Patriots trying to keep Ridley’s confidence up

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The Patriots have proven they need Stevan Ridley.

But he had to prove he could hang onto the ball first.

After coughing it up three times in his previous two games, Ridley kept a firm grip on his responsibilities last week against the Jaguars.

“That’s what we had to focus on, because of the couple turnovers we had, starting with myself,” Ridley said, via Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe. “We focused on that, and that’s what we have to do. When we carry the ball, we have to carry it back to our offense. We can’t turn it over, we can’t have fumbles.”

Ridley said extra attention was placed on ball security, both in practice and the film room. While they’ve pulled him from individual games (such as when Danny Woodhead replaced him during the 49ers game), they keep going back to him for a reason.

With 1,189 yards and 10 touchdowns, he’s clearly the most explosive threat they have in the backfield, and last week’s closer-than-expected win over the Jags was used to build him up. He got the ball on the first six rushing plays, proof that they believe in him, or that they want to.

“When you look at issues, whether it be ball security or pass protection or the ability to run the ball outside or whatever the issue may be, there is always a reason,” offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. “Our goal is to try to give the player enough resources and enough instruction that he might be able to effectively improve that situation, that issue, if it exists.”

It clearly exists, but they’re clearly choosing to work through the issue rather than just putting him in the doghouse.

9 responses to “Patriots trying to keep Ridley’s confidence up

  1. Bolden looked great before his suspension. Why have we not seen him after his roster return? No one seems to be talking about that.

  2. People need to knock it off with the whole “he fumbled twice vs SF”. The first one was overruled, he was down.

    He has 4 fumbles on the season, I don’t know how many carries, but I think it’s around 250+. If he has fumbling issues, then just about every back in the NFL has them.

    They need him because without him, they’re no different the past few seasons. They’ll go into a SB and have Brady throw it 48 times with only 16 runs, or 41 times and 19 runs. They’ll score 14 or 17 and lose.

  3. Ridley may not have fumbled in the Jax game but he still turned the ball over .

    In the 1st quarter with the Pats already down a score – Brady dropped a ball into his hands down the left sideline that Ridley bobbled and flobbled up into the air allowing a defender to intercept .

    The coverage on him was tight – and the pass admittedly could have been thrown a tad further up field away from the trailing LB … but the catch should have been made ( at the very least not doofishly flailed at )

    I like Ridley’s game -but hopefully his penchant for turn-over screw ups will wane .

  4. Ridley didn’t really turnover the ball over that much during the season. He only has this reputation because he turns the ball over in prime time games when everyone is watching. He has 4 fumbles on the season. That is the same as Alfred Morris, Bryce Brown, LeSean McCoy, Fred Jackson, and Reggie Bush and one less than Willis McGahee, and Jamaal Charles.

  5. mrconnors says:
    Dec 26, 2012 11:44 AM

    They need him because without him, they’re no different the past few seasons. They’ll go into a SB and have Brady throw it 48 times with only 16 runs, or 41 times and 19 runs. They’ll score 14 or 17 and lose.
    THIS. The reason I want them to have a multi dimensional offense has 0 to do with”balance” for it’s own sake and everything to with having other ways to win a game when the one dimensional pass offense is shut down, as any team with a physical tough pass rush inside does to the Pats. Their best offense was still 04, when they could throw long on play action due to Corey Dillon, Dillon was a beast running, and they could dink and dunk too. This offense has a chance to be that good (dimension wise). The only thing on my wish list is a smart, fast WR so coverage can be dictated better. Moss was that, but became too much of a minus in other areas to stay.

  6. CaptFoxboro, yeah, if you’re counting the ball hitting the defender’s body as being “dropped into Ridley’s hands”, then yeah, it was a perfect pass.

    It was a poorly underthrown ball that was Brady’s fault, not Ridley’s.

  7. Fumbling in a vital game like the 49ers sucked but I’m really glad it happened now, in the regular season than in the post season. He’ll now be extra prepared and vigilant for the playoffs.

  8. The Patriots have had a decent running game in recent seasons. That’s been obscured by its being fragmented. The 2007 team had plenty of rushing, but it was divided between Laurence Maroney and Sammy Morris, both of whom were effective. Morris went down at mid-season (in the Dallas game), and the running game was a bit weaker thereafter, but if you add Morris’s and Maroney’s numbers together that year, that’s a very respectable first running back’s numbers, with Heath Evans and Kevin Faulk adding good support.

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