Monday, November 4, 2013

Patriots have 'a ton of confidence' in Ridley


Stevan Ridley has done some things in the past to merit a timeout on the bench -- namely fumbling.

Early in the third quarter of the New England Patriots' victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the third-year tailback fumbled again, but this time, according to coach Bill Belichick, it wasn't benchworthy.

"Sometimes, turnovers are a result of real good defensive plays," Belichick said after the game, via

So Ridley remained atop the depth chart at the position. In fact, the Patriots went to Ridley on a handoff on the offense's very next snap and again on the next play through the air.

Ridley scored a touchdown before the turnover and after, and he went on to see the second-most snaps of any offensive skill-position player.

"We have a ton of confidence in Stevan and all our backs," Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Monday, via ". . . Sometimes the defense makes a good play.

"But I think most importantly is how we respond and react to that. I thought he did a good job of coming back and running the ball hard and protecting the quarterback on a few protections and plays after that happened. I think he caught one or two balls after that as well."

Perhaps the recent influx of youngsters at the wide receiver position and over the past few years at running back has forced New England's coaching staff to learn a little patience.

"If you didn't make mistakes, this game would be a lot easier," McDaniels said. "But everybody does and it's more important how we handle that going forward as opposed to trying to keep track of all those different things and penalize guys during the course of the games."

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