Stevan Ridley: ‘We have to be a solid offense to get where we want to be’
|10.20.12 at 7:35 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When he wasn’t wearing a onesie on Friday, Stevan Ridley was on the field preparing for a Jets defense that the Patriots hope to turn into child’s play.
The 3-3 Jets come in with a pass defense that is ranked fifth in the entire NFL, allowing just 209 yards a game. Their run defense is a different story altogether. They are allowing 150.5 yards per contest, 28th in the NFL.
So, for all the talk about whether the Jets will run against the Patriots or attack their secondary, the better question might be just how much the Patriots and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will use a rushing attack that – before last week – posted consecutive 200-yard games for the first time since 1978.
Last week, the Patriots managed just 87 yards on 26 carries, 3.3 yards per carry. Ridley netted a season-low 34 yards on 16 attempts.
“It’s the Jets, man,” Ridley said of what to expect this Sunday, careful not to give away trade secrets. “They’ve got players, they’ve got athletes, they’ve got people up there that have been there for a while with linebackers that have experience. They’re a solid defense and we’re going to have to bring our ‘A’ game if we want to win. Everybody’s 3-3, nobody’s one-up on anyone. So, for us, Sunday is a day for us to come out and playing ball against against a solid defense, and we have to be a solid offense to get where we want to be.”
Ridley also repeated a motto that has been coming down from the top this year from Bill Belichick.
“Keep working hard, keep working hard,” Ridley said. “We’re going to go against different defenses each week and some people going to do some things differently. They might defend the pass a little bit better, they might defend the run a little bit better but week-in and week-out, you just have to prepare the same way and hope for the best on Sunday.”
“We just have to keep working. It’s a 60-minute football game. You can’t 40 minutes, can’t play 45 or 50, you have to play it all the way to the end. For us, whether it’s finishing the game, starting off fast or whatever, it has to be a complete football game, and that’s what coach has been stressing to us. It doesn’t matter if we try to turn it on at the end or start off hot, if we don’t do all four quarters, play all four quarters, play all 60 minutes, the chances of us finishing with a win and the way we want to do it, aren’t high.”
Ridley, of course, was referencing last week’s meltdown when he ran the ball twice into the line for one-yard gains and the offense chose a bad time for only its fifth three-and-out this season as the Patriots lost a 13-point lead and the game.
“As a team, we have to blame ourselves,” he added. “It’s not anybody else, it’s not anything else that they’ve done, it’s not anything else another team has done. It’s us as a team. We have to continue to improve and continue to build on what we’re working on.”