The New England Patriots have some competition for the running back starting job. One running back that is competing for the job is Stevan Ridley and the other running back is Shane Vereen. Both of these running backs are well qualified to start for the Patriots, but Stevan Ridley should get the majority of the carries. The only reason Ridley lost the starting job last year to LeGarrette Blount was because of his constant fumbling problem, which Ridley should be working on during the offseason. Now that Blount is in Pittsburgh, the next best running back the Patriots have is Stevan Ridley.
Ridley should start on September 7th against the Miami Dolphins is because his stats over the past three seasons are excellent, and much better than Vereen’s stats have been. According to ESPN, Ridley’s stats since 2011 are: forty six games played, 2,477 rushing yards, and twenty rushing touchdowns. This is compared to Vereen’s stats since 2011 which are: twenty six games played, 516 rushing yards, and five rushing touchdowns. Obviously Ridley is the better running back, but many people believe Vereen will play a lot because of his receiving ability. Vereen is a superb receiver, but he does not have to play in the backfield to catch the ball, he could play in the slot if his receiving skills are required.
One startling stat that Vereen has is the fact that he has only played twenty six games since 2011, this is because he is prone to injury. In fact, Vereen has not played a full season once in his NFL career. However, Ridley has only missed two games in his NFL career. It is obvious to me that the best and healthiest running back should be the one that starts, especially in the beginning of the season. Therefore, Stevan Ridley should be the New England Patriot’s starter come week one against the Dolphins.