Re: Fred Taylor out indefinitely - Ankle Surgery
posted at 10/11/2009 1:44 AM EDT
In Response to Re: Fred Taylor out indefinitely - Ankle Surgery
By my count, 3 or 4 of Maroney's 7 carries against the Ravens were this exact play. And I really do think the line gets their a**es handed to them almost every time. I think it's gotten so predictable that they're going to run this play when Maroney is in the game that it's easy for defenses to defend. If the line fires off the line of scrimmage and flow goes in one or the other direction, the play is obvious. Faulk and Taylor have had a lot of their success running from the shotgun formation on draws or in passing situations. I also noticed that Maroney has more success on play calls that are straight ahead runs (3-4yds/carry). I think at the very least they should start running counters. I haven't seen one counter all year. At the rate that they're getting defenses to bite on the stretch play, they should at least run a counter to make them pay for overplaying to one side of the field. I'd also like to see them incorporate more of the reverse or reverse fake like the reverse they ran to Edelman from the same formation in Week 3 against the Falcons. But even more importantly, I'd like to see Maroney get opportunities to run in other formations in non-running situations to see what he can do. I also like him in space, especially after he made that linebacker miss on his run-and-catch last week. I'd like to see if he can split out wide like Morris did, catch the ball, and make someone miss (or use his stiff arm, which is an excellent stiff arm). Yes, I think Maroney should cut it up the field and get what he can (Taylor has had a couple carries this year where he managed to make himself small by turning his body kind of sideways and getting the 2-3 yds that were there), but no I don't think the fault is entirely his. I think it also falls on the line to execute their zone blocking (which is when the whole line steps in the same direction and then blocks whoever is in front of them; I'm almost certain that this is the blocking scheme when the Patriots run their version of the stretch play) and on the play calling (something other than that same stretch play) to help give Maroney no excuses. By the way, from what I saw, Taylor got injured on that same stretch play. He lost 2 yards. It was the third quarter. I don't think it was just Maroney getting killed by that play. Also, the Patriots ran a few play action passes with Maroney in the backfield last week against the Ravens with a lot of success (at least three completions by my count, and at least two for first downs), and I think part of the success was the apparent obviousness of Maroney getting the ball when he's on the field in single back formation. Brady's return to form will force defenses to play more honestly, which should open up running room for everybody. Either way, it's important for whoever carries the ball this week to take what's there immediately because the Broncos' front seven is evidently very fast - if so, then they'll rally to the ball if there's any hesitation.
Posted by NickC1188
It's easy for Maroney bashers to tell Maroney to drop his shoulder and punish defenders, but it would be shortsighted given the team goals. Keep our best weapon out of the backfield healthy for December beyond...
You and Truechamp make so much sense it gives me hope for mankind. I don't want to harp on it, but as impressive as Charlie Weiss was in the passing game he was that much more impressive with his running attack. Counters, no look pitches, quaterback sneaks, semi legal crackback blocks, end arounds and draw plays with Faulk... he had a running game to keep em guessing.
Bill can't keep an offensive coordinator around long enough to train them in what he likes before some owner is handing them the keys to their own team. I'd like to see Sammy Morris get his shot now, on another team he would be the 1A back and he should last the rest of the regular season with a dash of LawFirm and Maroney. As long as whichever back getting the bulk of the carries is averaging around 4-5 yards a carry it doesn't matter who starts.
In 2007, Maroney had five 100-yard rushing games, including two in the playoffs. His five 100-yard games were the most for a Patriot since Corey Dillon tied the franchise record with nine 100-yard performances in 2004.
Some people can't see past the end of their nose...