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Whither Maroney, or "What's with all the prithees?"

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Deus Irae, Oct 6, 2008.

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  1. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Lost in the other Maroney threads is a comment from PWP that I think should be the real focus on the Maroney 'issue', so I thought I'd give his post, and my response, their own separate thread for people kill us about.;)

    I think that you frame it in an excellent way: Maroney is the best running back on the team (Faulk is a 3rd down back for discussion purposes), but why is there not a wider gulf of separation between him and the other options?

    (Disclaimer: First, let me state that I was really pissed off that the team didn't find a way to get Steven Jackson in the draft, so I was not a fan of the Maroney pick. I figured that if Jackson wasn't worth getting in round 1, why the hell should Maroney make the cut? I wanted Ngata, who was already gone, or Kiwanuka. I still don't like that they passed over Jackson but made sure to take Maroney, but I try not to let that affect what my opinion of LoMo.)

    Some theories I've looked at:

    1.) The zone blocking isn't opening up the sort of cutback holes that a Maroney would use, but any fool can run behind Mankins and Light and get 3+ yards per carry. This puts Maroney at a distinct disadvantage, because the offensive line's frequent failures to open holes prevents LoMo from cutting back, and that makes it seem as if he's dancing when he's actually waiting for a hole to open that's never going to show. Since Morris and Jordan (And Dillon, etc...) don't run with this style, they are not impacted as negatively as LoMo is.

    2.) LoMo is a bit of a Nancy and doesn't like repetitive contact.

    3.) The team uses LoMo pretty much the same way every time, so teams can focus on that and shut it down.

    4.) LoMo sucks.

    5.) LoMo can't play hurt (I'm talking hurt, not injured).

    6.) LoMo tries playing through injuries when he shouldn't.

    7.) McDaniels can't, or won't, run the running game in a manner that suits Maroney's strengths. For example, why the hell isn't Maroney getting some fakes, slipping through the line and making catches just past the LOS? That would make the defenders hesitate and would make life easier for LoMo. Also, why no sweeps, or quick swing passses? Why no direct snaps? Why no Wildcat formations, etc.?


    Personally, I tend to lean more towards #1,#3, and #7, but I'm open to pretty much any of the above (except #4, which I think last year showed to be untrue) if further information comes forth to change my current position that it's mostly the combination of poor blocking and pigeonholed playcalling.
     
  2. buile

    buile PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, it's kinda hard not to pick #1, 3 and 7 considering the quality of the opposition answers (ie, #2 and 4 :D ).

    > seem as if he's dancing when he's actually waiting for a hole to open that's never going to show

    Hey, I'm no coach, but does he need to adjust his approach to the sliver-sized holes. Running tall and squared to the line doesn't seem to give him any leverage, and he can't squirt through the crack. On the flip side, playing to a player's strengths is more constructive. So, as others posted, how best to get him into the open?

    > slipping through the line and making catches just past the LOS?

    I like this idea, especially seeing how well Addai did it last year. How is Maroney's pass protection and/or blitz pickup; maybe this is one reason we don't see plays like this from him?
     
  3. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    When Morris gets his big gains, it always seems to be on the same type of cut. He is running slightly toward the line of scrimmage, but mostly towards the sideline, then makes a sudden quick burst upfield and just about every defender in the first five yards overrun him. Maroney is not that type of runner it seems. He also won't just slam into the line where Morris will.
     
  4. Brady to Brown

    Brady to Brown 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    So its the O-Line, the coaching and the play calling?

    I think its Maroney. I tend to lean more towards this, he slows down at the line so he will not be moving so fast when he gets hit. He is the boy in the bubble.
     
  5. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Who scored the first TD of SB 42?

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Patslifer

    Patslifer Banned

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    Who cares? Last year means nothing. It's not hard to pick out a single good play, and make a player sound great. Maroney is made out of glass. Hurt every year, still dancing and running up the legs of his blockers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  7. Brady to Brown

    Brady to Brown 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I was so happy when Belichick picked a RB in the first round.

    I believe that Maroney slows down when he gets to the line so he will not get hit so hard. He needs to sit for the next 5 weeks then be given one more chance.
     
  8. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    It kind of makes you wonder what if we had taken Addai instead of Maroney. Did Polian pull the wool over BB's eyes by hyping Maroney?
     
  9. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I posted the link on another Maroney thread, so I won't post it here. But, go take a look at Maroney's situational numbers from last season. I think you'll find them enlightening.
     
  10. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    And I actually did a breakdown on the numbers. The numbers confirm what our eyes have been telling us.
     
  11. captadamnj

    captadamnj On the Game Day Roster

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    I stand behind my statement in another thread that Maroney has become a "change of pace" back. He is simply not a pounding inside runner in the NFL. Whether he doesn't want to be or doesn't have the skills or isn't getting the play calls, I don't know. But I do know that with the likes of Jordan and Morris on the roster, let them bull it ahead for 3 YPC and let Maroney run the off-tackle stuff. Get him outside in some space and let him do his thing.

    I look at Reggie Bush as a great example of drafting a player to be one thing, finding out they aren't and getting ready to call them a bust. It took a couple of seasons for the staff in NO to find out how to best utilize him, and he is having an impact season now. No, I do not think Maroney is going to Bush, but I do believe the staff here in NE needs to find the best way to utilize him, which I think they are working on. Ultimately, though, I'm wondering if his best use might become trade bait.
     
  12. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I agree...I'd lean heavily on #1. Two guys who spent some time rewatching Maroney's runs - Box o Rocks and AWTE on Planet - have been pretty adamant about the fact that Maroney is doing his job well. It's a function of the OL or the way the defense plays when Maroney is in the game.

    Maroney's metrics at the end of the year ended up putting him in the top half dozen RBs in terms of "success rate".

    I'd love to see Maroney in the open field more. I'd also love to see Maroney when Neal gets back and our OL run blocking is upgraded. I'd love to see Maroney if Thomas learns to block better, or we draft or sign a better blocking TE. But Maroney has control over none of those things.
     
  13. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Addai entered a very different situation in Indy as the replacement to an elite lead back in barely a 2 back situation with an established prolific passing offense with a top flight OL. His career average is 4.3 YPC. This season with all the upheaval in indy he's only managing a 3.6 YPC.

    Maroney entered a situation in which a power running team with an aging RB with substantial ego and perhaps the best change of pace back in the league was looking to transition to a zone blocking team that spreads the field. Year 1 that plan was totally abandoned because the OL could not master a new scheme and we lost our #1WR and #2 WR. Year two BB was still not certain they would transition so Morris was added to replace Dillon as the bruising back (only to go down in week 6 was it...) and Moss was added as the #1WR with Welker as #2 making this a pass first to run team of historic dimensions. Yet they had to lean on the run to navigate the post season and oddly it was there when they chose to use it. Year 3 Morris was back but augmented late in camp with Jordan who is looking to be injury prone as well as his history suggests, and we've lost the lynchpin QB who made pass to run work at least most of the time so teams are teeing off on us at the LOS...

    Maroney's career average is 4.3 YPC. This season with all the upheaval here including a 4 back system he's only averaging 3.3.

    Perhaps drafting a RB on day two or in FA and focusing on the LOS would have been the better move in hindsight...for Polian too...
     
  14. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Maroney in not a smash mouth style runner and never will be. Morris and Jordon give us that role the way Dillon used to.

    Maroney has not done well this year. No way am I chalking that entirely up to the Oline issues, bad luck, secret injuries, bad playcalling, etc.

    While those all may be factors, it is hard to believe that he bears not responsibility himself.... not all of the responsibility, but certainly some of it.

    I haven't given up on him though.
     
  15. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Yeah, if we're going to second guess, then I'd say it has to be on the value of drafting a RB that high, period. The perception that Maroney somehow hasn't lived up to expectations has more to do with the other factors mentioned in this thread (OL blocking). When Neal comes back, things should come together a little better for Maroney - just as they did in the latter parts of last season.

    As for Addai, I'm not sure why everyone on this board is so enamored with the guy. His YPC has gone from 4.8 his rookie year to 4.1 last year to 3.8 this season. Besides, with the way the Colts run that stretch play, they probably could've plugged in someone from Day 2 and done just as well. I would rather have Maroney than Addai no doubt about it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    By design we have a lot of options at RB - part of that was to ensure we could weather injuries - part of that was to have more balanced offense this yet

    I think BB would tend to look at that depth and want to use all the weapons at his disposal. If we had fewer running/RB pass catching options you'd see Maroney getting more reps and catches and we might not be questioning him quite as much.

    I'm not ruling out any of the other options in terms of injuries etc - and especially not ruling out the play of the OL which I think has not been as good as past years - but I look at this more as having so many weapons at our disposal, that it makes good strategic sense to use them.

    That's slightly different than terming this "RB by Committee" because I have a high regard for each RB and the different skills they bring, whereas a "by committee" implies that all are deficient in skills.
     
  17. Krugman

    Krugman Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Good questions DI,i like the #7 best of all,try something different to get Maroney some yards.Is he that bad at screen passes?I seem to remember him busting a few of those for long gains last year....
     
  18. stcjones

    stcjones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    "I'd love to see Maroney in the open field more."

    I have been saying this since he got here......he excels when he gets some space and can get some momentum heading up field....this is where IMHO he is the most dangerous.....In college, he had such huge holes to run through that you rarely saw that horrible indecision/dancing at the LOS.........but once he gets some seperation....look out....this is where he is deadly......BUT you NEVER (or hardly ever) see McD use him in this manner....I don't see why they don't get him the ball in a RB dump off play or short screens....passes over the middle......
     
  19. PatsFan24

    PatsFan24 In the Starting Line-Up

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    this sucks.....really it does

    the team is 3-1 without a HOF QB playing, they lost the one game because they didnt play well on defense, yet everyone complains about the running game. maroney is fine, not every player on the pats is going to be the best ever at that position, just accept it. it really is not fun to post here anymore with all the negative comments that are just not necessary at all
     
  20. Brady to Brown

    Brady to Brown 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I agree, lets all sit in a big circle and hold hands.

    We can talk about how perfect the Patriots are and sing happy songs.
     
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