- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick held his standard day-after-game conference call with reporters and also was on sports radio WEEI today for his weekly segment on the "Salk and Holley Show." Two topics that interested us most were on running back Stevan Ridley's fumbling issues and quarterback Tom Brady's excellence in cold conditions.
On the conference call, Belichick didn't directly answer the question of if a breaking point has been reached with Ridley because of his inability to hold on to the ball, saying that every player on the team needs to do a better job. He seemed slightly more forthcoming on WEEI.
"I don't think any of our backs have an issue that I would say would prevent them from being a productive player," he said, in remarks that seem to reflect his view that Ridley's mistakes are correctable. "Look, there are some plays that happen in football that are plays that happen in football. Then there are other plays that are caused by a lack of discipline, a lack of technique, just carelessness. Those are the ones we have to eliminate."
As for Brady's work in the cold, Belichick went bullet-point style in detailing what makes him so effective.
"No. 1, he's mentally tough. I don't think he's affected by the conditioning from a mental standpoint.
"No. 2, he has big hands. He can grip the ball. His hands aren't small. It doesn't slide off. He can get around the ball.
"And No. 3, he throws a tight spiral. His ball is very tight, always has been. I was impressed … I think to play here, or in this area of the country, you have to throw a tight ball. He does. Certainly [Vinny] Testaverde, when we had him at the Jets and even here, he had a very tight ball and Cleveland, that is one of the things, so the ball can really cut through the wind. Of course, the wind is going to affect any throw but it doesn't affect a tight spiral like it does the balls that aren't tight."