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Stevan Ridley May Be Key Come Playoff Time

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by robertweathers, Dec 26, 2011.

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  1. robertweathers

    robertweathers Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Trying not to overreact to what I saw on Saturday and the week before in DEN, but I'm starting to believe that Ridley is going to play a significant role for this team come playoff time.

    I still believe in the mantra that to win a SB, a team needs to win games in a variety of ways (passing, running, STs, defense, etc). We know this team can pass. We know the D is marginal but is capable of making plays from time to time. We know ST has been improved and can contribute to a victory. However, I believe that the 2011 running game is sub-standard- or serviceable at best.

    I understand that the O revolves around TB and it's too late to change the team's DNA. However, with all due respect to BJGE and Woodhead, they are not the kind of RBs that will keep a defense honest. We saw in the playoffs last year how the NYJ played 3/4 players on the line and dropped 6-7 into coverage 10 yards off the LoC or blitzed. Coupled with the fact that Woodhead can't handle a full-load and BJGE is hurting, the team needs a RB that can handle the hits, break tackles, make players miss, run inside and bounce it outside if necessary. I'm also a bit concerned about the O-Line an it's overall health but we'll just have to wait and see.

    My belief is that BB really likes Ridley and what he brings to the table. The key question is how the kid can handle blitz pickup- that is the #1 question in my mind...

    I also believe that as the weather gets worse, having a running game that can generate positive yardage increases in importance.

    I think back to 07 and seriously wonder if not for Maroney's two outstanding games vs JAX and SD, would that team ever have made it to the SB.

    You also saw it with Starks last year for GB. He had a couple very good games for them when Rodgers wasn't all-world and just a normal QB.

    Interested in your opinions...

    RW
     
  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    Ridley should get more carries than BJGE. He's running better than him right now. 5.0ypc.
    Looks like we may have something here. Only thing with the hurry up is. I doubt if the staff trusts him to do that. We'll still see Woodhead doing that. I would like to see more hurry up. Seems to be the best way we've been moving the ball the last month.
     
  3. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Definitely want to see much more of Ridley, but I think Vereen unfortunately has been lost in the mix. He's shiftier and faster than Ridley but because of nagging injuries hasn't been able to establish himself. He's probably not as strong/durable as Ridley, but I think he could be quite a weapon as a change-of-pace guy if/when he gets the chance.
     
  4. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

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    I was pretty impressed by Ridley's balance, especially when shaking off/getting around first contact. He's got a measure of shiftiness to him that I think bodes well for his future at RB.
     
  5. Mainefan

    Mainefan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    The question is his blocking for Tom. If he's not much good, it will be obvious to opposing teams that a run is coming every time he's in the lineup.
     
  6. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    Looking ahead to next year. I see Vereen taking more of Woodhead's role. He can catch the ball and run. Ridley will take more of BJGE's role. More of a runner. The quartet seems 2 deep going forward at each spot for what we like to do.
     
  7. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines On the Game Day Roster

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    I don't see why Ridley can't assume both roles. In preseason he looked like he can really catch the ball. He's a bigger dude and I would feel a lot better about him picking up the blitz than I do with Woodhead on third downs.

    So if he can catch the ball, and he's got some breakaway to him, and he's big enough to run in short-yardage situations, why should he be just a two-down guy? He could be an every-down guy.

    I really think the Pats' running game has been hurt by the RBs not getting into a rhythm. They need to pick one or two guys and leave them out on the field for long stretches of time. They especially need a back who is a legit threat as a pass outlet. In this offense, the lead RB should have 50 catches without even trying hard. That seems to be completely missing from this offense, and I don't understand why. Ridley could and should be that kind of player.
     
  8. JMarr

    JMarr In the Starting Line-Up

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    Excellent post. The comment about Maroney vs. SD and JAX in '07 does make you wonder. Towards the end of that season teams were finding ways to slow down our offense and it was only a matter of time before Brady or the pass protection would have an "off" game and the rest of the team couldn't compensate.

    Looking at our last two playoff games painfully reinforces the point as well. We have to force teams to gameplan for us taking the running game into account.

    I know it's only two games, but Ridley has looked as elusive as any Pats RB I've seen since Curtis Martin. If he can stay healthy, he might finally be the answer at RB we've been looking for for a long time.
     
  9. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    Yep, history suggests that even the most high powered passing offenses are likely to be grounded at least 1 of the playoff games and the run game/defense will be relied upon. The Maroney games were a prime example. We might not need multiple 100 yard efforts from the main carrier but we definitely have to establish the run.
     
  10. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ridley looks to me like he is clearly better than BGJE.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  11. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hi..Devil's Advocate-ker here...

    Playoffs coming up....everything gets magnified...every mistake can be crucial...

    which back do you want facing playoff defenses...the one who has yet to fumble in his entire career?...or the rookie who has shown "flashes", yet has NEVER seen a playoff intensity game?

    This is a passing offense....err on the side of caution and go with the sure thing?...or put a rookie directly in the line of fire?

    Guess we'll all find out soon enough...
     
  12. randomk1

    randomk1 In the Starting Line-Up

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    For all that playoff intensity that BJGE has seen what has he actually done in the playoffs?

    Ridley is healthier and looks better right now.
     
  13. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    well..that really isn't fair...he only had eight touches last year vs. the Jets...but hey,go maniac on me...just don't go beserk calling for BB's head and all the rest of that crap from the gameday thread if Ridley makes a key mistake in the playoffs.
     
  14. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I put this on the OC.....

    I've said this before about hitting the RB in space with swing passes and screens....Ridley in space could be even more dangerous....

    Maybe BOB has someting special in store for the playoffs...then again

    naw
     
  15. EJ Blitz

    EJ Blitz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I don't like RBs by committee, I feel like Ridley has shown enough upside to feed him the damn rock early and often. On top of that we still don't know where Vereen stands, this why I didn't understand why we drafted two RBs when we already had too much guys. And I know I'm going to hear 'we were unsure if BJGE would be back' so on and so forth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  16. robertweathers

    robertweathers Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Since BB has been HC, only twice has a RB caught more than 50 balls and that (Faulk in 2000 and 2008) was with Drew and Cassell at QB- never Brady. KF has come close to catching 50 a few other times with Brady at QB but it's not the goal of the offense.

    The offensive philosophy here to get the ball in a players hands in open spaces so they can run with it. The goal is to find the WRs or the TEs first and the RBs 3rd.

    Faulk has been outstanding in that capacity.

    I couldn't care less if Ridley or Vereen get 50 catches. I'd rather see them run the ball, be effective and force the defense respect the running game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  17. PATSYLICIOUS

    PATSYLICIOUS Pro Bowl Player

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    Depends where BJGE's health is. He clearly is hampered by the foot right now and not in proper form. If he's at the level he was in the first Jets game this year, he's the one I want getting the bulk of carries. Then if he struggles, put Ridley in. But if he still looks the way he has in recent weeks he's better off giving way to someone who is full strength and has fresher legs.

    I think Ridley has a much higher ceiling and right now is running better but I'm not ready yet to annoint him the feature back. I'd like to see alot of both backs actually (if BJGE is healed up by then).
     
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Numbers aside, I do care about making the offense unpredictable. The fact that BJGE is a non-factor in the passing game is a real drawback. Ridley has shown pretty good hands, and coming out of college he had a reputation for being active and effective in pass protection. I'm sure BB & co. have their reasons for limiting his snaps, but as a fan, I'm always happy to see his number on the field.
     
  19. EJ Blitz

    EJ Blitz Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Has being cautious worked out for them in the playoffs recently?
     
  20. karran_s

    karran_s On the Game Day Roster

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    I would second that. IMO, BB is probably still worried about ball security, especially on 3rd down. We seem to be in a lot of critical situations, where one blown call - maybe dropped screen pass or fumble - could be the difference.

    I think we'll see more of Ridley, especially on 1st and 2nd downs. However, when it comes to crunch time on 3rd down in a critical situation, look for the law firm as a first choice (or Welker), then Faulk or Hernandez before Ridley.

    Ridley is good but maybe the coaching staff needs to give him more snaps, especially in the playoffs, where our slow start could be compensated by some steady running until TB settles down.
     
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