to resurrect himself. One poster amazed me and said we should keep him on the roster to return kicks. A first round RB struggling for touches returning kicks? Didn't we draft that stud Slater to do that? Another poster said third down back to replace Faulk? Besides catching on third downs you have to stay in and block which is what Faulk does very well. Maroney has yet to throw a block here. It was never his job.

    His dancing has landed him forth on the depth chart. Would you agree that is where he sits?

    O.K. Simon, you are the G.M. Someone offers you a third round pick for Maroney (Texans, Eagles, Cards, etc.). You know you can draft a Pat White, Rashad Jennings, Andre Brown, Eric Wood, T.J. Lang, Jasper Brinkley, Ingeseius, Kruger etc. with that pick. None are a guarantee I agree, but would you not consider that knowing again full well that he is gone in 2010?
    DW Toys
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  20. Deus Irae

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    The problem with this is that it's a chicken and egg thing. He needs to improve at it so they'll play him, but he needs to play so he can improve at it.
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