Taylor up, Maroney down on depth chart

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When Patriots starters were on the field for two series in Thursday night’s preseason finale, the choice at running back was notable.

It was Fred Taylor. Not Laurence Maroney.

“I am just one of the guys right now,” Maroney said after the Patriots’ 20-17 loss. “I’m just basically being patient and sitting back and seeing how things play out.”

While the Patriots figure to use all their backs, the signs strongly indicate that the 34-year-old Taylor tops the depth chart. He started preseason games against the Falcons and Giants.

Maroney, meanwhile, played in a reserve role in two games -- against the Saints and Giants.

Is he frustrated?

“Not really,” Maroney responded. “I am a team player. I always tell you guys from year in and year out, whether I get all the carries, no carries or 10 carries, I just want to win. I just want to be part of a winning team. We definitely have a lot of great backs. I feel like any of our backs, if on a different team, maybe could start. Whenever they call my number, I'm going to be ready."

Maroney ran hard in the preseason finale, entering with the second-string offense and finishing with 32 yards on nine carries. It was his most extensive work of the preseason.

Meanwhile, Taylor wasn’t interested in being crowned the No. 1 running back.

“I don’t really play into that; for me, starting is about one play,” Taylor said. “At the end of the day, it means nothing about who is that guy out there on the first play. I just want to be ready. At the end of the day, you never know what is going to go on around here.

"Coach Belichick is a very smart man. He’s been doing this for a while. I never question anything he does, or the decision he makes. I’m all about falling in line and doing my job.”