Archive for category Laurence Maroney

Maroney OUT

Title says it all – Laurence Maroney is officially OUT.

Brady Impact


Well, we finally ran into a situation Pats HC Bill Belichick couldn’t play out for weeks on end – the Pats have placed Tom Brady on the IR, thus ending his season.

Adam Shefter is saying that he tore the MCL as well as the ACL. He has plenty of time to rehab so he’ll be back I think by next season.

But what about this season? What does this mean for the Pats offensive Fantasy players?

Well, it’s a little too soon to make too many judgements BUT we saw some things will Cassel under center.

First off, I am also more worried about the Jacksonville offensive line than the overall Pats O. You can’t replace Brady of course – but replacing three offensive linemen is even harder on the fly.

So, as dissappointing as it is for Brady owners, I think everyone else can breathe a bit.

Moss: Did you notice a difference in Moss from Brady to Cassel? Me neither. This is not to say the drop-off won’t come but of the 6 catches Moss had, half the catches were on passes from Cassel, who targeted him one more time. Now, the overall offense looked a little sluggish and will take a step back. But Moss is the main weapon here and that won’t change.

But will he get open? Will Wes Welker still be able to pull coverage off him? I think so. Welker is a solid possesion receiver and while I expect him to also see a slight dip in his numbers, I thought he wouldn’t quite meet his total from last year anyway. So if your expectations are reasonable in a PPR league, he will still see his share of touches and targets.

Laurence Maroney is what he is – a decent back who never seems to get enough carries to do too much for you. Will he see more of a load now that Brady is down? That is the biggest question for me going into the Jets game this Sunday. I wouldn’t start him now but they will likely run the ball more and that could mean Maroney will get more carries. But you have to account for LaMont Jordan, Sammy Morris and Kevin Faluk (activated today) all of whom will be active and will hamper Maroney’s potential. I would avoid the run game the next week or so – you risk missing a big game from someone, but at least you’ll have a better idea of who that someone might be, rather than play Russian Roulette with your #2RB or flex spot.

Finally we get to the man himself – what about Matt Cassel? Truly awful in preseason, Cassel stepped up and played very well under stress. He wasn’t phenomenal – he won’t turn Tom Brady into Drew Bledsoe but he seemed to manage the game just fine in Brady’s absence. That said, I have no intention of starting him right now. Not until I see if he regresses. I have high hopes the rest of the offense will play up to snuff – but honestly all the above depends on Cassel playing well. Belichick insists they are not trying out any QBs, but you have to expect he will at some point. A Vet presense will only help the team. Still, it says something about Belichick’s confidence level that there were no tryouts today. It will be a week or two – they have a tough game against the Jets (who will be fired up to host the Pats minus Brady) and then host the Dolphins in week 3. And then a perfectly timed bye week in 4. I really think this team has the time to get Cassel as much work as they can and give him every chance to suceed.

What really we will see in the next few weeks is the Patriots character. A team for whom everything just worked last season, will they be able to deal with this hurdle? Losing Brady is a more serious blow than the Camera-Gate garbage last year. They used that to propel themselves to a perfect season.

Is this more grist for the same mill? Or is this the sort of thing that will throw them off their game?

The answer to that question will come the next few weeks – and will also give you the answer to the questions I posed above.

More Training Camp News and More Favrewatch 2008

The Brett Favre saga continues. It looked for a time as if the NY Jets were close to making something happen but according to the Newark Star-Ledger chances now seem remote that the Cheese State Gunslinger will play in the Meadowlands this season for Gang Green. How remote – well if you click on the linked article and read the web address in your menu bar the link ends with:
favre_to_jets_is_absolutely_de.html

I assume the ‘de’ starts the word DEAD. While I won’t go that far (and the title says ‘very remote’) it isn’t looking pretty. Now is that a Favre thing or will the Pack not budge off the request for a 1st round pick (a price way too high for the Jets in my opinion)? We may never know. But as a wise man once said – it ain’t over until it’s over.

Favre didn’t file his paperwork for reinstatement with the league yet – though he could fax it in at any time – so we won’t see him Sunday and maybe Monday.

Stay tuned!

Asante Samuel Strains Hammy, set for MRI

Samuel strained his right hamstring this mornign at practice – according to NFL.com, he’ll have an MRI tomorrow to see the extent of the injury. I was just saying the other day how Lito Sheppard might benefit from setting up across from Samuel this year – but given Lito wants some new money, he might benefit in different ways if Samuel is out for any amount of time.

In other MRI News -
Saints Running Back Deuce McAllister Already Had One
McAllister missed Saturday’s practice after his knee swelled up post practice on Friday. The New Orleans Times-Picayune says the MRI was negative and revealed no structural damage but you can’t be very happy that after a handful of practices, he already had some doubts. I’ve been touting Pierre Thomas for a while now and I think he’ll compliment Bush very well at some point – whether that point is imminent could be debated but McAllister has now had both knees rebuilt and the Saints were looking at LaMont Jordan (I’ll get to him in a second) so they can’t be all that sure about Deuce either. Thomas played well in limited action and I think is a sneaky play in Fantasy Leagues this year – it ain’t just me and if you don’t want to take my word for it, listen to Brian Baldinger back in May. All I’m saying is, Baldy knows his stuff (even if I think he’s way overstating his case regarding Darren McFadden), so think on it.

Speaking of LaMont Jordan -
The Pats Swooped in and Signed Him
Almost as soon as Jordan was released, Adam Shefter was saying to watch out for the Pats. And he was right. I don’t know if I am that worried about Maroney now that this has happened – frankly Jordan is turning 30 and wasn’t as effective as everyone thought he would be when he left the Jets a few years ago, though much of that wasn’t his fault. He’s more likely a security deposit on Kevin Faulk than Maroney. I don’t expect huge things from him and he shouldn’t be drafted in a Fantasy League as anything but a deep back up. But I also am not worried about Maroney and he should remain a #2 or 3 back for you.

All that said, from a practical NFL standpoint, good signing. Jordan will fit in well there I think, the Pats can turn careers around and revitalize them (see: Dillon, Corey and Moss, Randy) and frankly they won’t expect him to carry the team so there will be less pressure than he’s had in the past.

Finally – for this edition -
The Arizona Cardinals Might Use Kurt Warner in a Specialist Position Again
This would just kill the value of either QB in a Fantasy League – and I have said this before, but it’s a terrible idea for the developement of Leinart. HC Whisenhunt has called Leinart the starter, but ‘won’t rule out’ using Warner like they did prior to Party Time Matt’s collarbone breaking last season – as the ‘no-huddle’ guy.

Listen, either Leinart is your Qb or he isn’t. Enough is enough. A quarterback needs to be in a rhythm during a game – throwing one in on special sequences is ridiculous. This soudns worse than when Romeo Crennel figured out his starting Qb last year by flipping a quarter. And I think HE was joking at least.

I’m not saying Leinart should win the job – I have no idea, and frankly I lean towards him beign a bust as he seems to spend more time beer bonging with nubile young co-eds than practicing or working on his game in the off-season. But he could be working when I don’t see him. Or he could be that gifted. But whatever – slapping Warner in during certain (and might I add pressure packed) moments of a game smells of a lack of confidence. Ify our franchise Qb can’t hack it when you need him most…. well, you need to question if he should be your franchise QB. Pulling him can’t be doing his confidence any favors and I am adamantly opposed to it. Either go with Matty L or with Warner. enough waffling.

Warner has been told it’s an open competition though Whisenhunt says it’s Leinart’s job. Further messy communication or motivation ploy? I can’t tell, you guys can let me know.

That’s it for now. More later and regularly M-Fri as we swing into Training Camp full force.
—————–

Leave a comment below or email me at ThunderingBlurb@gmail.com

LaMont Jordan released

Adam Shefter just said on NFLN that Jordan has finally been released.

A team he mentioned as being a possible target is New England, saying they have signed ex-raiders before and that he wouldn’t be shocked in Jordan landed there quickly.

I don’t know how that affects Maroney yet – but it certainly could put his long term status there into a little doubt.

Back with more later, but wanted to get that out there as it just was announced.