Would You Play Ridley?

Would you play Ridley again in 2013 plus playoffs?


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Matt Young's Control

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Thinking a bit outside the box, why, as football fans, do we have such an aversion to fumbles? Fumbles are terrible, they destroy drives and crush morale - but so do interceptions. Ridley has 9 career fumbles in 512 rushing attempts, a fumble every 56.9 times he carries.  By comparison, Tom Brady averages an INT every 49.1 passes in his career. Thus, for their careers to this point, Ridley is less likely to turn the ball over by fumble, than Brady is to turn the ball over by INT.
 
I'm not trying to equate Ridley's career to Brady's, just using the stats as an example to show that even a noted fumbler is less likely to turn the ball over than one of the most accurate QB's in NFL history. So why do we find fumbles to be unacceptable, bench-worthy behavior - but INT's are just a part of the game (within limits, obviously) for a QB? Is it just that throwing the ball downfield is inherently more difficult?
 

Ferm Sheller

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Matt Young's Control said:
Thinking a bit outside the box, why, as football fans, do we have such an aversion to fumbles? Fumbles are terrible, they destroy drives and crush morale - but so do interceptions. Ridley has 9 career fumbles in 512 rushing attempts, a fumble every 56.9 times he carries.  By comparison, Tom Brady averages an INT every 49.1 passes in his career. Thus, for their careers to this point, Ridley is less likely to turn the ball over by fumble, than Brady is to turn the ball over by INT.
 
I'm not trying to equate Ridley's career to Brady's, just using the stats as an example to show that even a noted fumbler is less likely to turn the ball over than one of the most accurate QB's in NFL history. So why do we find fumbles to be unacceptable, bench-worthy behavior - but INT's are just a part of the game (within limits, obviously) for a QB? Is it just that throwing the ball downfield is inherently more difficult?
 
Brady's Yards Per Pass Attempt is 6.74, whereas Ridley's Yards Per Carry is 4.3.  Great reward (passing) should come with greater risk.  Your data suggests the risk/reward are comparable running vs. passing.
 

dcmissle

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Matt Young's Control said:
Thinking a bit outside the box, why, as football fans, do we have such an aversion to fumbles? Fumbles are terrible, they destroy drives and crush morale - but so do interceptions. Ridley has 9 career fumbles in 512 rushing attempts, a fumble every 56.9 times he carries.  By comparison, Tom Brady averages an INT every 49.1 passes in his career. Thus, for their careers to this point, Ridley is less likely to turn the ball over by fumble, than Brady is to turn the ball over by INT.
 
I'm not trying to equate Ridley's career to Brady's, just using the stats as an example to show that even a noted fumbler is less likely to turn the ball over than one of the most accurate QB's in NFL history. So why do we find fumbles to be unacceptable, bench-worthy behavior - but INT's are just a part of the game (within limits, obviously) for a QB? Is it just that throwing the ball downfield is inherently more difficult?
 
Mike Martz brought a hakuna matata mindset to the passing game -- and is now out of the League.
 
With respect to your question, people understand that passing is inherently riskier.  Additionally, a good share of INTs can be viewed as  functional equivalents of a punt.  That is never the case with a fumble.
 

doc

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Matt Young's Control said:
Thinking a bit outside the box, why, as football fans, do we have such an aversion to fumbles? Fumbles are terrible, they destroy drives and crush morale - but so do interceptions. Ridley has 9 career fumbles in 512 rushing attempts, a fumble every 56.9 times he carries.  By comparison, Tom Brady averages an INT every 49.1 passes in his career. Thus, for their careers to this point, Ridley is less likely to turn the ball over by fumble, than Brady is to turn the ball over by INT.
 
I'm not trying to equate Ridley's career to Brady's, just using the stats as an example to show that even a noted fumbler is less likely to turn the ball over than one of the most accurate QB's in NFL history. So why do we find fumbles to be unacceptable, bench-worthy behavior - but INT's are just a part of the game (within limits, obviously) for a QB? Is it just that throwing the ball downfield is inherently more difficult?
Because fumble rates for good backs are close to zero, the ball is in your arms and should be secure.
 
http://www.sportingcharts.com/nfl/stats/rushing-fumble-rates/2013/
 
with last night Ridley is 4/139 or 2.9%
 

SMU_Sox

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That and how many INT's are truly solely on Brady and how many of them are on receivers deflected balls, etc? But with greater risk comes greater reward. Typically those turnovers come with a YPA of closer to 7.5-8.0 vs. a run which is around 4 YPC. So for them to be equal you need to have half the fumble rate - that and I think a runner should be able to have greater control of turnover's than on a passing play.
 

doc

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That wasn't even an iPhone auto correct error, though I now propose Ridley be referred to as Fumble Rat 
 

ivanvamp

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dcmissle said:
 
Mike Martz brought a hakuna matata mindset to the passing game -- and is now out of the League.
 
With respect to your question, people understand that passing is inherently riskier.  Additionally, a good share of INTs can be viewed as  functional equivalents of a punt.  That is never the case with a fumble.
 
I did a study several years ago (unfortunately, I didn't back up my computer, my hard drive crashed, and that data is lost…), looking at several years' worth of numbers.  The typical turnover cost a team 59 yards of field position compared to a punt.  So let's say you're going to give up the ball anyway - a turnover is much, much, much worse than a punt.  Now that's pretty obvious, as even the deepest interceptions still usually occur no more than like 40-50 yards downfield.  
 
According to advancednflstats.com (http://www.advancednflstats.com/2008/08/expected-points.html), a 59-yard difference in field position produces a point expectancy difference of about 5.5 per possession.  Turn it over 3 times like the Patriots did, and we're talking about expecting to give Denver about 16.5 points - and guess what?  Denver scored 17 off those 3 turnovers.
 
Weighing the risk/reward of passing vs. running is a good exercise.  Let's compare Brady to Ridley for a moment.  Not really a fair comparison because Brady has one of the NFL's all-time best INT ratios and Ridley appears to be kind of a fumble machine.  Let's not count QB scrambles, since that's not easy to find in the data.
 
2013
- Brady:  461 pass plays (430 pass att, 31 sacks), 2695 yards (2896 passing, -201 lost on sacks), for an average of 5.8 yards per pass play.  He also has 7 interceptions and 7 fumbles - let's just count 6 fumbles because one came on a designed rush by Brady (that ill-fated QB sneak fumble early in the year).  So 13 turnovers in 461 pass plays, for a percentage of 2.8%.  
 
- Ridley:  135 rush attempts, 9 receptions, for 144 total touches, 636 total yards, for an average of 4.4 yards per touch.  He has 4 fumbles, for a percentage of 2.8%. 
 
So they have the same turnover percentage, but Brady averages 1.4 yards per play passing more than Ridley does handling the ball.  Now, if we apply the -59 yards per turnover, that brings Brady's total yards down to 1928, or an average of 4.2 yards per play.  Ridley's total yardage is reduced to 400, or an average of 2.8 yards per play.  So factoring this in, it's pretty clear that the risk/reward for the Patriots is to let Brady throw a lot more than giving the ball to Ridley.  Of course, that can change if the defense plays a 3-man front and puts 7 guys in coverage all the time.
 
Obviously if you had a QB that was less capable of protecting the ball, and a RB that was MORE capable of protecting it, maybe the equation changes.  But the better percentage play is a Brady pass vs. a Ridley run.
 

Bergs

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doc said:
That wasn't even an iPhone auto correct error, though I now propose Ridley be referred to as Fumble Rat 
 
Works for me.
 

Jer

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Stitch01 said:
Wish you had the data because that number seems really high.
 
Why?
 
  • Average yards/drive ~= 30
  • Average net punt ~= 40
 
If the typical turnover occurs after 15 yards in a drive, then you're at 55 yards right there. The spot of the turnover and return yards are the huge variables, but could see how they'd net out to another 4 yards.
 

ivanvamp

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Jul 18, 2005
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Stitch01 said:
Wish you had the data because that number seems really high.
 
I agree - it seems high.  But the average net punt yardage (in 2013 anyway, factoring in return yardage, fair catches, everything) is 40.97.  Maybe it was just an oddity over the span that I was looking at, but most of the turnovers during that time frame had returns, and most of the turnovers occurred pretty close to the line of scrimmage (within, say, 10 yards).  And, of course, plenty occurred behind the line (QB strip sacks, etc.).  
 
Anyway, I agree, it seems high, but that's how the numbers worked out.
 

Tony C

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Bellhorn said:
I'm probably in the minority, but I think he will be starting next week. His ball-security technique could still use improvement, but I think his general superiority over Bolden is sufficient to outweigh the marginally greater probability of a turnover. And this probability differential is certainly much smaller than the events of the last few weeks would seem to suggest - a corollary of the fact that shit happens is that sometimes shit happens in clusters.
 
 
Jnai said:
Voted "play him".
 
At the time it seemed like an inexcusable fuck up. And then 12 other people fumbled the ball.
 
It seems like several of the last few fumbles have been just shit luck rather than anything bad on his part.
 
I'm betwixt and between. Between benching him and making him the lead back, I'd simply play him less -- there are situations where his clear superiority means you'd rather have him than Bolden even with the fumble risk. But, with that fumble risk, I'd certainly play Ridley less. I really don't understand BB's start him or bench him thing. Barnwell says it well:
 
Obviously, Ridley has had fumbling problems recently; this was his fourth fumble of the year and his second consecutive game with a fumble. Last week, after he fumbled against Carolina, the Patriots benched him for several possessions before allowing him to return to the game. Honestly, I'm not sure what these benchings are really supposed to do beyond reinforce whatever doubts Ridley has circling around his brain right now. What is Ridley supposed to learn from the benchings? That he shouldn't fumble again? Does he not know that already? If there's a technique issue that's causing Ridley to fumble, and that technique hasn't been corrected, why is he in the game to begin with? And if it's not a specific issue with something Ridley's doing and just a commentary on the bad outcomes of those fumbles, what's the point of basically grounding him? Do you bench him if he fumbles and the Patriots recover the fumble, as was the case with Julian Edelman on his first-half punt return? If Ridley is not your best option at running back, why is he starting the game to begin with? It just seems weird to basically put a guy into timeout because he did something wrong.
 
 
I don't understand the "timeout" logic and, in any case, in practice it clearly hasn't worked.
 

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PaulinMyrBch said:
 
I'm not sure Ridley does much more with those 4th quarter/OT chances: it looked like we weren't getting much movement on the Denver line.
 

Also, I don't think Blount is in the doghouse because he has reasonable defense that he was knocked the f*** out when he fumbled.
 
 
 
Missed that. And to make matters worse, I knew that last night, but overlooked it when I was typing this morning.
 
So yea, changing my tune. Can't imagine he gets out of the doghouse if Blunt isn't in it.  The Carolina game was all I needed to see regarding Blunt.  No problems from me if he gets the majority of the RB carries going forward.  
 
 
Hmmmm...
 

Reverend

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From the Butterfinger thread, since this one has more discussion of this type now:
 
jk333 said:
 
Interesting fact: 8 of Ridley's 9 career fumbles have occured in his first 5 carries of the game.
 
Assuming this is true (I haven't checked), could this information be meaningful? I mean, ideally we would just start him on his 6th carry, but barring a a machine built on the Gronk-Zo Theorem, is it possible he's too hyped up or something early on in games?
 

Phragle

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Yes I'd play Ridley.  I'd let him soak up all the yards and hits as to build up his trade value and keep the other, reliable RBs healthy.  I think they can easily survive the last 5 games with Ridley.  If he can fix his issues then great, if not he doesn't see any meaningful playoff action.  Either way I trade him in the offseason unless I can't get much.
 

Stitch01

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phragle said:
Yes I'd play Ridley.  I'd let him soak up all the yards and hits as to build up his trade value and keep the other, reliable RBs healthy.  I think they can easily survive the last 5 games with Ridley.  If he can fix his issues then great, if not he doesn't see any meaningful playoff action.  Either way I trade him in the offseason unless I can't get much.
What do you define as "much"?   You might get a 4th or 5th rounder for him. 
 

Beomoose

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I want to say yes because he's really, really fun to watch when he's making big plays. But good lord that fumble last night was bad. I'd have him running ball security drills in every practice from now until the end of time, bump him down to third back, and hope he plays his way back up to top of the heap.
 

ragnarok725

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I honestly think Vereen is being underrated in this thread. Posts about Ridley being clearly the best back of the group, about him being the most explosive, etc. - I'm just not sure either of those are true. Shane Vereen is the best back for this team. His well-rounded skillset presents more threats to defend than Ridley - where you know he's a blocker or a runner. Vereen is a better blocker, has more speed, and is a great pass catcher (the big drop last night not withstanding).
 
He should be getting the most snaps out of all these RBs, even if Ridley didn't have the fumbling problems.
 
That being said, I hate Bolden and Blount and think that Ridley, despite his fumbling issues, should be getting the other snaps. I've been down on Ridley for the fumbling issue since the beginning of last year, but don't think a single play materially changed anything in the evaluation.
 

twibnotes

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A lot of talk about holding the ball, but I think a lot of it has to do with decision making and, to a lesser extent, vision. If Ridley focused solely on two-handing the ball, it would obviously make him a far less effective runner. What has hurt him is that he uses too many spin moves (see: last night) and doesn't seem to know when to brace himself and protect the ball. Sometimes a back needs to go down instead of spinning or extending for that extra half yard.

Put another way, I think he needs to watch a lot of tape, not just hold the ball differently. If it were that simple, he'd have fixed it by now.

(Not trying to say anyone thinks it's simple to fix - just chiming in re the vision and awareness aspects)
 

Tony C

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ragnarok725 said:
I honestly think Vereen is being underrated in this thread. Posts about Ridley being clearly the best back of the group, about him being the most explosive, etc. - I'm just not sure either of those are true. Shane Vereen is the best back for this team. His well-rounded skillset presents more threats to defend than Ridley - where you know he's a blocker or a runner. Vereen is a better blocker, has more speed, and is a great pass catcher (the big drop last night not withstanding).
 
He should be getting the most snaps out of all these RBs, even if Ridley didn't have the fumbling problems.
 
That being said, I hate Bolden and Blount and think that Ridley, despite his fumbling issues, should be getting the other snaps. I've been down on Ridley for the fumbling issue since the beginning of last year, but don't think a single play materially changed anything in the evaluation.
 
Vereen's obviously a great addition, but he ran for 31 yards against Denver in 10 rushes. I love that he's back, but he's not an every down back as great as he is as a receiver (despite his two big drops).
 

Briz

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My first instinct is to say he needs to be benched.  The problem is what he brings to the table.  He is ranked 3rd in the League based on DYAR (144) and fifth if you take the opposing defense out of that equation (129).  Also he is 2nd in terms of success rate and DVOA (53% and 18.4% respectively).  Basically, his numbers indicate he is a top back when carrying the majority of the load for the running backs.  Blounts numbers are far more pedestrian (DYAR = 15, YAR = 18, DVOA = 12%).  But the comparison isn't completely vaild because Blount does not have the number of carries necessary to be compared in the with other main backs (see link to FO).  His number might increase if he got more carries.
 
At this point, duct tape the ball and both of his arms to his chest in practice and force Ridley to run through holes like that for a while.  Also, I'm not sure what to think of the # of fumbles in his first 5 carries stat.  Maybe that indicates he should be benched at the start of games so that the early game jitters potentially work themselves out?
 
Where I pulled the stats from:  http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/rb 
 
Edit: note, the stats are only through week 11.
 

Stitch01

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phragle said:
 
Well I would hope it's more, but I'd do it for a 4th, and maybe a 5th if it's on draft day.
I really doubt its more. I think the 4th is an optimistic view, but the Pats got a 4th for a totally washed up Maroney.
 
Id rather keep him, but wouldn't look to extend him beyond the rookie deal.
 

bsartist618

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Tony C said:
 
Vereen's obviously a great addition, but he ran for 31 yards against Denver in 10 rushes. I love that he's back, but he's not an every down back as great as he is as a receiver (despite his two big drops).
Why is that any more indicative of his ability than the 101 yards on 14 carries against Buffalo?
I'm not arguing that he should be an every down back, just that categorically dismissing him as an option based on what we've seen in limited NFL experience may not be fair.  He did demonstrate that he could be an every down back in college for whatever that's worth (not much).
 
Vereen is listed as 15 pounds lighter than Ridley and roughly the same size as LeSean McCoy.  He has a career 4.4 yards/carry (SSS).  The only thing indicating to me that he can't be an every down back has been the way the coaching staff has used him - and that may be more an indication of his strengths as a player than his limitations.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Vereen pretty much has to be on the field with the passing offense - this limits how much he can play in other sets, especially when he is in his first few games back from injury and still playing with the cast or whatever it is on his hand.

I agree that he can also carry the ball, but he has less of a track record in that role than Ridley. It's not clear that he's a 1200 yard rusher.
 

Tony C

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I"m not sure which is indicative, you're right. And I love Vereen, so, yes, he should be in the rotation and get more carries, though EJ is right that he can't play every down. I don't think, though, that Ridley can be buried given his skills.
 

JokersWildJIMED

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ragnarok725 said:
 
He should be getting the most snaps out of all these RBs, even if Ridley didn't have the fumbling problems.
 
 
Vereen has not shown the ability to consistently stay on the field, and giving him snaps as the feature back is a sure-fire way to put him back on the bench / IR.  I am not sure what you are seeing, but over the past two years Ridley is the explosive runner that hits holes harder than any back on the team and has a nose for the endzone.  Absent fumbling, he is clearly the feature back on this team.   Bolden is JAG and I am not sure what Blount brings to the team, other than a big back with fumbling issues.
 
Vereen is terrific, but as the pass-catching back he has had two damaging drops in successive weeks...Ridley has obviously had two unforgiveable fumbles in successive weeks. 
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Squarely on the "play him" category. I do think the fumbles are fixable and I don't take the stat that has Blount having a higher fumble/carry % lightly. 
 
Having said that, a 3rd or 4th pick next year should go to an RB. 
 

Grimace-HS

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Immediately after the fumble, I was going to suggest in the game thread that Bill send him right back out there, but they began their drive before I could post.  My thought was that sitting Ridley could do more harm mentally to him, which could remove his positive potential in the remaining games and playoffs.  I can see why he was benched, however, and that was likely the right decision.
 
But going forward, I just am not sure I would keep him on the bench and put him in only if needed (e.g., injuries to the other backs).  If that were the case, then I really would have no idea what he would do, how he would respond, and have even less confidence in him.  My thought is to start him next week...Houston does not have a great rushing defense, so start him and try and get his confidence back, in addition to coaching him how to not fumble (not sure how this is done, but perhaps emphasize two hands on the ball and take the tackle as opposed to trying to get that extra 2-3 yards).  Doing this could pay dividends down the road...if he fails to improve or fumbles even once, then he sits.  He does have valuable skills that I would not want on the bench if at all possible.
 

ragnarok725

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JokersWildJIMED said:
Vereen has not shown the ability to consistently stay on the field, and giving him snaps as the feature back is a sure-fire way to put him back on the bench / IR.  I am not sure what you are seeing, but over the past two years Ridley is the explosive runner that hits holes harder than any back on the team and has a nose for the endzone.  Absent fumbling, he is clearly the feature back on this team.   Bolden is JAG and I am not sure what Blount brings to the team, other than a big back with fumbling issues.
 
Vereen is terrific, but as the pass-catching back he has had two damaging drops in successive weeks...Ridley has obviously had two unforgiveable fumbles in successive weeks. 
 
Not sure why more snaps = higher likelihood of injury/play. I'd ask to show your work on that one. It might mean less effectiveness, but not sure there's a significant increase in injury rates. You play your best guys and if they get hurt, they get hurt. I generally don't prescribe to the "injury-prone" label unless it's a repeat problem area (hips, knees, specific strains). Vereen's injuries have been a broken wrist and foot problems that haven't recurred if I'm remembering correctly.
 
I'll also agree that Ridley is certainly a better pure runner than Vereen. I'm not sure it's quite as clear-cut as you're making it out to be - I've really liked the way Vereen has run in the opportunities he has gotten. But aside from that, Vereen is a far superior blocker and pass catcher. His presence on the field likely can force personnel changes for a defense (running against a nickel instead of base is advantageous). The versatility also means they can run more hurry-up than they have to this point in the season. This offense needs a well-rounded back more than it needs a pure rusher - they thrive on balance and the mismatches it creates. One dimensional players play away from Brady's strengths as a signal caller.
 
Eddie Jurak said:
Vereen pretty much has to be on the field with the passing offense - this limits how much he can play in other sets, especially when he is in his first few games back from injury and still playing with the cast or whatever it is on his hand.

I agree that he can also carry the ball, but he has less of a track record in that role than Ridley. It's not clear that he's a 1200 yard rusher.
 
I think this is right - he's probably not a better rusher at this point unless he really shows something with increased reps. And there will still be a lot of snaps to go around. The Pats have never been a single feature back type of offense. I just think that at this point he needs to be seeing the most snaps out of who they've got.
 

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Grimace-HS said:
Immediately after the fumble, I was going to suggest in the game thread that Bill send him right back out there, but they began their drive before I could post.  My thought was that sitting Ridley could do more harm mentally to him, which could remove his positive potential in the remaining games and playoffs.  I can see why he was benched, however, and that was likely the right decision.
 
But going forward, I just am not sure I would keep him on the bench and put him in only if needed (e.g., injuries to the other backs).  If that were the case, then I really would have no idea what he would do, how he would respond, and have even less confidence in him.  My thought is to start him next week...Houston does not have a great rushing defense, so start him and try and get his confidence back, in addition to coaching him how to not fumble (not sure how this is done, but perhaps emphasize two hands on the ball and take the tackle as opposed to trying to get that extra 2-3 yards).  Doing this could pay dividends down the road...if he fails to improve or fumbles even once, then he sits.  He does have valuable skills that I would not want on the bench if at all possible.
Ridley was spazzing out on the sidelines. I don't think he was going to help the team Sunday
 

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My question for those voting "yes" is why you'd be willing to roll the dice on a playoff seed with him.  At Miami and at Baltimore are easily loseable.  Brady has never played particularly well at either place.  The Baltimore game will be a death match, whether the Ravens are still in the playoff hunt or not.  Another fumble at an inopportune time could well turn both of those games.
 

ivanvamp

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ragnarok725 said:
 
Not sure why more snaps = higher likelihood of injury/play. I'd ask to show your work on that one. It might mean less effectiveness, but not sure there's a significant increase in injury rates. 
 
Doesn't this just stand to reason?  If I'm a player on the team and I spend 80 of 82 possible snaps standing on the sideline, and you spend 80 of the 82 in the game getting whacked around, if our bodies are roughly equal, aren't you more likely to get injured than I am?
 

Stitch01

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I voted not sure, but the whole question is whether Ridley's skills will lead to contributions to winning games that outweigh the risk of another fumble hurting the chance to win games.  People voting yes believe playing Ridley makes it more likely to win those games because he's a better runner than Blount or Bolden.  If people didnt think it would increase the chance of winning, they wouldnt vote yes.
 
dcmissle said:
My question for those voting "yes" is why you'd be willing to roll the dice on a playoff seed with him.  At Miami and at Baltimore are easily loseable.  Brady has never played particularly well at either place.  The Baltimore game will be a death match, whether the Ravens are still in the playoff hunt or not.  Another fumble at an inopportune time could well turn both of those games.
 

ragnarok725

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ivanvamp said:
 
Doesn't this just stand to reason?  If I'm a player on the team and I spend 80 of 82 possible snaps standing on the sideline, and you spend 80 of the 82 in the game getting whacked around, if our bodies are roughly equal, aren't you more likely to get injured than I am?
 
I was saying a higher likelihood of injury/play. For sure, every play a player plays increases his chances to get injured. I'm just not sure more plays means a higher chance of getting injured on each individual play - which is what was being implied (if I read correctly).
 

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Stitch01 said:
I voted not sure, but the whole question is whether Ridley's skills will lead to contributions to winning games that outweigh the risk of another fumble hurting the chance to win games.  People voting yes believe playing Ridley makes it more likely to win those games because he's a better runner than Blount or Bolden.  If people didnt think it would increase the chance of winning, they wouldnt vote yes.
 
 
I think dcmissle's point is fair--you can say that Ridley's benefits will exceed his cost in the aggregate but that the downside of a fumble is so great that you can't chance it in a potentially close game.  If he's worth 2 points a game in the 4 games he doesn't fumble and -7 in the one he does fumble then you might want him overall but the downside is too substantial if it coincides with a tough loss.
 
It's like the old picking up nickels in front of steamrollers thing. Black swans and what not.
 

Al Zarilla

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dcmissle said:
My question for those voting "yes" is why you'd be willing to roll the dice on a playoff seed with him.  At Miami and at Baltimore are easily loseable.  Brady has never played particularly well at either place.  The Baltimore game will be a death match, whether the Ravens are still in the playoff hunt or not.  Another fumble at an inopportune time could well turn both of those games.
I thought I mentioned another point in this thread but I don't see it...of course the word is out now about Ridley's problem, so everybody and his uncle on D are ball-hawking, trying to punch the ball out on him. Guys like, just guessing, Knowshon Moreno, people are just trying to get him to the ground and don't as a rule bother trying to separate the ball from him. So, ball-hawking compounds the problem for Ridley. Also, the fumble Sunday night was at the beginning of a spin move. Maybe BB starts the cure and tells him to stop being a ballerina. As others have said though, you don't want to change the guy too much.
 

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Shelterdog said:
 
I think dcmissle's point is fair--you can say that Ridley's benefits will exceed his cost in the aggregate but that the downside of a fumble is so great that you can't chance it in a potentially close game.  If he's worth 2 points a game in the 4 games he doesn't fumble and -7 in the one he does fumble then you might want him overall but the downside is too substantial if it coincides with a tough loss.
 
It's like the old picking up nickels in front of steamrollers thing. Black swans and what not.
Its a very fair viewpoint, but to me its sort of only addressing the risk part of the question.
 
There are basically two issues here IMO
 
1) Is it likely that Ridley continues to have fumble problems?
2) If so, are Ridley's contributions likely to outweigh the risk of a fumble when it comes to winning games? 
 
I dont see a lot of arguments saying Ridley is going to solve the fumble problem overnight, although there are arguments that Blount as a likely replacement wouldnt be an improvement.  Could turn out this is all a fluke, but I dont think the Pats coaching staff believes that so sort of moot.
 
The value of Ridley's contributions over the cost of the fumbles seem to be the biggest places people differ. So, using your example, whether Ridley's positve contribution is 1,2, or 4 points or whether the negative of a fumble is 3, 7, or 14 points.  Then figuring out how much risk is worth taking for that reward.
 
Using the same thoughts dc posted  and a different lens: if Brady hasnt played well in Miami and Baltimore and a game is going to be a death match, than forgoing Ridley's positive contribution may turn out to be too risk averse.  I would think that the more bullish you are on the Patriots and the more bearish you are on their opponents, the less you would want to introduce the variance of fumbles and the easier it would be to forgo the positive contributions that Ridley makes.
 
Voting yes means you think that playing Ridley gives the Pats a better overall chance to win games.  Voting no means that you think its too risky.
 
I honestly am not sure what the answer is.  I think burying him makes this a weaker and less dynamic offense, but I cant see just starting him and handing him the ball 20 times next week either.
 

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To a certain extent I see fumbles as random events that can happen to any running back.  The impact of a direct hit by the helmet of a defender going at full speed into the runner (which is what happened in the Denver game) is likely to jar the ball loose from any running back.  I'm not saying the Ridley's fumbles are all excusable, but some of them are.  Remember Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis?  He had a bit of a fumblitis reputation when he was here.  Now, not so much.  Is the improvement one of discipline or luck?  Probably  a mix of both.
 
As a result, I would definitely continue to use Ridley, but not without sending him a message that this has got to stop (on the assumption that some of the fault is his, not that of lady luck).
 

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Koufax said:
To a certain extent I see fumbles as random events that can happen to any running back.  The impact of a direct hit by the helmet of a defender going at full speed into the runner (which is what happened in the Denver game) is likely to jar the ball loose from any running back.  I'm not saying the Ridley's fumbles are all excusable, but some of them are.  Remember Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis?  He had a bit of a fumblitis reputation when he was here.  Now, not so much.  Is the improvement one of discipline or luck?  Probably  a mix of both.
 
As a result, I would definitely continue to use Ridley, but not without sending him a message that this has got to stop (on the assumption that some of the fault is his, not that of lady luck).
Think you are confusing him with someone else.  I think he literally never fumbled as a Patriot.
 
I agree somewhat with your characterization of fumbles in general, but disagree that Ridley's fumble Sunday was an example of it.  The spin was poor ball security.
 

Koufax

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Well, looking at his statistics on Wikipedia, which show 0 fumbles lost as a Pat, I am clearly confused.
 

axx

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They are going to need him eventually. Roll with Blount and Bolden for awhile and then go back to Ridley when the time is right.
 

Koufax

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I took a look at the figures for Kevin Faulk, including all 11 of his productive years (disregarding the last two, when he played very little).  The distribution of fumbles was erratic.  In his first four years he had 3, 5, 3 and 5.  A fumble macchine?  This was followed by 0, 3, 0, 3 and 1.  Perhaps he just got better?  Why then the following 6 and 3?  I calcuated a function based upon fumbles per 100 yards of total offence, and it taught me nothing that the foregoing stats didn't teach me.  Fumbles are somewhat random events, spaced randomly.  Now that isn't the entire story, but it surely is part of it.
 

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Stitch01 said:
Its a very fair viewpoint, but to me its sort of only addressing the risk part of the question.
 
There are basically two issues here IMO
 
1) Is it likely that Ridley continues to have fumble problems?
2) If so, are Ridley's contributions likely to outweigh the risk of a fumble when it comes to winning games? 
 
I dont see a lot of arguments saying Ridley is going to solve the fumble problem overnight, although there are arguments that Blount as a likely replacement wouldnt be an improvement.  Could turn out this is all a fluke, but I dont think the Pats coaching staff believes that so sort of moot.
 
The value of Ridley's contributions over the cost of the fumbles seem to be the biggest places people differ. So, using your example, whether Ridley's positve contribution is 1,2, or 4 points or whether the negative of a fumble is 3, 7, or 14 points.  Then figuring out how much risk is worth taking for that reward.
 
Using the same thoughts dc posted  and a different lens: if Brady hasnt played well in Miami and Baltimore and a game is going to be a death match, than forgoing Ridley's positive contribution may turn out to be too risk averse.  I would think that the more bullish you are on the Patriots and the more bearish you are on their opponents, the less you would want to introduce the variance of fumbles and the easier it would be to forgo the positive contributions that Ridley makes.
 
Voting yes means you think that playing Ridley gives the Pats a better overall chance to win games.  Voting no means that you think its too risky.
 
I honestly am not sure what the answer is.  I think burying him makes this a weaker and less dynamic offense, but I cant see just starting him and handing him the ball 20 times next week either.
 
The bigger problem with the dcmissle analysis is you can't tell which games will be close or when he'll fumble. So if you think his benefits outweigh his costs in the aggregate your best bet is to simply play him in every game and hope any fumbles take place in games that aren't close.
 

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Shelterdog said:
 
The bigger problem with the dcmissle analysis is you can't tell which games will be close or when he'll fumble. So if you think his benefits outweigh his costs in the aggregate your best bet is to simply play him in every game and hope any fumbles take place in games that aren't close.
 
I agree that it's a basic cost-benefit analysis, but I also think it's a matter of not being risk averse. The Pats are not a SB favorite. If they are to make it there again, much less win it, I think a high risk/high reward guy like Ridley is worth going with. He is a markedly superior back to the other Pats RBs and, actually, aside from the fumbles he's one of the best backs in the league. I just don't think the Pats have an edge over their competitors such that they can afford to be conservative and avoid the risk of using Ridley. I do think they can limit that risk some by limiting his snaps and rotating in the other guys more -- especially Vereen -- and using Ridley a bit more situationally (i.e, his butt is on the bench when they have a 3 or 7 point lead in the 4th quarter), but a Blount led RB corps will be too much of a burden if this imperfect team is to make a Super Bowl run. May as well give yourself a chance, even knowing there's real downside.
 

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Shelterdog said:
 
I think dcmissle's point is fair--you can say that Ridley's benefits will exceed his cost in the aggregate but that the downside of a fumble is so great that you can't chance it in a potentially close game.  If he's worth 2 points a game in the 4 games he doesn't fumble and -7 in the one he does fumble then you might want him overall but the downside is too substantial if it coincides with a tough loss.
 
It's like the old picking up nickels in front of steamrollers thing. Black swans and what not.
Or you could lose a game by having Bolden get stuffed on first and second down late in the game and not being able to bleed the clock and giving Flacco or whoever some more chances to come back. That's the downside of a "safer" but less good back.
 
If Ridley's benefits outweigh the downside it doesn't really matter whether the game is close or not. If the Pats are blowing them out then the benefits and risks are both less important.
 
Edit: Sorry, that was more meant for dcmissle's original point