BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    http://m.weei.com/sports/boston/football/patriots/christopher-price/2013/11/27/what-history-tells-us-about-bill-belich

    Sounds like Ridley has a good chance to redeem himself.  I personally hope so as Rid is our most talented between the tackles back, and a 1 2 punch of him and Vareen will be a major boost to this offense.

    Home » Patriots

     

      

     

    Text Size: A A A

     

    What history tells us about Bill Belichick and fumble-prone running backs

     

    by: Christopher Price on Wed, 11/27/2013 - 12:09am

     

    Much has been made of Stevan Ridley’s ball security issues over the last year-plus, as the running back has come under fire for his four lost fumbles this season -- three of which have come in the last three games.

     

    Coach Bill Belichick appeared to give Ridley an endorsement earlier this week, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels added Tuesday he had “great confidence” in Ridley.

     

    “When things happen like this, in back-to-back games -- or in this case a few games in a row -- I think you certainly have to address what you can address in terms of trying to fix the problem,” McDaniels said of Ridley, who was one of three players who lost a fumble Sunday against the Broncos. “I have great confidence in Stevan as a runner. He’s been very productive in our offense. He’s done a lot of things.

     

    “At the same time, obviously, ball security is the most important factor for our offense and for our team when we have the ball. We have to be part of the solution. We have to work with him.” 

     

    So what happens to Ridley at this point? Based on Belichick's remarks earlier this week, it would seem to suggest that Ridley has the full backing of the coach.

     

    “I don’t think any of our backs have an issue that I would say would prevent them from being a productive player,” Belichick said on WEEI. “Look, there are some plays that happen in football that are plays that happen in football. Then there are other plays that are caused by a lack of discipline, a lack of technique, just carelessness. Those are the ones we have to eliminate.”

     

    Ball security has never been a big problem among New England backs over the years, because for the most part they’ve been a pretty secure group -- Corey Dillon, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead had some of the lowest fumbles per touch in recent league history.

     

    From 2004 through 2006, Dillon had eight fumbles in his three seasons on 805 touches -- a rate of one fumble for every 100.6 touches. Green-Ellis had 431 touches combined in 2010 and 2011, and didn’t fumble the ball once. And Woodhead had three fumbles while with the Patriots from 2010 through 2012 while compiling 342 touches -- once every 114 touches.

     

    As for Ridley, despite his recent stretch -- and the occasional in-game benching aside -- history tells us Belichick is willing to cut a feature back some slack when it comes to ball security issues.

     

    When he was with the Browns from 1991 to 1995, Belichick had Leroy Hoard in the backfield. A multidimensional threat, Hoard had something of a problem when it came to putting the ball on the ground -- Hoard fumbled 22 times in his first five seasons in the league, including eight times in 1994 alone. That year, the 26-year-old Hoard fumbled twice in a win over the Patriots, but Belichick stuck with him -- that afternoon, Hoard had 21 carries for 123 yards in a 13-6 win over New England. Hoard would go on to lead the team that season with 890 rushing yards and reach the Pro Bowl, and in the end he would average 4.0 yards per carry in his six seasons in Cleveland and catch 177 passes in that same stretch. 

     

    (What did Belichick tell Hoard after one of the fumbles against the Patriots that year? “Don’t fumble anymore,” said Belichick. Hoard recalled it a little differently: “Coach said, ‘Take the ball and keep running.’ ”)

     

    But he wasn’t the only Cleveland back who had ball security issues -- Eric Metcalf was another back who provided an offensive jolt to the Browns for the first six seasons of his career but struggled to hold on to the ball at times. He averaged five fumbles a year from 1989 through 1994. And despite the fact that he fumbled six times in 1992 and another six times in 1994 (at the age of 26), Belichick stuck with him as a regular returner and third-down back. (Among Metcalf’s fumbles was one in the wild card round of the 1994 playoffs against the Patriots.) Metcalf would go on to compile 2,229 rushing yards and catch 297 passes in his six seasons in Cleveland.

     

    All this is not to suggest that Belichick is willing to overlook Ridley putting the ball on the ground. It’s just that maybe he’s not going to bury him on the bench because of what’s happened over the last year-plus. A talented young runner like Ridley clearly is at the crossroads of his career -- if that confidence starts to slip, you might never be able to get it back again, which would be a shame, because guys who rush for 1,263 yards in a season before the age of 25 don’t grow on trees.

     

    If you want a case of a Patriots running back who turned it around midway through his career, consider the case of Kevin Faulk, who was something of a mess when it came to ball security -- in his first five years in the league (1999 through 2003), Faulk had 680 offensive touches (502 carries and 178 catches) and 16 fumbles. That’s an average of one fumble every 42.5 touches.

     

    Faulk re-invented himself over the second half of his career -- over his last five seasons (2007 to 2011) he sharpened his focus and fumbled only twice on 387 total touches, a rate of one fumble for every 193.5 touches. While Faulk saw his role come into greater focus over the second half of his career -- he went from a feature back to a third-down presence -- the journey from occasionally skittish offensive option to one of the most dependable ball handlers on the roster was a process. 

     

    For his part, Ridley has said and done all the right things in the wake of his turnovers: He hasn’t dodged the media, made excuses or sat stoic on the sidelines while the rest of the team has enjoyed success in his absence. He called his ills “sickening,” and pledged to work hard to try and find a solution.

     

    “I think my team deserves better than what I’m doing out there and putting on the field,” he said after Sunday’s win. “It’s been consecutive weeks with putting the ball on the ground and, as a running back, you can’t do that. I’ve said that multiple times. I work too hard to make the small mistakes and I keep setting myself back and setting this team back.”

     

    Ultimately, history shows us that Belichick is more inclined to give a struggling player some leeway if he has a proven track record. Hoard, Metcalf and Faulk had built up enough currency with the coach that he stuck with them through some bad times, and in the end they rewarded him with on-field results. Whether or not Ridley’s performance over the first two-plus years of his career has allowed him to build the same level of goodwill with Belichick will ultimately determine his future workload with the Patriots.

     

      

     

    Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Contest Rules | Press Room

     

    Copyright © 2013 Entercom Boston, LLC All Rights Reserved.

     

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from soups. Show soups's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Good find.  I also think BB is more inclined to give a back a second (third?) chance when the Pats appear to have locked up the division.  

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from rkarp. Show rkarp's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    BB likes the mix and match ups these 4 guys allow him. idley will be needed this year, and it behooves the team to work him back in and build his confidence back...I look for 8-10 carries in Houston this week.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to rkarp's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    BB likes the mix and match ups these 4 guys allow him. idley will be needed this year, and it behooves the team to work him back in and build his confidence back...I look for 8-10 carries in Houston this week.

    [/QUOTE]

    I agree with this premise..   I have noted BB rotates his RB corps throughout the game.  You do not see the same RB on a majority of plays.  Instead of one back with 25 - 30 carries, we see them spread among the group depending on the nature of the play calling.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from soups. Show soups's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Agree... and I'll go out on a limb and say he doesn't fumble again this season, even if he doesn't get fewer carries. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ATJ. Show ATJ's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Interesting piece.  8-10 carries, hmmm.  I was thinking more; I guess we'll see.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from tanbass. Show tanbass's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Confidence is so crucial in all of sports. I would hate to see this kid's career end early because the team didn't want to try and fix this issue. If Ridley loses confidence...he's done.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from CablesWyndBairn. Show CablesWyndBairn's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Ridley is a talented guy and their best runner.  All the "he sux" naysayers are blind if they can't see that he has the power to run inside and the speed to get outside.  To paraphrase BB, "football plays happen", which to me says that NFL-level defenders know how to strip the ball and make good plays to jar it loose.  In my opinion, Ridley has been a target because defenses know he fights for extra yardage at the expense of protecting the ball.  He's had it punched from behind and last week the defender put his helmet right on the ball to knock it loose as he was tackling Ridley, right as he began to spin.  That's all correctable to me, but that doesn't mean the light bulb will go on and he'll get over this mental block.   It's hard to fault a guy for extra effort, but clearly Ridley needs to wrap up and accept that he's going to get tackled at times.  Take the yards and protect the ball.   

    And for what it's worth, the guy blames no one but himself.  It sounds like he knows what he has to do. 

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from profootball. Show profootball's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    If the Pats have 2 TDs lead over their opponents then Ridley can carry the ball.  Otherwise, I would rather see Vereen or Bolden to carry the ball when the game is on the line.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to CablesWyndBairn's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Ridley is a talented guy and their best runner.  All the "he sux" naysayers are blind if they can't see that he has the power to run inside and the speed to get outside.  To paraphrase BB, "football plays happen", which to me says that NFL-level defenders know how to strip the ball and make good plays to jar it loose.  In my opinion, Ridley has been a target because defenses know he fights for extra yardage at the expense of protecting the ball.  He's had it punched from behind and last week the defender put his helmet right on the ball to knock it loose as he was tackling Ridley, right as he began to spin.  That's all correctable to me, but that doesn't mean the light bulb will go on and he'll get over this mental block.   It's hard to fault a guy for extra effort, but clearly Ridley needs to wrap up and accept that he's going to get tackled at times.  Take the yards and protect the ball.   

    And for what it's worth, the guy blames no one but himself.  It sounds like he knows what he has to do. 

    [/QUOTE]

    If BB can acknowledge this, so should we.  If every player is to be benched because they botched a play, no matter how good that player may be, even Brady should be benched.  Does anyone here agree Brady should be benched when he throws a pic? If no, why the double standard?  Seems this is more a BB tactic.  Do we see the same on other teams, a runner gets benched after a fumble for an entire quarter, if not the balance of the game?

    Nowadays, when you see defenses tackling a ball carrier, what I have noticed is there always appear to be one defender who is not even focused on tackling the runner, but, trying to strip the ball from them.  As a result, I have seen runners gain an extra yard or two because that "stripping player" was not aiding the other tackler at all. As strong as NFL players are these days, when you have one, if not two, players ripping at your arms, something gives eventually. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from joepatsfan111111. Show joepatsfan111111's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    To me, this Ridley thing is no argument. He's our best back. Pure, strong and quick. He'll learn to hold onto it. Blount runs like he's 200 & run high never gets low. I like bolden but he's the same type back as Ridley but not as strong or aware. Ridley is the best talent we've had since Dillon and BB, TB and everyone knows it. Everyone has their issues that they eventually get over and beat. This is a fixable issue for a VERY good player. Ridley is the guy

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TFB12. Show TFB12's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to soups' comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Agree... and I'll go out on a limb and say he doesn't fumble again this season, even if he doesn't get fewer carries. 

    [/QUOTE]


    That is a gutsy prediction.  I hold my breath every time he touches the ball.  I think he is the best back on the team, I really like the way he runs but just when I think he has this problem solved he coughs up the ball.  I hope you are right and if he can get this problem solved he will be a good back for several years.

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to agcsbill's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to CablesWyndBairn's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Ridley is a talented guy and their best runner.  All the "he sux" naysayers are blind if they can't see that he has the power to run inside and the speed to get outside.  To paraphrase BB, "football plays happen", which to me says that NFL-level defenders know how to strip the ball and make good plays to jar it loose.  In my opinion, Ridley has been a target because defenses know he fights for extra yardage at the expense of protecting the ball.  He's had it punched from behind and last week the defender put his helmet right on the ball to knock it loose as he was tackling Ridley, right as he began to spin.  That's all correctable to me, but that doesn't mean the light bulb will go on and he'll get over this mental block.   It's hard to fault a guy for extra effort, but clearly Ridley needs to wrap up and accept that he's going to get tackled at times.  Take the yards and protect the ball.   

    And for what it's worth, the guy blames no one but himself.  It sounds like he knows what he has to do. 

    [/QUOTE]

    If BB can acknowledge this, so should we.  If every player is to be benched because they botched a play, no matter how good that player may be, even Brady should be benched.  Does anyone here agree Brady should be benched when he throws a pic? If no, why the double standard?  Seems this is more a BB tactic.  Do we see the same on other teams, a runner gets benched after a fumble for an entire quarter, if not the balance of the game?

    Nowadays, when you see defenses tackling a ball carrier, what I have noticed is there always appear to be one defender who is not even focused on tackling the runner, but, trying to strip the ball from them.  As a result, I have seen runners gain an extra yard or two because that "stripping player" was not aiding the other tackler at all. As strong as NFL players are these days, when you have one, if not two, players ripping at your arms, something gives eventually. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Good posts but I have to disagree with bill a little. I don't think you can compare a qb strip sack fumble to a RB fumbling 3 games in a row. Brady doesn't have a "fumbling problem" but Rid certainly does at this point. Still I think given his production in his young career, I think we should do everything we can to help him. Our offense is much better with Ridley running the football.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Wake up. BB has already diminished Ridley's role from the huge load he gave him last year - dramatically. Ridley's current regression will only intensify that trend.

    All this fluff talk from him and McD means nothing.

    Expect to see Ridley most used between our 40 and their 30 where his butterfingers are less of a disaster.

    This kid is in his 3rd season and his fumbling is worse than ever!

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    BTW, I wouldn't count too heavily on BB having the same tolerance for fumblers he had in his failed stint in Cleveland. Since Tom Brady put him in the HOF his standards for that have probably risen considerably.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to agcsbill's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to CablesWyndBairn's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Ridley is a talented guy and their best runner.  All the "he sux" naysayers are blind if they can't see that he has the power to run inside and the speed to get outside.  To paraphrase BB, "football plays happen", which to me says that NFL-level defenders know how to strip the ball and make good plays to jar it loose.  In my opinion, Ridley has been a target because defenses know he fights for extra yardage at the expense of protecting the ball.  He's had it punched from behind and last week the defender put his helmet right on the ball to knock it loose as he was tackling Ridley, right as he began to spin.  That's all correctable to me, but that doesn't mean the light bulb will go on and he'll get over this mental block.   It's hard to fault a guy for extra effort, but clearly Ridley needs to wrap up and accept that he's going to get tackled at times.  Take the yards and protect the ball.   

    And for what it's worth, the guy blames no one but himself.  It sounds like he knows what he has to do. 

    [/QUOTE]

    If BB can acknowledge this, so should we.  If every player is to be benched because they botched a play, no matter how good that player may be, even Brady should be benched.  Does anyone here agree Brady should be benched when he throws a pic? If no, why the double standard?  Seems this is more a BB tactic.  Do we see the same on other teams, a runner gets benched after a fumble for an entire quarter, if not the balance of the game?

    Nowadays, when you see defenses tackling a ball carrier, what I have noticed is there always appear to be one defender who is not even focused on tackling the runner, but, trying to strip the ball from them.  As a result, I have seen runners gain an extra yard or two because that "stripping player" was not aiding the other tackler at all. As strong as NFL players are these days, when you have one, if not two, players ripping at your arms, something gives eventually. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Good posts but I have to disagree with bill a little. I don't think you can compare a qb strip sack fumble to a RB fumbling 3 games in a row. Brady doesn't have a "fumbling problem" but Rid certainly does at this point. Still I think given his production in his young career, I think we should do everything we can to help him. Our offense is much better with Ridley running the football.

    [/QUOTE]

    I agree there, since when a QB is strip sacked, more often than not, they are in the act of throwing and the ball or arm is hit.  The QB is not thinking about protecting the ball when in the act of throwing.  But, what I meant is when the QB throws an absolutely dumb INT.  No way the pass should have been thrown.  That type of mental error, like a RB not protecting the football on a run, I consider equivalent and as such, we see RBs benched almost immediately, but, not a QB.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to TrueChamp's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to agcsbill's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to CablesWyndBairn's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Ridley is a talented guy and their best runner.  All the "he sux" naysayers are blind if they can't see that he has the power to run inside and the speed to get outside.  To paraphrase BB, "football plays happen", which to me says that NFL-level defenders know how to strip the ball and make good plays to jar it loose.  In my opinion, Ridley has been a target because defenses know he fights for extra yardage at the expense of protecting the ball.  He's had it punched from behind and last week the defender put his helmet right on the ball to knock it loose as he was tackling Ridley, right as he began to spin.  That's all correctable to me, but that doesn't mean the light bulb will go on and he'll get over this mental block.   It's hard to fault a guy for extra effort, but clearly Ridley needs to wrap up and accept that he's going to get tackled at times.  Take the yards and protect the ball.   

    And for what it's worth, the guy blames no one but himself.  It sounds like he knows what he has to do. 

    [/QUOTE]

    If BB can acknowledge this, so should we.  If every player is to be benched because they botched a play, no matter how good that player may be, even Brady should be benched.  Does anyone here agree Brady should be benched when he throws a pic? If no, why the double standard?  Seems this is more a BB tactic.  Do we see the same on other teams, a runner gets benched after a fumble for an entire quarter, if not the balance of the game?

    Nowadays, when you see defenses tackling a ball carrier, what I have noticed is there always appear to be one defender who is not even focused on tackling the runner, but, trying to strip the ball from them.  As a result, I have seen runners gain an extra yard or two because that "stripping player" was not aiding the other tackler at all. As strong as NFL players are these days, when you have one, if not two, players ripping at your arms, something gives eventually. 

    [/QUOTE]

    I don't think you can compare a qb strip sack fumble to a RB fumbling

    [/QUOTE]

    It doesn't get much more apples and oranges than that in football.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from cyncalpatfan. Show cyncalpatfan's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to CablesWyndBairn's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Ridley is a talented guy and their best runner.  All the "he sux" naysayers are blind if they can't see that he has the power to run inside and the speed to get outside.  To paraphrase BB, "football plays happen", which to me says that NFL-level defenders know how to strip the ball and make good plays to jar it loose.  In my opinion, Ridley has been a target because defenses know he fights for extra yardage at the expense of protecting the ball.  He's had it punched from behind and last week the defender put his helmet right on the ball to knock it loose as he was tackling Ridley, right as he began to spin.  That's all correctable to me, but that doesn't mean the light bulb will go on and he'll get over this mental block.   It's hard to fault a guy for extra effort, but clearly Ridley needs to wrap up and accept that he's going to get tackled at times.  Take the yards and protect the ball.   

    And for what it's worth, the guy blames no one but himself.  It sounds like he knows what he has to do. 

    [/QUOTE]

    Thankfully, we have BB making these decisions and not one of the numerous simplistic "nay-sayers", that you referred to.  I'm with you.  I think that this kid has shown a lot of ability.  I think it would be foolish for the team to turn its back on him, without first trying to make adjustments to correct the problem. 

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    I wonder if everyone will be this confident in a playoff game, with the slimmest of leads and Ridley having to run time off the clock in the final minutes in the shadow of our own endzone? 

    Somehow I doubt it...

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Pats wont win shat with Bolden as their lead back. Talk about Maroney 2.0.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from cyncalpatfan. Show cyncalpatfan's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to wozzy's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I wonder if everyone will be this confident in a playoff game, with the slimmest of leads and Ridley having to run time off the clock in the final minutes in the shadow of our own endzone? 

    Somehow I doubt it...

    [/QUOTE]


    You're absolutely right.  I know I won't be confident, in that situation.  However, I still believe that he is our best overall running back, at this time (not taking fumbles into consideration).  Until he can demonstrate an ability to hold onto the ball, at crucial moments like that, I am willing to sit on the edge of my seat and say a little prayer.  I just remind myself that there is no guarantee of success, even if BB chose to go with any other running back.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    The sooner they instill confidence in him and he rights that issue, the sooner we get to SB contending offense. Bolden was terrible on Sunday, he had one good run that made his average look better than his level of play, but he was met at the line and did nothing on most plays. 

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from 49Patriots. Show 49Patriots's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    Everytime Bolden tried to go outside was a comedy hour, my grandmother can outrun him to the outside. The guy sucks.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from cyncalpatfan. Show cyncalpatfan's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to 49Patriots's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    The sooner they instill confidence in him and he rights that issue, the sooner we get to SB contending offense. Bolden was terrible on Sunday, he had one good run that made his average look better than his level of play, but he was met at the line and did nothing on most plays. 

    [/QUOTE]


    Exactly.  The best way to build confidence is to work on his skills in practice and then get him back out there.

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from TrueChamp. Show TrueChamp's posts

    Re: BB's dealing with fumble probe running backs bodes well for Ridley

    In response to wozzy's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I wonder if everyone will be this confident in a playoff game, with the slimmest of leads and Ridley having to run time off the clock in the final minutes in the shadow of our own endzone? 

    Somehow I doubt it...

    [/QUOTE]

    No, but I wont be overly confident if we are getting stuffed at the LOS and abandon the run like we have for years. Ridley can make the extra yard, Blount and Bolden cannot.

     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share