Re: Steven Riddley
posted at 12/17/2012 3:29 AM EST
absurd overeactions. yes, he really hurt the team tonight, but he is also the same lead running back who has rushed for 1100 yards (7th in the league) and 10 TDs (tied for 2nd) and averaged 4.4 plus yards per carry. i believe he's now fumbled 4 times and lost 2 fumbles this season and has carried the ball over 250 times. Clearly he has to do a better job of holding onto the ball as his fumbles in consecutive games last year (including the one he lost in the playoffs) are still on people's minds, but the exact wrong thing to do would be to pull him off the field. Having Woodhead sent into the game I'm sure delivered the intended message.
After being reminded of his responsibilities repeatedly over this next week he should be fed the ball early and often for the next two games. this is a young kid in his first full season and growing pains can be expected. it's not a new issue, but it's also not at the point where he needs to be shipped out of town.
not sure shane vereen is an every down back, but even if he is, though he'sshown flashes he's only carried the ball 69 times in his nfl career and need we forget he also lost the ball against s. fran. not sure you want to go into the playoffs relying on him to carry the load. as for bolden - definitely a stong back, but he has a total of 45 nfl carries and will have missed a chunk of the season he couldm ill afford to miss. seems a little unproven to be depended on for major work at this point. woodhead is great in his role, but he is simply to small to carry the ball 20-plus times a game. he would never last through an entire nfl season. not sure h'ed even make it through a playoff game let alone a full playoff run
as an aside, kevin faulk fumbled 7 times (losing 4) in his first 27 regular season games in only 237 carries (he also fumbled 2x after catches and lost both of those). again, ridley has fumbled 5 times, losing 2 in his first 30 regular season games (and also lost one in the playoffs), while carrying the ball 339 times. better numbers than faulk.
with all that said, patriots backs are expected not to fumble and if he keeps having these kinds of problems he'll find his playing time cut drastically and may eventually fumble his way out of town.