Order In The Court: Making The Case For BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Terry RobinsonSenior Analyst IOctober 17, 2009

Following the fourth and final preseason game last August, I wrote an article praising the performance of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who had just carried the ball 25 times for 129 yards and three touchdowns.

Furthermore, I had the audacity to suggest that the injury-prone and overrated Laurence Maroney, who has not scored a touchdown since 2007, should be considered as trade bait in order to create roster space for Green-Ellis or “Law Firm” as he has been designated by teammates and fans.

I was taken to task by a few readers, who felt compelled to remind me that the last preseason game is meaningless, and that I had become overly excited about a player who might not even make the team.

Other readers were able to see my point of view, remembering as I did that the Firm had made some significant contributions when pressed into duty during the 2008 season.

With his ground game running thin last year, Belichick was forced to make some decisions.

Among them was the choice to take the free agent rookie Law Firm off the practice squad and insert him into nine games, including three starts. Over the course of those nine games, Green-Ellis had only 74 carries, but he made the most of them.

He scored five; count 'em, five touchdowns, the second most rushing scores on the team after Sammy Morris. He caught a couple of passes coming out of the backfield as well.

Maroney, of course, had been sidelined after three games.

Much of Law Firm's work came in clutch situations, down the stretch as the Patriots were fighting for their lives.

In only his fifth career game, he rushed for 105 yards in 26 carries against Buffalo last November. Not only was it his first 100-yard game, but it was also the third best performance of any New England running back all year.

Law Firm did in fact make the team this year, but he has yet to touch the ball.

Coming into the season with five RB on the roster, the Patriots looked secure at the position.

Maroney has been a disappointment, again. Fred Taylor, who was getting into a groove, is out with an ankle injury that required surgery. His season is now uncertain.

Sammy Morris is getting some productive touches, but he can't carry this team.

Kevin Faulk has been under-utilized so far.

And Tom Brady can't throw 40-50 balls a game.


I'm usually the last person to question a Belichick decision, but this one has me scratching my head. Am I alone in this?

BenJarvus Green-Ellis has speed, he has power, and he can find holes. I know he is on the roster, listed as inactive until last week, when I think I saw him briefly on special teams.

When is he going to become part of this offense? Did he kick Belichick's dog or something?

Bill, please. Dude has game. Give him a shot.