Alec Shane broke provided us with a detailed break-down of Patriots second year running back Stevan Ridley earlier today, and I thought I'd share yet another perspective on the up and coming back. This perspective comes via Evan Silva of RotoWorld, who shared his thoughts on Ridley after watching two of his tapes (week 16 vs. Miami, week 17 vs. Buffalo):
After taking a few hours to digest the performances, the first thing I'd say about Ridley is that he is a natural between the tackles. Ridley runs very hard; violently at times. He falls forward at the end of runs without fail. Ridley doesn't have a whole lot of lateral shake and bake, but he does show quick feet for a 225-pound power back. I'd call his vision to spot openings very encouraging, and Ridley follows his blocks like a polished vet. Ridley doesn't run 4.4 in the forty, but he also possesses plenty of speed to get the corner. He's dangerous on the perimeter and a load to bring down.
In the Dolphins game, one bone-rattling red-zone run really stood out. Ridley powered his way directly through a head-on confrontation with Karlos Dansby and put cornerback Vontae Davis on his rear end all in one motion. Ridley busted several of Dansby's tackle attempts over the course of the game, and Dansby is one of the best linebackers in the NFL today. Ridley had his number.
While Silva seems very high on Ridley's ability to be a short yardage and goal line back, I think that's an area Ridley still needs to work on heading into 2012. The Patriots struggled in short yardage situations at times, and I think Tom Brady's high number of 3rd and one and 4th and one rushing attempts is proof of that. There were times last year that Ridley really struggled to get back to the line on short yardage plays, when he was hit in the backfield.