Running back Laurence Maroneyis desperate for the 2009 NFL season to begin. He said this week that he wants to prove that his streak of 100-yard games at the end of the 2007 season is the real indicator of who he is as a player.
"Thinking back to that, it gives me a lot of confidence," he said in a *Boston Globe *feature. "It shows everybody that I can be a running back at this level. It's proven. It's a fact."
"One thing I'd never do is doubt myself. I didn't get here by luck," Maroney continued in a *Boston Herald *piece. "They didn't draft me just because I had one good year. They didn't draft me by accident. They drafted the right guy. ... I want to show them they drafted the right guy.
Meanwhile, rookie linebacker Tyrone McKenziewill have to wait until at least 2010 to make a contribution to the Patriots. He is reportedly out for the season with a knee injury suffered during rookie mini-camp last weekend, as you'll read about in the Sun Chronicle.
Off the field, recently elected NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smithwas in Foxborough Wednesday to meet with Pats owner Robert Kraftand some of the New England players. He'll be instrumental in helping both the league's owners and players come to an agreement on a new labor deal. Talks are expected to begin soon, but no date has been set.
"It was the first time that Mr. Kraft and I have had a chance to talk. I think it was a very friendly discussion," he told The Providence Journal. "We both love the game and we know that hopefully we can call on each other down the road."
"With the players … it was great to talk about where the players are today, with respect to a business world where the owners have opted out of the collective bargaining] agreement (CBA). We talked about the effects of an uncapped year ... the challenges that face us, and frankly, they know that we are the underdogs in this climate. They know [we have to get to the negotiating table and talk about those issues."