Too soon to call Maroney a bust?

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- I just got done taking a tour of The Hall at Patriot Place, and there I saw a replica John Hannah's Pro Football Hall of Fame bust.

Andre Tippett's bust, the latest to be cast for Canton, will be displayed on the Gillette Stadium turf during a halftime ceremony at Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.

Based on notes being dropped into the AFC East mailbag and questions in my latest chat, fans are ready to call Laurence Maroney the next significant Patriots bust -- not the flattering kind.

The Patriots have placed Maroney on injured reserve, ending his season after 28 carries, 93 yards, zero receptions and zero touchdowns.

Many seem eager to slap the bust label on Maroney. Personally, I'm not ready to do that. I'm usually one of the last ones to get on that train, especially when injuries are involved.

But Patriots fans have been annoyed with Maroney. He missed three games last year with a strained groin, but ran for 835 yards and six touchdowns. He hurt his shoulder Sept. 14 against the New York Jets and was scratched from the lineup twice in the next three games. In the one game Maroney did play, he ran with no conviction.

Maroney has started nine games since he was drafted 21st overall out of Minnesota in 2006. The Patriots made him the second running back off the board, taking him ahead of DeAngelo Williams, Joseph Addai, LenDale White and Maurice Jones-Drew.

I don't think Maroney can be called a bust yet, but what do you think?