FOXBORO, Mass. — Running back Stevan Ridley hasn't gotten a consistent amount of reps during his rookie season with the Patriots, which isn't much of a surprise to anyone who has followed the team's recent trend at that position.
Bill Belichick typically rides the hot hand, and there's usually no telling who gets the first opportunities to show what they've got during any given game. Even in 2010, when BenJarvus Green-Ellis had the team's first 1,000-yard season in six years, it was tough to bank on how many carries he'd get in a given week.
Obviously, the Patriots use a matchup-based game plan, and certain situations aren't exactly conducive to a dedication to the ground game — such as falling behind by 10 points in each of the last two games.
"Coming around here, you never know, and that's not my job to try to figure it out," Ridley said. "I just know when they call [No.] 22 onto the field, I'm just going to go out there and try to do the best that I can. [My reps] have been up and down, but that's part of football. That's part of growing. That's part of maturing. I just have to go out there and be a team player. I think if I do that, that will be the quickest way for me to get on the field and see all of the reps that I want."
Ridley's snaps have been sporadic, aside from a stretch from Weeks 3-5 when he amassed 25 offensive touches for 163 yards and one touchdown. In his first eight games, Ridley's offensive touches have gone, in order: zero, two, seven, 11, seven, three, zero, four.
He isn't complaining because he realizes there's some pretty good talent around him, and he has displayed a mature attitude considering his situation.
"This job is a hard job," Ridley said. "As a player, you can fall into that if you want to, but that really is just going to put you behind as a person. Really, when you get the opportunity, if you don't go out there and make the most out of it, don't prepare to get another one back. I'm not going to fall in the trap of saying the reps have been up and down or this, that and the other. I'm just trying to take advantage of every opportunity that they give me."