As you can see in the above video, the virtual Laurence Maroney -- barreling through the Redskins defense -- ain't bad. But he knows the video version of himself could be better, and that'll take better results in real life.
About three years ago, Maroney and Donte' Stallworth got in a well-documented, spirited training-camp argument over their ratings in Madden NFL 2008. Speed was the issue then. And it is now, too.
"They got me terrible on Madden, man. I wanna tell Madden that too," Maroney said after today's practice. "You know what's crazy? When I had my little shoulder problem (in 2008), I was 93, 94 speed on Madden. After my shoulder, I came back at about 88. What's my shoulder got to do with my feet? I know I ain't that slow.
"Madden trippin' on my speed, you know I'm not an 88. He got Fred and them faster than me. I know they ain't faster than me."
Maroney then laughed a little, and said, "Nah, that's a video game. It's just cool to be on it. I remember growing up, thinking, 'Man, how do people make it on the video game?' Or I'd just create myself. Now? I don't have to create myself. I'm right there."
The fifth-year running back might be fibbing a little there -- players really do care about their ratings, evidenced by the mountain of complaints the game developers encounter from NFL types each year -- but he's serious about fixing the problem. And that's because fixing the problem off the field means fixing the problem on it.
Maroney's status has been a little bit of a hot topic through camp and, even as Bill Belichick has explained that he was giving the four traditional tailbacks (with jack-of-all-trades Kevin Faulk not included in this equation) a half apiece against New Orleans and Atlanta, there were questions about his deployment in the Saints game.
No matter how you look at it, going into the final season of his rookie deal, Maroney has plenty of questions to answer. He knows it, too.
"Oh yeah," Maroney said. "We got a lot of critics out there still, a lot of naysayers, a lot of doubters. 'This has got to be Maroney's best year.' I got a lot critics out there still, and I laugh at it. In the end, I just go out there to work hard and prove to everybody why they took me in the first round."
And even if others have lost faith, Maroney still thinks he can run like the guy in that video above.
"I know how good I am, what type of player I am and how much help I can bring to the team," he said. "It's just going out there and getting the coaches to believe the same thing, and proving it to them on an every day basis, being consistent."