Friday, November 29, 2013

Day 243: What About Ridley's Fumble-itis?

New England Patriots' running back, Stevan Ridley, has a horrible disease. For the past few months he's been struggling to overcome a bad case of fumble-itis. This disease strikes many a young running back and it's often difficult to find a cure. Fumble-itis, while infecting just one, can have a very bad effect on the whole team. Those afflicted run the risk of becoming permanent bench warmers or worse.

Ridley is a promising young running back. In 2012 he rushed for over 1,200 yards, scored 12 touchdowns and averaged 4.4 yards per attempt. He fumbled four times last season. Overall, a pretty respectable season. The Patriots had high hopes for Ridley to have similar numbers this year—minus the fumbles of course. 

That's not the case. Though 10 games, Ridley has four fumbles and it's not looking good for him to come close to matching his numbers from last year. His miscue in the first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills got him benched. And then he had a pretty good stretch... but in the last three games, things have gone down hill. He lost fumbles against Pittsburgh, Carolina and Denver.

The fumble-itis has become so bad that former Patriots' running back Kevin Faulk actually reached out to Ridley with some words of advice
"Don’t think about not fumbling, think about, how can I hold onto the ball? This isn’t college, this is your job. You have to figure out what’s going on, because if you don’t, you’re going to be out of a job."
Hopefully that will help cure this dreadful ailment. If not, Bill Belichick will continue to bench him which does nothing to boost his confidence. On the one hand, you want him to get back out there, back on that proverbial horse. But on the other hand, if he can't hang onto the ball, it's more detrimental to the team to have him on the field.

Stevan Ridley has great potential. The 24-year-old moves quickly and agilely and could become a real threat if he can get this problem under control. Defenses can smell fumble-itis a mile away and if all it takes it a helmet or fist to the ball to make Ridley cough it up, they'll continue to do that until every ounce of confidence this kid may have had at one point is gone.

And one other thing (and yes, I'm looking at you, Stevan)... when you have a good rush, please refrain from waving to the crowd for more cheers. Karma hates that kind of shit and so do I, so please just stop. You don't get to celebrate anything unless you're in the end zone with the ball.

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