Aug 15, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands off the ball to running back Stevan Ridley (22) as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Belichick on Stevan Ridley's fumble: 'we never want the ball out'

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Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is the incumbent starter. But he spends an awful lot of time on the bench.

After he fumbled during the preseason game agains the Eagles, he was pulled from the game. The fumble was called into question — perhaps, Ridley was down. Supposedly, his departure from the game was all a part of the plan. To Bill Belichick, that should matter. It should never have come to the point where it could be called into question. The ball should never have left Ridley’s hands.

“We always talk about ball-security,” Belichick said, via CSN New England. “Taking care of the ball, there’s nothing that correlates more to winning and losing than the turnovers so that’s always a high priority for us. We never want the ball out. On the other side of the ball, defensively and the kicking game, we always try to get it out. Sometimes when we get the ball out, we don’t recover it. Sometimes when we recover it, they blow it dead. But we always want to try to do that.

“Same goes true on the offensive side of the ball. We don’t want plays where they end up with the ball, whether they’re ruled in our favor or not: Have an interception in their hands but drop it, or plays where the ball gets away from us, or we recover, or it goes out of bounds, or they recover it. Those are all plays that we try to avoid, obviously. They do matter. And so do the ones that we — same thing on defense. Plays where we get it out . . . we don’t get ‘em all. But the more we get ‘em out, the more we’ll get. So they are significant.”

He lost his starting job last year after fumbling woes. If Ridley has any additional fumbling issues this preseason, he will lose it again. He can kiss his fantasy value goodbye.

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Tags: New England Patriots Stevan Ridley

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