Ridley doesn't mind a bump or two in camp


Ridley doesn't mind a bump or two in camp

FOXBORO -- After two days in shells, the Patriots put the pads on Saturday.

And in short order, Stevan Ridley was put on the ground. On consecutive plays.

It's only worth remarking upon because the style in camp is to "thump" or wrap a ball carrier then release him. But on Saturday, Ridley got knocked horizontal by cornerback Ras-I Dowling. On the next play, safety Patrick Chung grabbed hold of the 220-pound Ridley and flipped him to the ground.

While Dowling's hit seemed incidental, it was pretty clear Chung was looking to get a training camp tackle under his belt. For that, Bill Belichick sent Chung for a lap around the goal post.

I asked Ridley about the hits Sunday afternoon.

"I didn't even see Ras-I," Ridley explained. "Ras-I hit me and it was like he came out of nowhere almost. I asked when we got in the locker room, 'Where did you come from?' and he said, 'Rid, I was right there!' Man, I didn't even see him. I was just running and he hit me on the side when I was finishing a run -- coaches tell us to finish the runs, you don't want a DB running you out of bounds. Chung just kind of tied me up, but that's camp."

With more than 10,000 fans in the stands every afternoon to watch tag football that becomes bloodsport in September, any play that results in a clash of pads and a rolling human is celebrated.

And Ridley's happy to oblige.

"Everybody's excited, everybody's trying to get that contact in and we're just trying to get into football shape," he explained. "I'm not worried about it. I'm sitting at 220, a little bit bigger back. I'm gonna be on the ground some, as long as I'm falling forward, I'm doing my job."

Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots


Rex Ryan: Zero focus on 'extracurricular things' vs. Patriots

FOXBORO -- Seems as though the Bills don't quite have their stories straight. 

On the one hand, you have Bills players, who say that they won't hesitate to retaliate if a Patriots player gets near one of their pregame warmup drills, as Jacoby Brissett did in Week 4. 

On the other hand, you have the Bills coach, who sounded less eager for there to be any kind of scrap before this weekend's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

"No, I mean with us, just go out and warm up," Ryan said in a conference call Wednesday. "That’s what you do, but any of the extracurricular things, you know, there’s absolutely zero focus on that, and shouldn’t be any focus on that. It’s just about playing games.

"I mean if people want to show how tough they are, put the boxing gloves on and get in the ring or something. That might be more impressive -- I don’t want Gronk by the way.

"But I definitely don’t want to see that happen, and our focus is 100 percent on the game and doing the very best we possibly can."

It's an interesting comment from a coach who has made it very clear that he wanted to build a "bully" in Buffalo. His team shut out the Patriots after trying to intimidate New England's rookie quarterback before the game. Did his team not benefit somehow from what occurred before kickoff that day?

He doesn't think so.

"It had nothing to do with our team . . . Absolutely nothing," he said. "You know, those things happen every now and then but it was no big deal. It did absolutely nothing for us."

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but...can I have your jersey?

Roethlisberger to Brady: I've never done this before but...can I have your jersey?

Tom Brady has fans everywhere, apparently. Even in Pittsburgh. Even on the Steelers roster. 

Showtime's Inside the NFL caught video of Brady meeting with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger before Sunday's game between New England and Pittsburgh. 

The pair hugged near the 50-yard line at Heinz Field. Brady called Roethlisberger "big guy." Roethlisberger, who was out with a knee injury, told Brady he wanted to play "so bad."


Then Roethlisberger became a fan. And like many of them, he had a request. 

"Um, hey, listen," he said. "I've never done this before, but I would love to get a jersey at some point. It'd mean...There's not many I want to put in my office. You're the best, dude."

Brady was happy to oblige. Just not right at that moment. 

"Sure, I'd love to," Brady said. "I'll get you after the game."