FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Shaw's representatives presented the 2006 Patriots 12th Player Award to rookie running back Laurence Maroney at Gillette Stadium this afternoon. The award is presented annually to the Patriots player who personifies the Patriots team spirit, performs beyond expectations and is recognized for his contributions to the organization, both on the field and in the community. For the past 12 years, Patriots fans have selected the winner by casting their votes at Shaw's Supermarkets throughout the season and by voting online at www.shaws.com. Recent winners include linebacker Willie McGinest in 2005, wide receiver/defensive back Troy Brown in 2004, defensive tackle/fullback Dan Klecko in 2003, kicker Adam Vinatieri in 2002, quarterback Tom Brady in 2001 and linebacker Tedy Bruschi in 2000.
Maroney, 21, has rushed 155 times for 624 yards (4.0 avg) and four touchdowns in 12 games for the Patriots this year. The 5-foot-11-inch, 220-pound rookie has also caught 18 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown. Maroney, selected by the Patriots in the first round (21st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft, has recorded the third-highest rushing total by an NFL rookie this season and is tied for the NFL lead in kickoff return average (27.2). Maroney's best game of the season came on October 1 in Cincinnati, when he rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries (8.3 avg) against the Bengals. For his performance, Maroney earned the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Week and Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week awards. Maroney also leads the Patriots with 30 kickoff returns for 822 yards (27.4 avg), including a 74-yard return against Buffalo on October 22. Following that game, Maroney received the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.
The 12th Player Award has become a core component of the partnership between Kimberly-Clark, Shaw's and the New England Patriots. Customers who voted at Shaw's or online at www.shaws.com are eligible to win great prizes, including a grand prize that will provide a trip for two to attend the championship game in Miami, courtesy of Kimberly-Clark. Other prizes included Patriots season tickets and autographed merchandise.