This is our 2nd installment of the Patriots training camp preview. We look at our RB’s.
Corey Dillon – Corey has a lot to prove this season, after having an amazing first year with the Patriots his second season didn’t go over to well. Last year Dillon averaged only 3.5 yards per carry, his lowest in his career. Matters didn’t get better when he ran for 733 yards, second lowest in his career. For Dillon to have any type of success this season he’ll need to stay healthy, Dillon is 31 and injuries have caught up to him. Dillon will get the bulk of the carries this season, however he won’t be the only RB looking to run. 1st round pick (pick 21) Laurence Maroney looks to help “spell” Dillon and keep defenders honest. If Maroney is affective so to will be Dillon.
Laurence Maroney – The former Minnesota Gopher couldn’t be in any better position then what he’s in right now. He has a great mentor and productive RB, Corey Dillon, in front of him. Dillon will take this kid under his wing (as he did in Patriots Mini Camp) and make him a better football player. Both already look to complement each other well, Dillon is a big bruising RB who will run you over, while Maroney is a fast, shifty RB who’ll fly by you. Look for Maroney to get about 10-15 carries a game and Dillon to get 18-25. Having this two headed monster could help the whole team, it will keep defenders on their toes expecting the run and then Brady will hit Branch or Watson up top. Kevin Faulk – After fumbling the hopes of a 3 peat, Faulk has been working hard this offseason trying to reestablish himself as a solid football player. Bringing in Maroney didn’t help him. With Maroney, Faulk will probably only see the field on 3rd downs. Faulk was never known as a good RB, he was always classified as a good WR out of the backfield. Which caused his success in the NFL very limited, teams would see Faulk in the backfield they’d say, “Oh it’s a pass.” Now with Maroney it’s a toss up in the air, it could be a run or a pass. Hopefully Faulk will posses a good attitude and help this team win, in whatever role Belichick and the Patriots asks him to take.
Patrick Cobbs – Lets try it again. The first Cobbs we brought in, Cedric Cobbs (5th round choice in 2004 Draft), didn’t work out to well and he ended up getting cut last training camp. Patrick Cobbs was a very productive RB in college, but him making the team is very unlikely with Dillon, Maroney, and Faulk all ahead of him on the depth chart. Watch for Cobbs to make it on our practice squad.
Earl Charles – Charles is a bit of a mystery, many people have never heard of this kid. I highly doubt Charles even gets a look in training camp, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s cut sometime in July.
Our running game should be 10 times better than last year. Hopefully Dillon stays healthy, Maroney gets a chance, and Faulk has a good attitude.