Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Stevan Ridley added more muscle

New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley declared himself fully healthy and stated he has no complications stemming from the concussion he suffered in the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens. You can read the story and the quotes from Ridley on our site here.

The Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe has been giving us some great updates on Ridley, and he tweeted today that Ridley has added a significant amount of muscle to his frame. He is already a powerful back, and the added strength is going to make him that much more scary for defenses. What Howe exactly said is extremely interesting, “Stevan Ridley looked like a house today. He’s added a noticeable amount of muscle. Might be even more difficult to tackle in 2013.”

A “house”? A “noticeable amount”? Now that sounds like something defenses should be scared of next season. Stevan Ridley was among the league leaders in missed tackles last season (top 15), and he is one of the top ten running backs in the NFL after the first hit. Ridley finished the 2012 season with an excellent total of 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns in a workhorse, 290-carry campaign. The added strength will not only make Ridley even tougher for defenses to bring down, but it will also allow him to be more durable going forward. It isn’t like durability has ever been a question for Ridley (that’s Shane Vereen), but health at the running back position is never a certain proposition these days.

It is great to hear that Ridley looks stacked, and I am looking forward to seeing some more great things from the Riddler in his second season as a starter. An inspired LeGarrette Blount could poach some carries from Ridley, and that might not be a bad thing. Ridley is still a feature back, but 290 carries is an awful lot, and less carries also means more efficiency per carry. Blount is a former 1,000-yard rusher himself, and we could also see Brandon Bolden vie for more carries next season. Those aren’t certainties, but what is certain (at least, to me) is that Stevan Ridley is clearly one of the feature backs in the NFL.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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