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Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jmt57, Jul 27, 2010.

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  1. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tom Curran says "These Numbers Might Lie when looking at the Pats' running backs in this piece for Comcast SportsNet New England.

    The numbers may look fine, but the running attack as a whole is not healthy. Not when your youngest, most explosive running back – a player on whom you spent a first-round pick – is so unsteady he is only handed the ball once after a nut-crushing fumble in the 15th game of the season, Not when your most reliable back is a balding, 33-year-old who checks in at 5-8 and has lost a few steps. Not when a staple of the season’s plan is to milk a few more games out of a once-great but oft-injured superstar, it’s not healthy. Not when a perennially injured old guy is your best short-yardage option.

    So huzzah for the Patriots running game and the yards it generated. But the four horsemen of the New England apocalypse – Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, Fred Taylor and Sammie Morris – inspire more yawns than fear.
  2. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Jeff Howe of NESN says Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, BenJarvus Green-Ellis Fighting For Two Roster Spots.

    Position Battle to Watch: With so many other positional battles on the roster, it might not be worthwhile to keep the same five running backs for a second consecutive season. Faulk is a lock to remain on the roster, and Morris also seems to be a favorite of Belichick's. Therefore, it's conceivable that Green-Ellis, Maroney and Fred Taylor are fighting for two spots.
    Hot Topic: Maroney had another up-and-down season in 2009. He had a six-game stretch when he rushed for 420 yards and eight touchdowns, but he eventually succumbed to a fumbling epidemic that led to his benching. It was well-known how much time Maroney and Belichick spent together in the film room last year, which might have frustrated Belichick even more when Maroney's struggles snowballed. If Maroney doesn’t show some real improvement in training camp, it's possible this could be his last with New England.



    I know Maroney is no fan favorite, but in my opinion he is more likely to make the roster than Morris. In my opinion BJGE is the odd man out. He rarely got a chance to run the ball despite all the injuries to other running backs, and his special teams spot can easily be replaced by newcomers such as McKenzie, Spikes, Cunningham, McCourty, etc.
  3. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pats Fans' favorite John Clayton of espn gives us his two cents on the Patriots' running backs.

    On the radar: Patriots' running game - AFC East Blog - ESPN

    But the Patriots need to see in camp where the running game is to determine whether they want to use more two-tight end sets or just spread the field with wide receivers and use a one-back set. Complicating things is the uncertain status of wide receiver Wes Welker, who is coming off a serious knee injury. Brady could count on Welker taking some short receptions and using them like running plays if the backs were ineffective.

    [​IMG]
  4. MossWelkowski

    MossWelkowski Rookie

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    IMO with the presence of a TE this year with crumpler, gronk, and Hernandez, the passing attack will dominate the offense this year. As long as the run game produces like they did last year they will be a top 5 offense again this year. Maroney will always be average, faulk will always be a quiet beast, and morris and taylor will always be hurt. Not expecting much this year from the run attack...
  5. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Richard Hill of Pats Pulpit takes a look at Sammy Morris, whom he predicts will get the final RB roster spot over BJGE.

    Patriots Roster Prediction #48: RB Sammy Morris - Pats Pulpit


    Predicted Role: Morris will provide depth at running back, in case of an injury to either Laurence Maroney or Fred Taylor. The Patriots will most likely use three backs a game, with Kevin Faulk being one of those backs. That means Fred Taylor and Sammy Morris will split carries as Maroney will play in as many games as he can. Morris provides a solid, if unspectacular, back-up at the running back position.

    Morris will also be a receiving threat out of the backfield.

    Summary: As much as Morris' injuries should cost him a roster spot, he's still a much more developed player than BenJarvus Green-Ellis- and with both players only having 1 guaranteed year on their contracts left, look for the Patriots to go with the more experienced and proven of the backs. Sammy Morris makes the team, Green-Ellis gets cut.


    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  6. Patjew

    Patjew PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Jersey Selected

    Sammy Morris seems like a good guy but I don't understand the love for him as a player.
  7. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mike Lombardi of NFL.com sees the number of rush attempts plus completed passes as a positive for the Pats offense; they ranked first in the entire NFL in this stat last year.

    NFL.com news: Teams believing in 'convenient truths' as camps approach

    "I always review how many rushing attempts and pass completions a team amassed after each game. To me, this statistic is symbolic of a team's ability to execute in each aspect of its offense."


    The Pats averaged 53.5 rushes and pass completions per game, just ahead of the Saints (52.9) and the Vikings (52.8). Those three teams were also among the top five in Points Per game. As much as is made of the Colts' offense, they ranked 17th (48 rushes/completions per game) in this category due to a sub-par rushing game. Only the Colts, Texans and Cardinals had more pass completions than the Pats (390). The Jets and Dolphins ranked in the Top Ten due to their running games.

    So for all the talk about how the Pats failed to commit to the run last year, the team rushed 466 times, compared with with 468 for New Orleans and 467 for Adrian Peterson's Vikings.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2010
  8. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Richard Hill of Pats Pulpit disagrees with Lombardi's assessment of the state of the Pats' running game. He sees the running game - whether it be talent or play calling - as a prime reason for the Pats losing leads and being outscored in the second half of games last year.

    Both Halves of the Issue: Patriots Need Half Time Adjustments - Pats Pulpit

    Check out some of the stats he uncovered:

    1. The Patriots run on first down. They rarely run on second down. They definitely won't run on third down. They'll probably run on fourth down (hint: It will go to Sammy Morris).
    2. Maroney becomes less productive as the game progresses (1Q: 5.2 y/c, 2Q: 3.3 y/c, 3Q: 3.5 y/c, 4Q: 3.0 y/c) and is not a workhorse back.
    3. Once Tom Brady has thrown 10 passes, Maroney is really the only back who will run the ball- and since he gets worn down as the game progresses, this is horrible offensive scheming.
    4. Seriously, once Brady had thrown 10 passes, Maroney ran 67 more times. Faulk, Morris and Taylor combined for 23 carries.
    5. That also means that the Patriots lead backs only ran the ball 90 times after Brady had thrown 10 times. Brady hits that number, on average, in the middle of the 2nd quarter. That means 77.0% of the Patriots running attempts came before Brady had thrown 10 times. Which means early in the game. And not after the half.
    6. Most of the late game running plays were hand-offs from Hoyer.
    7. Morris and Maroney's yard/carry dropped by over a full yard from the first half to the second half.
  9. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    Didn't you hear? It only counts when all of those attempts go to one guy.
  10. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tedy Bruschi gives Mike Reiss his opinion on the Pats' running backs, saying this is a make or break year for Maroney.

    Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss break down the New England Patriots heading into training camp - ESPN Boston

    The running back spot is one issue that I haven't seen talked about much. You see the names and the depth -- Laurence Maroney, Kevin Faulk, Sammy Morris, Fred Taylor. You figure they are happy with the running-back-by-committee approach, but based on last year, you have to ask: "How effective is Laurence Maroney going to be? How long are Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor going to last?" I'd only want to see Kevin Faulk on third down and passing downs because he's one of the best in the league at it. But if he's taking snaps in a more traditional type role, that means the other three aren't performing or are hurt. This is a make-or-break year for Laurence Maroney. I know fans have been fed up with him at times. I have too. But you have to think this is a contract year for him. He is looking to prove a lot of people wrong. You hope you're going to get a stellar performance from him over the 16-game schedule. Sammy and Freddy can still get the job done; it's just a matter if they can stay healthy.
  11. Patspsycho

    Patspsycho Rookie

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    That just about puts it best.
  12. Garbanza

    Garbanza Rookie

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    Every year it's a make or break season for Maroney - and every year he disappoints. He's a BUST. Just cut him already. I'd rather go into the season with my grandma in the backfield, than this dancing waste of everone's time. The Pats don't have much of a run game, with or without him, and regardless of the plethora of Tight Ends they have in the fold.

    I'm with Troy Brown - Maroney could be the "suprise" cut....and I'll be cheering.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  13. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Given the average age of the other running backs, I would be VERY shocked if Maroney was cut. Effectiveness aside, you can't go into the season with Taylor, Morris, and Faulk (combined age 100+?) as your three headed running attack, and expect to make it through the season without having to pluck a guy off the street for a few games.
  14. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    Again, so you'd rather go with Morris (who's going to get hurt at some point), Taylor (who's going to get hurt at some point), Faulk (who may not get hurt, but is NOT an every down back), and Green-Ellis (who hasn't proven he can even be as good as Maroney).

    You're asking for trouble in that situation. Also, there is very little financial benefit to cutting Maroney, so it's not like it'd allow us to field better players at other positions.

    If we carry only four RBs, one of Morris, Taylor, or Green-Ellis will be cut.
  15. patsfanboy

    patsfanboy Rookie

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    Can someone tell me why is BJGE still on still team, he is a nice guy and all but not productive at all. I wish him the best but not as a pats.
  16. Garbanza

    Garbanza Rookie

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    I understand your point - but I honestly don't think the running game would suffer THAT much with the release of Maroney. Honestly, I think it would send a great message: "we are not effing around this season!"
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Green-Ellis is useful to take reps in camp and to take preseason reps. He is our #5 running back. We will likely carry only four this year. I see very little chance of him making the 53. Even if we need a running back because of injury or because Taylor is done, I would think that we would bring in a free agent.

  18. patsfanboy

    patsfanboy Rookie

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    I disagree. I think he is productive, the only problem last year was the fumbles, which it can be fixed.
  19. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here's a bit of a curve ball when considering the Running Backs during training camp.

    How Thomas Williams spent his summer, from Albert Breer of the Boston Globe


    [​IMG]
  20. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Maroney upset about fumbles last season, from Monique Walker of the Boston Globe

    (Nice to know coaches and fans were not the only ones upset by the fumbles ...)

    -----

    "That’s something that got away from me. I don’t really fumble that’s one thing that I been really thinking about and made me upset about last year but it’s one of those things that could easily be fixed."

    Eliminating fumbles means concentrating ball control and avoiding lazy habits, Maroney said. As Maroney enters the final season of his contract, he is looking to regain the confidence of the coaching staff after losing the ball at critical points last season.

    "At the end of the day that’s a mental thing," Maroney said. "Just holding the ball high and tight and never getting comfortable when you falling to the ground. That was mostly all my fumbles -- falling on the way to the ground. ... It wasn’t a guy just coming behind me and stripping the ball, it was just me being lazy."

    -----

    I suppose his admission is a good sign, as he is accepting responsibility and saying he can and will rectify the problem. On the other hand, I'm sure more than a few people will jump all over his last comment.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
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