Troy Brown admitted today that he had undergone knee surgery since the end of the 2006 season. He will be 36 years old when the 2007 season kicks off and he isn’t even listed on the Patriots’ depth chart (since he hasn’t been signed yet). Bill Belichick was his usual short and to the point self as he commented on Brown’s situation, “I expect Troy to have a role with us this year, as far as I’m concerned,”. That is good to hear, considering how much money the organization has shelled out acquiring top notch additions to his department, and how much I like Troy Brown as a person and a player.
Another question mark I see for the team next year is the running game. That may sound crazy after watching Laurence Maroney smoke opposing defenses in 2006, but that occurred mostly in the first half of the season and with Corey Dillon sharing snaps. I think Laurence is great. He’s the man. As good as or better than Reggie Bush without the top-of-the-draft premium signing bonus. I hope his rookie season has broken him in, that next year he will only get nastier as the season progresses. I also hope that personnel guy Scott Pioli and Coach Belichick can repeat the feat and acquire a bruising Dillon-style back to complement Maroney, if not through the draft then through a trade.
And as baseball season is set to commence and March Madness peters out we can only wait and see how the draft shapes up. The countdown is set for April 28-29. I do not pretend to be a Mel Kiper super draft scout and I know that even those experts can’t predict the volatility that is draft day. Heck I am even bad at the virtual drafts on the Madden video games. But I can’t wait to see who the Patriots draft and whether the organization can use this opportunity to atone for trading Deion Branch for that first round pick.
And the clock ticks away to the draft and mini-camp, training camp and beyond…