Ridley looks to 'close out games' in backfield


Ridley looks to 'close out games' in backfield

By Danny Picard

FOXBORO -- Two of the New Englands last three picks on Friday wererunning backs. And following the selection of Shane Vereen in the second round,came the selection of Louisiana State University tailback Stevan Ridley in the third round, at 73 overall.

Ridley described the entire draft process as a dream cometrue and described himself as a tough runner, for those who dont watch muchSEC football.

My running styles pretty simple, said Ridley in aconference call on Friday night. Im not a blazer by any means, but I just getthe ball, and try to go there and do what I can with it. Im a downhill runnerthats going to fight for the tough yards. And I just give my all. I play withmy whole heart every game.

With that tough running ability at 5-foot-11, 225 pounds,Ridley said his biggest strength is closing out games. At least, that was hisjob at LSU: run hard in between the tackles and run out the clock with theoffense on the field.

When the fourth quarter comes around, you need that runninggame to go in there and finish it out, said Ridley. I think I get stronger asthe game goes on.

As for a weakness, Ridley sounded somewhat concerned withhis blocking, but as the other previous Patriots draft picks have said thisweekend, he trusts in the New England coaching staff to make it work.

Im going in there to play, said Ridley. I know how toblock, but my technique can always be better. I just have to go in there, andbe ready to improve as a player, and focus on what these coaches are willing toteach me. And I think that Ill be OK at the end of the year.

New England couldnt have been any more perfect, he said. Itsa team that has a history of LSU players. Its a team that wins championships.So Im just looking forward to going into New England, and playing with a lotof guys that knows what it takes to win, and becoming a part of this team.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

NFL owners release statements on Trump comments


NFL owners release statements on Trump comments

President Donald Trump's comments about NFL players and his tweeted dis-invite of the Warriors led to some prominent athletes to speak out. Now NFL franchises and their owners are weighing in.

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally. 

He also lamented that football has become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.