I understand the questioning of Maroney, but it is largely misguided IMHO. Maroney leads the league in first down yardage. He is amongst the top 10 in ypc for RBs with 50+ rushes. He is 2nd according to footballoutsiders' success rate and 10th in their per-play measure (essentially tied with Morris and Addai for #8 in the league). Success rate is defined as: The excellent ypc despite any long runs further illustrates just how consistent Laurence has been. Obviously he isn't perfect. He needs to work on pass protection so he can be a threat out of the backfield. He needs to be able to counted on in short-yardage situations more. Maroney was one of the top backs in the league for yardage after contact despite missing a good amount of time. He clearly *can* be a bruising RB if he wanted to. I personally think that the team has taken advantage of the historic passing game to allow Maroney to work himself back into shape and to improve parts of his game. They have been asking him to a) run with more body lean and b) not accept negative plays. Both of these are impacting his running because he has to think more than he used to. Once the new style become instinctive he will be able to leverage his natural ability more. This thinking is one of the main reasons he is accused of being "tentative" or "dancing". I also think that Maroney is a victim of last year. He absolutely stutter-stepped too much and I think that some are viewing him with preconceived notions. He ran fabulously against Indy. Other than a few times when an unblocked blitzer had a clean shot at him, he made yardage every time (except one play - the 3rd and 1 stop) and it always took multiple tacklers to bring him down. His toughness just wasn't noticed because the 2nd and 3rd guys got there so quickly. And that is no fluke. Frankly, Maroney has been excellent since midway through the SD game. Maroney is also hampered in the court of public opinion because he looked so damn explosive last year. His talent just oozed off of him and he really hasn't looked as natural this year. I firmly believe that this is entirely due to the factors I outline above. Lastly, it is important to realize that Laurence is very young. The kid is just 22 years old - nearly two full years younger than Addai. It is my contention that NE views him as a long term weapon and are treating him accordingly. I will be very surprised if NE acquires any top-end RB talent in this offseason and I believe that Laurence will be one of the top RBs in the league by 2009 at the latest. I also would be willing to make a wager that Maroney signs his next contract with the New England Patriots. Feel free to bookmark this thread for later use, but I don't expect you to be able to. :toast: Edit: Obviously I should add "if he could stay healthy" to the bruising RB part above. That is frankly the biggest question with Laurence and it is the primary reason that NE is working on adapting his running style. As you can tell from my optimism about him, I fully expect Maroney to flourish in time and for his injury issues to subside. Further Edit: With regard to 3rd and shot I agree that NE needs to be able to have the rush be a threat on 3rd and short. Some of that is blocking, but much of that is Maroney. I would also add that Maroney runs on something like 60-70 of the plays that he is on the field for. Obviously Faulk is a better receiver and blocker, so you would want him to be in on passing situations, but that predictibility is a big reason why ther seems to be a guy in the backfield right away whenever Maroney is running on third down. The issue needs to be addressed, but it isn't all on Laurence, IMHO.