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Stevan Ridley on fumble against Steelers: ‘I hated it … It made me sick’

11.05.13 at 3:27 pm ET

FOXBORO — Stevan Ridley wasn’t going to sugarcoat it.

When asked Tuesday after practice about his feelings following a fumble against the Steelers last Sunday, he didn’t hold back — in his own assessment of the play, or in the faith the coaches showed by keeping him in the game.

“That was definitely the low point of my night, for sure,” recalled Ridley when asked about the play where Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu ripped the ball from his hands. “[But] for the coaches to stick with me and ride it out, it said a lot.

“I think my team ‘€¦ really, everybody has made their mistakes at different times. That’s something I’ve had to work on and focus on since I’ve been here. But for me, I just couldn’t hang my head. It wasn’t time for me to hang my head. It was a time for me to go out there and try and close the game out, because that’s what our team needed me to do. That’s really what I did — I just leaned on my offensive line. They made some creases in there for me the whole night and that was a tough defense that we went against.

“I hated it. Like I said, it made me sick. But I really think that it motivated me more to go out there and finish the game strong.”

The turnovers was his second lost fumble of the season. Following his first — which came early in the regular-season opener against the Bills — he was benched for the rest of the game. But on Sunday, the coaching staff went back to him, and he responded, running for a season-high 115 yards on 26 carries. He added a pair of touchdowns for good measure in the victory, a 55-31 triumph against Pittsburgh.

“I think we played well as a unit. When we go out there and put up 55 points, we’re doing something right. And a lot of things right, but that doesn’t mean we were perfect,” said Ridley. “For us, I think this is something we have to build on. We showed flashes of what we can do and how good we can be, but that doesn’t say anything for the next couple of weeks. We have some opponents who are going to try and defend us and shut us down. Coming back with Carolina — that’s not a team that’s going to lay down for anybody. For us, enjoy the win — we’re going to sit on it and be thankful for it. But we’re going to have to move on from it. For us, it was definitely a step in the right direction.

“Like I said, 55 points is a lot, no matter how we get them. Through the ground or through the air. But for us, once again, it was another balanced attack. I’ve said that all year — when we run the ball on the ground, Tom [Brady] always goes out there and does great work through the air. These receivers are making some great catches — they’re also blocking downfield,” he added.

“I think we’re just playing team ball. It’s coming back around — people are getting healthy and some of our key players are coming back. So I’m liking the direction we’re going but we still have a lot of work to do and we have to keep improving.”

Ridley, who now leads the team with 118 carries for 514 yards and six touchdowns, is feeling good about where he stands going into the bye week.

“I try and go out there every week and light it up. To have a good game and finally get over that 100 yard mark is something I’ve been searching for all year. I’m trying to go out there and repeat it. It’s not any time to lay down and be too happy,” he said.

“I just have to keep grinding it out. I know those boys up front are going to work for me. This offense is really rolling in the right direction. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t flying high going into the bye, but that means nothing because there are some opponents who are going to look to take us down. We’re just going to have to keep pushing and keep it going.”

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