Re: Ridley Analysis
posted at 10/18/2013 8:28 AM EDT
In response to zbellino's comment:
One of those fumbles is on Ridley ... hte knockout fumble is half-and-half. Kind of fluky.
Though it is hard, because he also fumbled a ball out of bounds that game.
Ridley puts the ball on the ground and gets away with it sometimes. It happened a lot at LSU, so even though he didn't have a tremendous amount of fumbles coming out, he had that flag. It is one of those things where you need to watch a player through his whole career to appreciate.
He also dropped a number of easy passes, and never really progressed as a passing option in practice ... and that flag has stuck too.
Still, he is a really smart runner, a strong runner, a quick runner, and agile for those attributes. He is NE's best option when they want to grind. That is a slam dunk.
Neither Bolden or Blount hold a candle to what he does.
I've felt Ridley's poor pass catching ability was a bit of a liability on a team that relies so heavily on the passing game, but I have to say I've been pleased with Ridley's receptions this season. The big difference I'm seeing is that he's catching the easy passes. (In prior seasons he often dropped passes he really should have caught.) I'm seeing some progress here and it makes me optimistic about his role expanding. If he can catch, he'll be on the field more, and I think he's the best runner of all of them.
I agree that Vereen, though, is another nice back who can run pretty well too and is a real threat in the passing game. I see Ridley and Vereen as a very solid set of complementary backs.
Bolden and Blount make nice back ups--but they are back ups, not guys you want to start every game.
One other comment. People think that running is a way to avoid turnovers (everytime Brady throws an interception you get the demands for more running, less throwing). But running produces turnovers too. Nothing is absolutely safe (except maybe taking a knee).