Stevan Ridley on his fumble crisis: ‘It’s sickening’
|11.25.13 at 2:56 am ET|
FOXBORO — The fumble crisis is getting out of control for Stevan Ridley. He knows full well he has to find a way to stop fumbling – and soon – if he wants to hold onto his job as lead running back with the Patriots. He admitted as much after his latest calamity Sunday night.
On the Patriots first drive of the night, with the Patriots driving into Broncos territory, Ridley lost his fourth fumble of the season. Making matters worse, when Wesley Woodyard popped his helmet on the ball, the ball flew out and Von Miller was on the spot to scoop it up and rumble 60 yards for the first score of the game.
The Patriots would lose two more fumbles in the quarter and fall behind 17-0 after 15 minutes and 24-0 at the half. But it was Ridley’s fumble that would set the ill tone.
‘It’s really about the team and how they came back from this deficit tonight,” Ridley said afterward. “We were down 24 points and they fought back. For me, I think my team deserves better than what I’m doing out there and putting on the field. It’s been consecutive weeks with putting the ball on the ground and, as a running back, you can’t do that. I’ve said that multiple times. I work too hard to make the small mistakes and I keep setting myself back and setting this team back.
“The offense depends on me and to go out there and get the job done and when I put the ball on the ground they have no option but to take me out and it’s sickening, honestly, I’m frustrated, but it’s part of the game. I think that as a player you’re going to have your ups and your downs, but the main thing is you just have to stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize at the end of the day. I’m not going to get too far down. I’m going to put a little more pressure on myself to go out there and practice and try to change up some things because I can’t keep doing this and it’s sickening.’
LeGarrette Blount also lost a fumble in the first half as the Patriots scrambled for someone reliable to carry the ball. Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen stepped up and combined for 23 carries and 89 yards.
‘It shows the strength of our run,” Ridley said. “We’ve been talking about that since early in camp and for us, we need to have players step up when somebody goes down, so we did some things and shot ourselves in the foot and they did [Brandon Bolden and Shane Vereen] exactly what I expected them to do. If they have to go with another guy and those guys stepped up and got it done and that’s what a team is about. And that’s what we have here is two guys that stepped in and played the role exactly how they’re supposed to.’