James White getting first-team reps for Pats, Stevan Ridley doesn’t

Getty Images

As Chip Kelly said last week, reading into a team’s unofficial depth charts during the preseason can be somewhat of a fool’s errand.

However, how teams divvy up reps during practice can be a more clear indicator of how teams truly view the players on their roster.

According to Phil Perry CSNNE.com, fourth-round rookie James White and Shane Vereen got the majority of the work with the New England Patriots first-team offensive on Wednesday.

Veteran Stevan Ridley? Not so much.

Ridley’s frequent fumbling problem has been a continual thorn in the side of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Ridley has fumbled four times in each of the last two seasons, with all four resulting in turnovers for New England last year.

With White only had four carries for nine yards in the Patriots preseason opener against the Washington Redskins last week, he appears turning heads in training camp and earning extra reps in practice.

Belichick has seemingly always made due with lesser heralded options at running back with Tom Brady manning the control of the New England offense. With White’s increased workload, it may be an indication to stay away from Ridley in your fantasy drafts this year. If you weren’t already, that is.

18 responses to “James White getting first-team reps for Pats, Stevan Ridley doesn’t

  1. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a move to light a fire under Ridley. I still think he’s worth all the trouble.

    If White turns out to be half as good as he’s been reported so far I wouldn’t draft any Patriots RBs. The carries will likely be spread out 3 ways.

  2. I guess in a 20 team, 3 RB league, Ridley could get drafted

    Outside of that, this isn’t exactly going to have people scrambling to rework their fantasy draft board

  3. Belichick uses a platoon of running backs and ranks them based off of potential turnovers. If it is an opponent he feels comfortable with overcoming rb fumbling, he’ll go with ridley. If he does not feel comfortable that a rb fumbling can be overcome, he’ll go with ball security over the potential for more yards. This way he can divy up the workload.

  4. The carries for new England will be split somewhat equally with Ridley taking most. White and Vereen are both pass catching backs, Ridley is the teams bulldozer. White is a rookie, vereen is always injured..makes sense to get them reps catching passed. We all know what Ridleys gonna do, just need to work on holding on to it

  5. .
    Ridley and Vereen are free agents after the season. Now is the time to find out whether White’s a player or not.

    Following Belichick’s camp formations is a little like following a Patriots mock draft. He has hidden agendas.

  6. Maybe this article is right but with nearly all their RB contracts up after this season it’s smart for Belichick to be giving the young ‘uns some first team reps in pre season to see what he’s got

  7. Ridley will be the #1 back when the season opens. I’m sure he’s giving White the chance to go against the starters just to see how he does against better defenses. Running him against the second and third string won’t help him much.

    That being said, I’m interested to see what they do with Ridley and Vereen in the offseason. I’d imagine they’d try to sign one or both to reasonable deals

  8. Or, they already know what they have in Ridley, and this is a good opportunity to find out what they have in White by lining him up against the opponents #1s…

  9. Fun to compare teams and their tactics, drafts, overall management. The Pats are so far ahead of the league in all areas, and Belichick so good at what he does that you can see the master at work by watching how he handles the players. The Pats get a lot out of their talent. If you look at the Bears, for example, and see a team with loads of talent on offense, some on defense. But, their coaches are only as good as their players. Their defense proved that last year. The Pats had just as many, if not more, injuries to their defense last season but managed to work things out enough to go to the AFC championship. The Bears didn’t and went 8-8.

  10. This is not a bad thing, being that Ridley cost the Pat’s some easy pointsand is restricted after this year make hay while the sun shines! Talent begets effort by others to prove themselves, White seems to be doing just that, pushing the others to perform at a higher level while making the most of his chances/reps. I hope it translates into something usable during regular season games.

  11. With Blount leaving in free agency, and a big rookie back just released, it’s hard to believe Ridley will not be getting his share of carries even if Brandon Bolden comes on strong this year. Belichick may be trying to keep Ridley fresh. It’s a long season when you make the playoffs every year.

  12. The other issue effecting running back selection is that the point of emphasis on defensive holding this year will really favor guys like Vereen and White. I expect both to run wild in passing routes this year.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.