I've always thought Maroney was the most attractive backfield option for the Patriots. His pitter-pat running style before hitting the hole drove Patriots fans bonkers, but he was young, talented and capable of a big game every week.
The past three preseasons I inaccurately predicted Maroney would become a force. He was a force down the homestretch for the 2007 Patriots. In their last six games, postseason included, of their nearly undefeated campaign he rushed for at least one touchdown in each game and topped 100 yards four times.
But he never gained Patriots coach Bill Belichick's full trust and became a liability last year. He didn't fumble once in 2007 or 2008, but he fumbled four times last year. All of them came in a seven-game stretch, and he lost them all.