Stevan Ridley NFL Stats
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Stevan Ridley NFL Game Log
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- 2018 Offensive Snaps:
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(Compared to other RBs)
Pittsburgh Steelers Team Injury Report
Not long ago, Ridley was the thunder to New Englanda's ever-diverse backfield, totaling 2,036 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns between 2012 and 2013. He tore his ACL in 2014 and has yet to fully get back into the swing of things, notching just 40 touches in 2015 with the Jets and three in Atlanta in 2016. Early reports from camp are that Ridley has shown a bit of his old self. The problem is the numbers game. Ridley is probably competing with Jamaal Charles for a roster spot and even if Ridley emerges victorious, he might get bumped once Devontae Booker returns from his wrist injury early in the season.
In and out of Bill Belichick's fumbling doghouse for years, Ridley finally left New England for the rival Jets in 2015, but only lasted one year in New York. Subsequently, he then tried-out for the Lions in an effort to beat out Zach Zenner for Detroit's 'big-back' role, but ultimately fell short and was released halfway through the preseason. He'll now look to stick with the Colts as a depth back behind starter Frank Gore.
Ridley's 2014 got off to a solid start as he had two 100-yard rushing games in the first five weeks, but a torn ACL and MCL in Week 6 ended his season and eventually his tenure as a Patriot. When healthy, Ridley runs with good burst and vision, though his upright style limits the power implied by his 5-11, 220-pound frame. He also doesn't have much speed or elusiveness and isn't an asset as a receiver, restricting his value primarily to early downs. The Jets, looking for backfield depth (and perhaps more insight into the playbook of a hated division rival), signed Ridley to a one-year deal, but he still needs to prove in training camp he's fully recovered from knee surgery. Even if Ridley comes back strong, new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey emphasizes spread formations and the passing game, so Ridley could be little more than insurance for Chris Ivory in a crowded backfield.
For Ridley, 2013 was a tale of three seasons. He was quiet for the first four weeks of the year, then missed Week 5 with a knee injury. He returned in Week 6 with a flourish, starting a five-game touchdown streak in which he found paydirt seven times. But, fumbling issues caught up with him and he ended up being benched in Week 13 before returning in a limited role for the rest of the season, ceding carries to LeGarrette Blount.
Ridley's value lies in his ability to grind out yards between the tackles – something he's done effectively throughout his career – and make things happen at the goal line. However, he's near-useless as a receiver and lacks the high-end speed to outrun corners and safeties.
Despite all that, Ridley enters 2014 as the projected lead back for the Pats' always-steady Tom Brady-led offense. He'll need to curb his fumbling issues – he's put it on the ground eight times in the last two years – but if Bill Belichick feels he can be trusted not to fumble, he'll get all the early-down carries he can handle as the only back on this team who's well suited for that role. Ridley will, however, certainly cede third-down duties to electric backfield receiver Shane Vereen, and rookie James White will likely get involved somehow. Nonetheless, Ridley has all the opportunity in the world to return to the 200-plus carries and consistent goal-line work his fantasy owners enjoyed two years ago.
Ridley had more or less the best season one could hope for – from a two-down back. He saw 290 carries last year as the Patriots offense exploited his power brand of running and saw much of the work from in close – 11 of his 12 TD runs (3rd) came from inside the 10-yard line. In fact the Patriots fed him 31 carries inside the 10 and 19 inside the five (both second only to Arian Foster).
Ridley is not a receiving threat (only six catches all year), and this season he could have increased competition for carries. Shane Vereen likely will fill the change-of-pace role in a backfield that also includes Brandon Bolden, Leon Washington and LeGarrette Blount, who could steal some of Ridley's short-yardage work. And that's assuming Vereen – or one of the others – doesn't eventually take his job outright.
On the plus side, Ridley did a competent job last year, is the incumbent and will again benefit from playing on a team that has no trouble putting its players in a position to score touchdowns. At press time, Ridley confirmed he's not suffering any lingering effects from the blow to the head that knocked him out of last year’s playoff game and has reportedly added some extra muscle this offseason to bolster his rugged running style.
Ridley scored just one touchdown and caught only three passes as a rookie last year, but he also got 5.1 YPC and is looking at a bigger workload in 2012 with BenJarvus Green-Ellis gone. Ridley’s 3.1 YPC after contact would have tied for fifth best had he qualified, while Green-Ellis ranked 58th among backs in the category. If a lead back ever emerged in this New England offense, his upside would be through the roof, which is why Ridley is worth gambling on. But the team’s running-back-by-committee philosophy probably won’t change anytime soon. Moreover, Ridley converted none of his five goal-line attempts for scores last year, something upon which he’d have to improve to see more work there.
While BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been serviceable, it’s clear coach Bill Belichick wants more from his running backs, as he spent both a second- and third-round pick on the position, the latter being Ridley out of LSU. Ridley doesn’t have a ton of speed, but he’s a big back who should complement fellow rookie Shane Vereen well. Ridley can help on special teams immediately, and as the only other big back on New England’s roster, he could compete with Green-Ellis for some early down and short-yardage work. Ridley’s a sleeper, but the Patriots will most likely institute a running back by committee.