And here we thought that Stevan Ridley was going to be buried by Bill Belichick. One week after being a healthy scratch, Ridley found himself splitting snaps with LeGarrette Blount. Words cannot describe how this is absolutely the right move.
As many New England Patriots fans already know, Ridley has struggled with holding onto the football this season. He has lost four fumbles so far and has fumbled the ball more than that. Belichick is not too kind to running backs who do so and made it a point to teach Ridley a lesson. The young running back was benched immediately for his fumble against the Denver Broncos and did not return to the game. Then he was made a healthy scratch against the Houston Texans. Nobody thought that Ridley would get out of Belichick’s doghouse.
Well Ridley did get out of Belichick’s doghouse — sort of. He played 17 snaps, which is almost as many as Blount did (21 snaps). Both running backs received eight carries and each caught a pass. Blount did have more total yards than Ridley (74 to 37), so one could say that Blount was more effective in this game. However, the best solution is for these two to continue splitting snaps.
Ridley is more naturally talented than Blount. He has the burst and the moves to be an effective early-down running back. Blount is more suited to be a short-yardage, clock-killing running back. But Ridley cannot simply be handed the position of primary runner if he cannot hold onto the football even though he is too talented to keep out of the game. Belichick has devised a perfect strategy where Blount and Ridley can split time so that Ridley has a chance to potentially earn his job back. It is a win-win situation.
Philip Alexander is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @steely0906, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.