McDaniels on ball security: Carelessness will be addressed

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McDaniels on ball security: Carelessness will be addressed

On his Tuesday conference call, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was prodded to talk about ball security. Specifically, he was asked if he has a coaching philosophy regarding players who may be struggling in that area.
McDaniels kept his answer as general as the question, but the unspoken context was Stevan Ridley.
New England's No. 1 running back has fumbled in his last two games, against Houston and San Francisco -- two of the biggest games of the season.
In the Patriots' 41-34 loss Sunday night, Ridley lost a ball in the third quarter that the Niners recovered and ran back for 66 yards. The turnover was converted into a touchdown just one play later.
"I think we want all of the skill players to protect the football," McDaniels said. "We work at it and try to emphasize that and generally I think weve done a decent job of it during the course of the season. There are certain times when the defense either gets it out or maybe we dont necessarily possess the type of ball security that we need on a certain play or in a certain game.
"In terms of a particular game or a specific, How many times does the ball need to be away from a players body or how many throws does the quarterback make that the defense touches before you get him out of the game, Ive never really had a specific chart or philosophy on that. I think more or less youve got to try to make sure that each player who touches it is securing it and taking care of it and if you feel like there is too big of a risk, then certainly you need to address it either that day or in the week of practice."
Ridley's 1,105 rushing yards on 252 attempts lead all Patriots ground gains by a lot; the risk has been worth the reward to this point.
But New England doesn't really have a choice, either. Last season, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the roster and leading the charge, Ridley was benched for the AFC Championship and Super Bowl after fumbling once in Week 17 and again in the divisional playoff.
He currently has two weeks to sleep tucked in beside the football. If there is an issue with Ridley's ball security, the Patriots will want it worked out before the postseason.
"If were being careless and the carelessness is repetitive and the ball is obviously not protected, we need to address that as a group; we need to address that and make sure that we try to fix it so that we dont hurt our team."

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.