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."