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Ridley: Rotation has Patriots' RBs fresh

1/13/2014

In a change from past years, the Patriots’ running game is viewed as the catalyst of the offense, and running back Stevan Ridley said Monday on Sirius XM NFL Radio that the success is due in part to a committee-type approach.

The numbers reflect it. In Saturday’s win over the Colts, LeGarrette Blount played 26 non-kneel-down offensive snaps, followed by Shane Vereen with 24 and Ridley with 23.

That’s about as close as it gets to a pure committee and Ridley, the former No. 1 back whose ball-security issues contributed to Blount’s late-season rise, touched on why that’s important at this time of year.

“We all bring so many different aspects to the game and nobody has to take too heavy of a load,” he told hosts Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon. “We’re a very unselfish group; we don’t care how it gets done, but when it comes to the running back room, we just want to make sure we get it done. I think that’s helped us going into this postseason, to be fresh and somewhat healthy.”

Unlike last year, when Ridley played a running-back-high 45 percent of the offensive snaps, followed by Danny Woodhead (34 percent) and Vereen (12 percent), there has been a more even distribution in 2013.

The breakdown:

Ridley – 359 of 1,273, 28.2 percent

Vereen – 315 of 1,273, 24.7 percent

Blount – 306 of 1,273, 24.0 percent

Brandon Bolden – 279 of 1,273, 21.9 percent

Ridley noted on SiriusXM NFL Radio how each running back brings a different dynamic based on their physical measurables and skill set.

“You look at Blount, who’s 250 [pounds]. I’m coming in myself at 225. Brandon Bolden at 220. Shane is about 215 … we said it early on, at minicamp, that we had four backs that can all get it done,” he said. “I think a lot of people underestimate our backfield.”