In recent weeks, rookie running back Stevan Ridley has been used as New England's primary back in critical situations.
Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien gave his insight on the improvements Ridley has made during his first NFL season, but O'Brien also acknowledged that the young back has plenty more to work on.
"I think he's been a guy that's been improving every week," said O'Brien. "And early in the season, in the Oakland game, he had some productive runs for us. And so, we've just been trying every week to get him in there. And it just seemed like in the flow of the game, the way the game was going, we were trying to play at a fast pace, and he happened to be the back that was in there, and he had a couple good runs. So again, he was the guy we stayed with, just based on what was going on in that game.
"He's a bigger guy," added O'Brien. "I think he's a slashing type of runner. I think all the running backs have unique talents that they bring to the position, and he's just a guy that fit in pretty well at that position, and he's got a little bit of size, and things like that.
"So he's going to continue to improve and try to get better at the nuances on playing that position. That's a very, very difficult position to play, as a rookie, because you're involved in so many different things. The running game, blitz pickup, the passing game, route running versus zone and versus man. I mean, there's so many things that go into play at that position, and he's gotten better. But he's got a long way to go."
BOSTON -- Former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez's fiancee testified in his double-murder trial Thursday that she learned to keep her mouth shut and "not to ask any questions" in certain situations.
Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez testified against Hernandez under a grant of immunity from prosecutors. She and Hernandez have a 4-year-old daughter. She said she took Hernandez's last name in 2015.
Hernandez is accused of fatally shooting two men in Boston in July 2012 after an encounter at a Boston nightclub. He is also charged with witness intimidation in the shooting of Alexander Bradley, allegedly to silence him about the killings.
Jenkins-Hernandez repeatedly said she could not recall details about conversations with Hernandez after the 2012 killings and after Bradley's shooting in 2013.
She said she didn't ask Hernandez for details about Bradley's shooting, even though Hernandez and Bradley were close friends.
"[Bradley] was not my friend . . . Yes, it's a sad situation [but] why should I press about something like that?" she said.
Jenkins-Hernandez also said she did not recall getting a call from Hernandez at 2:37 a.m. on July 16, 2012, minutes after prosecutors say Hernandez shot Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado as they sat in a car at a stop light in Boston. Prosecutors said phone records show a 17-second call from Hernandez to her at that time.
Hernandez has denied shooting the men. His lawyer told the jury during opening statements that Bradley shot the men over a drug deal.
Bradley testified he saw Hernandez shoot the men. He also said Hernandez shot him in the face months later after he made a remark about the Boston shootings.
Hernandez is already serving a life sentence after being convicted in the 2013 killing of a man who was dating the sister of Jenkins-Hernandez.
Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald talks with Toucher and Rich about the report that the Patriots inquired what the price would be to acquire Seahawks Pro Bowl corner Richard Sherman via trade.