Reiss on Claridge
FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots inside linebacker Ryan Claridge answered a few questions on a break from the team’s offseason program at Gillette Stadium today.
Claridge, who played at UNLV, was drafted in the fifth round in 2005. He spent last season on injured reserve (shoulder) and rehabbed in Las Vegas with the Patriots’ permission. This year, he is projected to compete with Monty Beisel, among others, for playing time.
Claridge's brother, Travis, died unexpectedly earlier this year. Claridge has tattoos on his arms and forearms as a tribute to his family and brother. He didn't feel comfortable speaking about his loss.
Part of the Q&A:
Are you anxious to get back on the field?
"I'm just looking forward to going out and being part of the team. That's the thing I miss the most."
How much further along do you feel you are, even though you didn't play last year?
"Just being around the guys [this year] -- Bruschi, Izzo, Don Davis -- I can see from a distance how they do things. I'm an idiot if I don't follow those guys and run into their back. What they do works, and they know everything. I can take information from them every day. It's either you get it done or you don't. When we're working out, they're just in there and there's no messing around. They're really focused, really serious and I'm trying to imitate them the best I can. Hopefully I can get better by doing that."
What kept you going last year when you couldn’t play?
“The goal was to get back to be part of the team. That was enough for me to keep working, keep rehabbing, to get back.”
Did your brother give you any advice last year?
“He just said ‘Keep your nose clean. Your job right now is to get healthy. That’s it. You have no other job right now but to get your body in shape and be healthy.’ I think that’s pretty good advice, because what else am I going to do?”
How closely did the coaching staff monitor you while you rehabbed in Las Vegas?
“I had contact with the trainers and medical staff, and they set protocols for me. Everybody communicated on what I was supposed to be doing, so obviously all those were met. Everybody was comfortable.”
You played in the 3-4 at UNLV and they run a 3-4 here …
“It’s a lot different. Everybody’s 3-4 is different. It’s just trying to get comfortable and learn.”
Do you see yourself as an old-school linebacker?
“I don’t know. I just try to play football. I don’t know if it’s the old school or new school. I just want to go out and play. It’s some school -- I just don’t know which one it is.”
Great Q/A from MR!!
I wish he had stayed in Foxboro for his rehab. Not being there is a missed opportunity to see film and pick the brains of his coaches and Tedy about the posistion. We'll se how it plays out in trainig camp and preseason. He has a good opportunity to win himself a starting job. His competition for the position are a PR guy and a UDFA rookie. No exuses if he at least doesn't carve himself some significant playing time this season.
At OLB its put up or shut up time for TBC. He also has the oportunity to win some playing time with Colving and Vrabel the only 2 guys ahead of him on the depth chart and a 5th round rookie and a UDFA as his competition.
This TC will be interesting to stay the least. A lot of jobs up for grabs and a lot of people on the bubble. It should be fun. I can't wait.
Everyone on the team can't be a starter. There are more role players and backups than starters.
I can find no stats to show your claim that his paying time has increased. But lets say I take you at your word. How come his tackles and his sack #s were actually lower last season than during his rookie season. You would think that if his playing time has increased each year he would have registered more than 9 total tackles last year. In his most productive season so far (his second) he put up 28 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 1 INT. Decent but nothing really impresive considering that most of those tackles probably came on STs.
As far as the yakking part. The first meaning of the put up or shut up is as you point out to either do something or stop complaining/braging about it. the second meaning of the phrase is to futp up your fists and fight or back down. In the case of TBC it would be, either step up and earn yourself more playing time or start packing.
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