Belichick: Benching Ridley not about sending a message


Patriots running back Stevan Ridley was benched after fumbling in the first quarter last week against the Broncos and was inactive on Sunday in Houston, but Bill Belichick says he’s not trying to send Ridley a message.

Instead, Belichick says, demoting Ridley to the bottom of the depth chart is simply a matter of putting the best players on the field for the Patriots.

“If I have a message to send to somebody, I’ll just sit down and talk to them and tell them what it is,” Belichick said when asked if he’s sending a message. “I can have a conversation and do have a conversation with anybody on the team that I need to have a conversation with. That’s not a problem. There’s no sending a message. You sit down and talk to somebody man-to-man and talk about the situation so that we’re all on the same page as to whatever it happens to be and what the direction is going forward. That’s easy. There’s not sending a message. You just have a conversation with somebody. This isn’t cryptic. We’re just trying to win a football game, that’s all.”

Belichick declined to go into specifics when asked if fumbling was the reason for Ridley’s demotion, although it’s pretty obvious that his four fumbles in 135 carries are a major problem.

“The inactive players every week are based on, in part injuries and ultimately what we feel like for that particular game is the best decision for the football team in that game to try to win,” Belichick said. “Along with every other decision on the team that I make, it’s made with what gives our team, in our opinion, the best opportunity to win on Sundays. That’s what all decisions are based on.”

The Patriots had a four-man running back rotation of LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden, Shane Vereen and James Develin on Sunday, and none of those four ran the ball very well. The Patriots will be better if Ridley can show that he can stop fumbling. But that’s a pretty big “if.”

48 responses to “Belichick: Benching Ridley not about sending a message

  1. Most interesting thing about that transcript is his awareness of how teams develop poker tells based on their substitution patterns, and how to exploit that. A casual chestnut to the media, but a fun little reminder of the level he operates on. Another one is how he plans many games, and arguably seasons, ahead, knowing he’ll see certain teams again and again. Taking the wind in OT against Peyton Manning and basically daring him to man up and beat the Patriots is a classic example, and one you know Manning will be thinking about if they meet again in the playoffs.

    p.s. If Belichick has a fault it’s actually that he’s too loyal sometimes, I’d have yoinked Ridley 4 weeks ago.

  2. “Instead, Belichick says, demoting Ridley to the bottom of the depth chart is simply a matter of putting the best players on the field for the Patriots.”

    Well if that isn’t sending a message to him, I don’t know what is. Bench’s him then hits him in the pride. Who’s the Hoodie trying to fool here? From a talent point of view, Ridley is the best they have at that position. More typical gobblygook from Belicheat.

  3. Stupid to bench your best RB because of a few fumbles… sure some of them have come at unfortunate times, but its mostly just bad luck.

    And for reference, Adrian Peterson had quite the fumbling problem early in his career as well (3, 4, & 6 fumbles lost in first 3 years of career)… but he didn’t get benched because he was their best back. Gotta stick with Ridley… as much as some of their other guys have potential, Ridley is just the best RB on the team.

  4. Bill just wrote some words, addressed the envelope to Ridley, licked the stamp and put it in the mailbox…but in no way was it a message.

  5. Belichick is opening up to the media this year with what I find to be quite a few interesting and insightful comments into how he does things.

    I especially appreciate the constant emphasis on “whatever’s best for the team,” which from a coaching and management point of view seems to me to be at the heart of the long-term success Belichick has had with the Pats. Of course having Brady as his QB hasn’t hurt, either.

    I get the sense that Ron Rivera this year has emphasized a similar approach with the Panthers. In the Charlotte and surrounding area media reports, Panther players talk about “team” a whole lot more than they used to. Happily, Cam Newton is finally coming into his own as a leader, team player, and team winner as well as a tremendous athlete who can put up wonderful individual stats.

  6. Hey logical, here’s how many Super Bowls your hero Shanahan has won without salary cap cheating = 0

    The number of Super Bowls Shanahan coached teams have been to without cap cheating = 0

    Shanahan then goes to Washington and immediately cap cheated.

    Shanahan, 20+ years of NFL cap cheating and counting.

    As to the running backs, they achieved what they needed to against the Texans who have a decent defense. Admittedly in the playoffs, which Logical’s team won’t even sniff this year or any year that the Shanahan’s remain coaching there, the defenses will mostly be tough and it would be nice to have Ridley back.

    But if you noticed on Sunday, all 4 backs that did play wrapped the ball up with both arms to protect it when they needed to. I’d rather have backs that protect the ball like that then one who will increase the total yards the team runs for by 20 or 30 yards but fumbles every game.

  7. No, he wasn’t benched to send a message. Bill just knows that it is playoff time in fantasy leagues and much like the rat faced Shanahan in his glory days he just likes to screw fantasy owners who draft his running backs.

  8. Adrian Peterson fumbled a ton, but he was too good to bench. Eventually he fixed his issues. Maybe Ridley can too. Difference though is the Patriots can win withour Ridley, the Vikings always needed AP.

  9. “Bill Belichick – Zero Superbowls since Spygate. #Statsdontlie”

    You know the funny thing about the Redskins is that even when they are terrible (i.e. every season) they don’t even get to benefit from it. The Rams own Washington’s soon to be top five pick this year because the Redskins sacrificed their future for a flash in the pan rookie with one good knee.

  10. .

    Ridley was struggling. Giving him a week’s vacation to relax and clear his head is good long term coaching.


  11. The Patriots post-season winning percentage during the Spygate-era: about 90%

    The Patriots post-season winning percentage after the Spygate-era: about 50%


  12. Can these morons that keep siting spygate PLEASE STOP. Everyone in the league does something for a competitive edge and even parcells said he did the same. Belicheck got caught. No different than a traffic ticket, although it was expensive. The majority of the fans in the NFL would KILL to have our record in these last 13 years and yes we are in it every season. So bite me!

  13. Every head coach in the league besides Tom Caughlin x2, Mike Tomlin, Sean Payton, Mike McCarthy, and John Harbaugh since Spygate= 0 Super Bowl Wins

    also the league decided Payton violated rules the year he won so that’s really 4 untainted coaches

  14. mtmiceli says: Can these morons that keep siting spygate PLEASE STOP

    Because they are morons, they won’t stop. Best to just laugh and ignore them.

  15. I’m so glad I wasted my 2nd round pick on this guy in my fantasy draft. What a disaster of a season for Ridley….

  16. logicalvoicesays says:Dec 2, 2013 4:35 PM

    Bill Belichick – Zero Superbowls since Spygate. #Statsdontlie


    You must have enjoyed seeing Washington lose to the Giants. Looks like the Skins will be bottom 3 in the league now. Good think they traded away their 2014 first round pick. Looks like the Rams will be a lot better next year at least.

  17. It’s worse than that, the Redskins haven’t even won a playoff game since Spygate. Pats fans getting trolled by Redskins fans is like the French army trying to make fun of the Marines.

  18. I doubt Bill wanted to sit down with Aaron Hernandez about his off the field life.

    At least not alone.

  19. Barry Foster 1992 v Jets.
    3 fumbles.

    Plus 190 yards and 2 TDs.

    1700 yards, OPOY

    With a banged up Oline and bad QB.

  20. I honestly believe BB did this this only because Ridley cares TOO much. In a highly emotional state ,Ridley’s in no shape to concentrate on the fundamentals they need him to in order to stop fumbling.

  21. Vereen needs more reps. He’s the real best running back on the roster I like Ridley but he has the most fumbles in the league. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone after his rookie contract expires unless he cleans his game up.

  22. He’s not sending a message… He already gave him the message. Do your job. Notice how Ridley cradle the ball on the sideline while his teammates are playing. I thought it was amusing. He needs to want to play but he needs to earn it. Not to worry. I think BB values him. Ridley just need to crave what he desires and is missing. When he’s given the chance to play he will be better. I think he’s a keeper. He genuinely wants to be better or be the best.

  23. Denver ZERO Super Bowls since cheating on the salary cap to keep Terrell Davis and John Elway on the team. Jimmy Johnson said he taped signals. Bill Cowher is still friends with Belichick despite him losing so many critical games to him. Why would he be friends if he thought Bill cheated? Herm Edwards waved to the camera filming him. Why would he do this if he thought it was cheating? The no filming rule was put in place before the 2007 season, not in 2001, and was it done only to stop the Patriot’s from filming signals and not other teams(Patriot haters think there team must be 100 percent innocent of ANY wrongdoing)?
    Vince Lombardi had coaches try to film and take pictures of things other teams were doing and that is fact! Will you whining spygate losers demand the Super Bowl trophy be renamed?

    Only 1 team in the NFL tries to break the rules and your team is full of Saint’s. Quit your whining! By the way, if teams use multiple people to give signals and NFL teams change the signals (like they always did at that time before defensive headset helmets)at halftime, do you really think that it is possible to figure out what defense is being called by taping signals? Face it, you are just jealous of the Patriot’s success and realize that many coaches have come out and said recording CODED defensive signals means nothing. Grow up and quit whining because they are kicking your team’s ass. 2 close Super Bowl losses are the reason you excuse makers make to defend your opinion that taping signals mattered. How many Super Bowls did your team make? Denver and Dallas fans can’t comment because Denver cheated on the Salary cap and Jimmy Johnson said he taped signals. Packers fans, check the history, Lombardi did whatever it took to gain an edge.

  24. The Patriots cheated. They got caught. Their accomplishments are tainted.

    There’s no point in trying to ignore the truth.

  25. What message is there to send. He’s a hopeless fumbling machine. I haven’t seen a guy who’s good for at least one fumble a game like him since Cleveland Gary.

  26. I’m sorry but you people complaining about how much he’s fumbled, the only reason it’s such a big deal is because of who he plays for. You don’t see the Chiefs benching Jamal Charles do ya, he has 4 fumbles also, Reggie Bush has 4, AP even has 3, Gore has 3, those are some elite RB’s with the same or very close to what Ridley has in fumbles. You gotta face it, when RB’s carry the ball as much as they do they’re gonna fumble, it’s apart of football. Ridley has been doing a fantastic job holding onto the ball until he’s fumbled in the last 2 games he’s played, i don’t count the Steelers game as a fumble, that should of been incomplete. Anyway, i hope the Patriots cut him after this year cause dude has some serious talent and shouldn’t be wasted like this, would love to see him go to somebody in the AFC to make letting Ridley go come back in bite the Pats in the ass. Ridleys a seriously wasted talent in NE, that’s for sure.

  27. Can these Pats haters answer what team has the best record in football since Spygate? That’s right fellas: The New England Patriots. Case closed

  28. Tomlin was in a bad spot, and once he saw the ref running towards him he moved his left leg out of the way of the line the ref was running, which put “him” closer to the field. There isn’t a coach in any sport who respects the sideline, by the time Tomlin realized he was in the way the only thing he could do was get out of the refs.

  29. No no no benching is not sending a message. He sat down and talked man to man and then sent him on his way to the real messages.
    At his locker was a loop of Denzel Washington outlining fumble consequences in Remember the Titans with replays of his fumbles.
    The eq manager offered to tape the ball to your hand.
    The new coach of fumble control LANE KIFFIN follows you all practice and gives you improperly inflated balls to carry.

  30. I am so tired of the fantasy football players griping about coaches trying to win. NFL Network’s “That helps no one” segment is dedicated to whining about unsung heroes spoiling their pretend game. It was the right decision.

  31. logicalvoicesays says:
    Dec 2, 2013 4:35 PM
    Bill Belichick – Zero Superbowls since Spygate. #Statsdontlie

    Number of quarterbacks with more than three Superbowl rings-(2)
    Number of quarterbacks with more than four Superbowl appearances-(2) (one being Tom Brady)

  32. I bet there is 25 teams out there that would take him and play him right away. Trade him! He should sit that “Big Baby” Tom Brady when he screws up! lately he has been doing a lot of that. Big Bill is very overrated!

  33. Are you idiots still on Spygate. Not even a Pats fan, but cheating has very little to do with their success. After Spygate, Steve Young, Bill Parcells and others talked about all the ways they use to cheat. Every team has cheated in some way or another, ask Tomlin. The Pats have been a pain in all our butts for years because of 3 reasons, Kraft, Belichick and Brady. A wise man once said, if you have a great owner, great coach and great qb, you can put anyone around them and almost always be successful.

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